Seasiders 1 Hadleigh 0

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Friday 3rd November 2017

           

Again I have to start by saying a massive ‘THANK YOU’ to the 623 record breaking crowd who turned out on Friday night to watch a match between two old adversaries - what a brilliant advert for Non-League football, when all the attention these days is centred on the Premiership, watched from the comfort of an armchair. 623 on a Friday night in November… yes, the weather was kind, and yes, the game had a lot going for it - new manager for the visitors, 100% home record for the Seasiders and the opportunity to go 21 points clear at the top of the table for a few hours at least, before the Saturday match results came in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watching the reserves on Saturday, (and thereby lies another story) someone mentioned that we didn’t play very well, which I had to disagree with. While it is very nice to win every game 4 or 5 nil, the reality is much different. Sometimes you have to ‘win ugly’, as the saying goes - dig out results when you are not at your best and against opposition that set out to firstly stop you playing, and who are lifted by the prospect of taking your scalp.

Such was the case with Hadleigh, with the added incentive of putting on a show for their new manager, and in Ash Veitch and Kyron Andrews, a couple of ex Seasiders looking to make an impression against their former manager and for their new one.

That 623 crowd makes a huge difference on such nights, when they become the 12th man, and those three points on Friday night might be the difference between success and failure at the end of the season!

The Seasiders might have been ahead after just two minutes when the early pressure was on the visitors’ defence. The ball fell kindly to Miles Powell who didn’t connect properly, and as it ran loose Jordan Matthews did connect, only to see his effort blocked and diverted away for the game’s first corner. The flag kick was cleared and the Brettsiders forced their first corner of the game a couple of minutes later.

Kris Rose, returning to the club he left in the summer, had a free header at Jack Newman’s flag kick but directed it over Danny Crump’s bar for a goal kick. The Seasiders then forced four corners in quick succession, the first taken by Joe Francis looked to be curling in at the near post but Mansfield got a strong hand on it to force it over his bar, and the fourth, again taken by Francis, ended the pressure with Powell heading narrowly wide of Mansfield’s right hand post.

Hadleigh had an even share of the play but saw the majority of the moves ended by a home defence well marshalled by Rhys Barber, and the only other real opening of the first half fell the Seasiders’ way when Francis played in Nick Ingram, whose first time effort was just wide of the post.

Jamal Wiggins replaced a limping Taylor Hastings at the break and the game restarted with the Hadleigh goal coming under pressure, and Sam Mansfield in early action saving a Powell header from a Scott Chaplin corner.

The decisive strike of the match came in the 52nd minute when Ben Golding bought Nick Ingram down on the edge of the Hadleigh area - it looked more clumsy than intentional, but that meant little to Powell, who lined up the free kick and struck it goalwards over the wall. Sometimes, you need a bit of good fortune and it was Powell’s day, as the effort looked well covered by Mansfield but as the wall jumped, the ball glanced off Newman’s shoulder, completely wrong footing the Hadleigh ‘keeper to nestle in the corner of the visitors’ net.

Mansfield pulled off a smart save to deny Kye Ruel, who had replaced Jordan Matthews and the ‘keeper conceded a corner to deny Francis as he ran into the area before Ash Veitch tested Crump from a 73rd minute free kick.

Felixstowe were reduced to ten men with 11 minutes left to play after Powell had limped off, with all the Seasiders’ subs having been used, but the visitors never really extended the home defence despite having the majority of the possession, their best effort coming from Brett Crisp, who fired over Crump’s bar when well positioned. Referee Aaron Farmer played an additional 6 minutes of stoppage time at the end of the 90, which was mostly spent in the Seasiders half, with the home side successfully defending their one goal lead to deny Hadleigh a late equaliser.

If Hadleigh, under Shane Wardley, continue to play with the same intensity shown in this game then it won’t be too long before they move away from the danger zone at the bottom of the table. After the game, Wardley, reflecting on the match, said “I felt a draw would have been a fair result, but credit to my players who put in a great shift to stop Felixstowe playing. We now need to keep those standards and I’m sure we will start getting results!”

Attention now turns to Tuesday evening, when we host Needham Market Reserves in the League Cup - they play in the league’s First Division, where they sit rock bottom with just three points from their 16 league games to date. Now, if ever there was a banana skin….

Normal entry prices to the game with Season Tickets valid for this event!

They did record a 2-1 win in the first round of the League Cup, and will be hoping for a similar sort of result here. Hopefully, see you all there!

        

Pictures courtesy Stan Baston