Seasiders have to settle for a point after late drama


Felixstowe & Walton United were forced to settle for a point against Hullbridge Sports in the BetVictor Isthmian North, Josh Kerridge looked to have secured a vital three points for the Seasiders with a superb headed goal midway through the second period, but the visitors from Essex grabbed a late equaliser with a wonder strike from 30 yards after Felixstowe were reduced to ten men, Stuart Ainsley seeing red.

Felixstowe went into the match unchanged from the side that put on such an impressive performance, despite a 4-3 defeat, at league leaders Aveley on Monday. Hullbridge arrived in Suffolk for their first ever game at Felixstowe in the midst of a good run of form, having taken seven points from nine; results that have seen them rise towards mid-table.


It was the Seasiders who came out of the traps fastest in the first half, playing some neat football in the first 25 minutes without creating too much in front of goal, as the half wore on the chances started to come for the home side who were now dominating the game. George Clarke fired over the bar from a good position and the energetic Jordan Matthews was twice foiled by smart saves from the Hullbridge Goalkeeper. Spurling in the home goal was only called into action once in the first half, getting down quickly to smother a shot that was destined for the corner of the net.

The second half was more of an even affair; both sides were playing good football but were struggling to find that clinical finish to open the scoring. Just before the hour Hullbridge did have the ball in the net, the attacker rounded Spurling to slot home the ball but was adjudged to have handled the ball so the flag was raised, much to the relief of the home supporters. Jordan Matthews was again finding himself in good goal scoring positions but just could not find the finish to match the excellent build up play, his closest effort on goal was from a curling shot from inside the box on the hour mark that clipped the outside of the post. Felixstowe did eventually get the goal that they deserved, Josh Kerridge doing what he does best, rising highest in the box from a corner to power home an unstoppable header in the 67th minute. The relief was evident around the ground at that point and it was still Felixstowe having the best of the play, Callum Bennett will feel perhaps he should have made the keeper work when bursting through into the area and the lively Canfer, Clarke and Barley were causing plenty of headaches for the away defence. The pivotal moment in the game came in the 77th minute; from a Felixstowe corner the ball came loose 25 yards from goal and Stuart Ainsley was deemed guilty of a tackle that saw the referee produce a straight red card. The change in the game was evident straight away, Hullbridge sensed they had a chance to get back into the game, Felixstowe were forced into substitutions that upset the flow of their game and on 83 minutes the visitors were level, Sotoyinbo finding space in the centre and launching a rocket of a shot into the top corner from fully 30 yards, a stunning goal that gave Spurling no chance. This made for a nervy last few minutes, both sides looking for a winner but in the end settling for a point apiece.


Speaking after the game, Felixstowe Manager Stuart Boardley said. “That was a difficult one to swallow really, I felt we deservedly went one nil in front, it could have probably been more at that point but the challenge from Stuart ends up with him seeing red and then the game changed on that moment really, down to ten men, that lifted them and then it was backs to the wall for the final 15 minutes, it was difficult from that point as then we could not retain possession enough and Hullbridge threw men forward and it became very difficult. Hats off to their man for that goal, he couldn’t have put it more in the top corner if he tried, but even then we still had chances that we could have won it. I thought the performance was good again, that’s probably the first time we have strung together two really good performances, here and at Aveley so there was a lot more positives today than negatives. We had the better of the play, the better chances and Jack in goal was rarely troubled, hence why that result is difficult to swallow.”

Felixstowe remain second from bottom of the table, with mixed results from the teams around them. Next up sees a trip to Maldon & Tiptree in the league next Saturday.



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