Seasiders 3 Stanway 0

Thurlow Nunn League - Premier Division

Tuesday 3rd October 2017











Do you ever get the feeling someone, somewhere is trying to test your resolve? I’m not a religious person but I have sort of had that feeling since Saturday when we collected 6 yellow cards at Caton’s Lane, resulting in an automatic £150 club fine plus £10 admin fee, no rights of appeal, and of course the six individuals collected individual £10 fines, again with no appeal!

Having got past that scenario, which saw our magnificent winning league run come to an abrupt end, it was onto a new challenge, setting about trying to build another substantial winning run with old adversaries Stanway Rovers the first opposition.  Rovers proved a serious thorn in our sides last season as we went head to head three times, twice in the league and once in the league cup, and lost all three, managing to score just two goals whilst conceding seven. So there was no doubt that this was a big game, with even more pressure on the side, having already won at the Hawthorns 3-1 back in mid-August.

The first half was nondescript, just losing one of our main front men to injury and having the goalkeeper sent off. Yes, definitely a test of our resolve. Sometimes, you have to dig in and battle it out, and to the side’s credit, that’s exactly what they did. The second half saw the best of the side, not necessarily the best football but the best of attitudes, and it brought its reward!

With Rhys Barber unavailable, Taylor Hastings stepped into the No5 role, with Jordy Matthews again named on the subs bench, having not fully recovered from his knock the previous week, along with Stef Mallardo, slowly gaining fitness after a two month lay-off, Andy Crow and Kyle Birchfield joining them on the bench.

To be honest, there wasn’t too much to write about in the first half, with neither side looking particularly threatening. Callum Bennett, in his new role of captain in the absence of Barber, tested former Seasider Andrew Plummer in the visitors’ goal with a cross- cum shot that the ‘keeper collected under the bar, and first of the main talking points came in the 10th minute when Joe Francis went down and stayed down with a thigh injury, and after a couple of minutes limped out of the game, being replaced by Matthews.

The other ‘major’ talking point came just before the half hour mark, when the Seasiders’ defence got into a muddle with one player expecting the other to clear, or rather two players expecting the other to clear. It resulted in Crump out of his area, denying what, in the referee’s view, was a goalscoring opportunity for Romario Dunne, physically holding him, and his arm raised immediately to show the red card. There were discussions about the decision, would the player have got the ball, would he have scored? It all became irrelevant - it was a red card and the man-in-the-middle wasn’t about to change his mind and Felixstowe were down to ten men, with Miles Powell taking over the custodian role!

Jordan Blackwell, with an ideal opportunity to immediately test Powell from the resultant free kick, was high, wide and handsome with his effort. Matthews saw an effort blocked and Bennett rattled the Stanway bar before the break.

There was bad news at the start of the second half with Jordan Matthews failing to re-appear, with Stef Mallardo substituting the substitute, which wasn’t such bad news as he looked excellent in his 45 minutes on the pitch.

It was surprising, although credit must go to the Seasiders’ defence, that the visitors never seriously tested Powell throughout the second half, and despite being down to ten men it was the home side who carried much the greater threat. Chaplin drove an effort wide and the Seasiders forced a corner before they opened the scoring in the 53rd minute. Stuart Boardley played a neat one-two with Nick Ingram for the latter to drive a low firm effort from the edge of the area beyond Plummer, into the corner of the net. The joy for Ingram, breaking his barren spell was plain to see and the goal put the Seasiders firmly in the driving seat.

It took just two minutes to double the score with Stuart Ainsley volleying Callum Bennett’s cross to the far post, across Plummer into the net. From that point the result was never in doubt with the Seasiders firmly in charge, and the biggest cheer of the night came when Powell jumped to take a high ball safely into his arms between two Stanway players.

Stuart Ainsley rounded off the scoring from the penalty spot after Ben Lampon had upended Callum Bennett inside the area, with nine minutes left, to make it an excellent night for the hosts in a game that attracted the club’s highest ever crowd for a midweek league game.

Let’s hope they can do it all again on Saturday against Ely City, remember it’s Non-League Day and it’s pay-what-you-want at the gate - hopefully we will see you all there!