Seasiders 1 Haverhill 1

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Saturday 23rd December 2017

That’s it then… the end of the world is nigh! After playing 27 games - half a season plus 4 – we find our lead at the top of the table slashed to just 14 points, our goal difference down to just - plus 58 and without a win in two with just one point from a possible six!

I was amazed to hear some of the comments after this draw, crammed with negativity. Ok, we may not win the league (we may) and the second half of the season may prove more difficult than the first, but I don’t believe the management were ever naïve enough to believe we would cruise to promotion. There was always going to be a hiccup along the way, and it’s a case of getting through it and rekindling our early season form.

There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, "It is just as I feared! Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard.

                                                                                                                                                               The Craig Jennings appreciation society

The biggest plus this season, without any doubt, is the support the side have drawn from the local population - the supporters have been magnificent (see above), with the serious stuff tinged with comedy, but it has been home and away and the players love it!

A quick check of Saturday’s results showed just 7 teams playing at Step 4 (Isthmian & Southern Leagues) attracted a bigger gate than ours at the Goldstar, that’s out of 92 clubs playing at a higher level than us, plus all the step 5 leagues/clubs in Southern England. I love statistics, especially when it makes a point!

Once again, I am grateful to Chris Ryan for providing an excellent match report during my enforced sabbatical.

The Seasiders saw their 100% home league record end in front of a bumper 355 pre-Christmas crowd as Haverhill Rovers, under new management, took a share of the spoils from a game that rarely rose above the mediocre. It should have been all three points for the home side after coming from behind, when they were awarded a penalty with ten minutes left, but it was a day of missed chances and Joe Francis’ spot kick was wide of the post.

The visitors produced a hard working performance to earn their point, and ultimately the result was decided by two headers six minutes either side of half time, plus the missed spot kick.  
Jordan Palmer headed Rovers into a half time lead with Scott Chaplin equalising after the restart.  The Seasiders were awarded a penalty on 78 minutes, which Francis placed wide of the visitors’ left hand post, leaving the league leaders looking over their shoulders as their three main rivals gained maximum points. 

The Seasiders showed four changes from the line-up that lost at Stowmarket, with the returning Miles Powell creating an early opportunity after rounding the visiting ‘keeper, before a timely tackle from Alfie Carroll denied Felixstowe's leading marksman from opening the scoring. Powell then clipped the outside of Rovers right hand post from distance.

      

      

Crump was at full stretch to palm Carroll's header away at the expense of a corner, with Rovers looking dangerous on the break, and the deadlock was broken on 39 minutes when Jordan Palmer completed a flowing move with a powerful header to claim an interval lead. 

Chaplin and Driver both went close as Felixstowe pressed for an equaliser after the break, with Scott Chaplin producing a decisive header from Powell's cross to bring the sides level. Phillips produced a number of saves to deny Chaplin, Francis and Powell, but the visiting defence held firm until a handball decision provided the home side with an opportunity to take the lead, which they then squandered - they continued to press, but on an afternoon of missed chances, they had to settle for a point.

Ok, that's me now off, still have a couple of parcels to go .... Merry Christmas everyone!