SAT 01 FEB - MALDON & TIPTREE (AWAY) - Isthmian League


 Seasiders blown away in away defeat


Felixstowe & Walton United suffered a heavy defeat on the road at Maldon & Tiptree to remain in deep trouble near the bottom of the BetVictor Isthmian North table. Goals from Harry Knights and George Clarke during a decent second half attacking display from the Seasiders were not enough as they were time and again made to pay for their defensive fragilities by the home side.

Felixstowe welcomed back Sam Nunn into the starting eleven following a lengthy injury layoff, Stuart Ainsley missing out following his red card in last Saturdays home draw with Hullbridge. Charlie Beckwith was given the nod in goal for his first start since joining on loan from Leiston.

F.A Cup giant killers Maldon & Tiptree are having an incredible season, winning sixteen of the seventeen league fixtures played alongside the cup run that took them to the second round proper.

The game started with both sides being hampered by the strong wind that was swirling round the stadium, the pitch was in immaculate condition and Maldon & Tiptree were quick to get the ball on to the ground and start playing some impressive football. Felixstowe were struggling to get a foothold in the game and were perhaps giving the home side too much respect and space to play their expansive passing game. It was no surprise therefore when the Jammers took the lead after just 6 minutes, Jorome Slew creating space on the left and sending his curling shot through the hands of Beckwith in the visitors goal. On 26 minutes it was 2-0, Maldon again finding space out wide left and with the ball ricocheting around the box; it was Seasiders defender Sam Nunn who saw his attempted clearance slice into the top corner of the net. Felixstowe did come more into the game for the remainder of the half, Joseph Yaxley’s long range effort stung the hands of the ‘keeper and Maldon failed to create too much to show for their possession. The Seasiders had a shout for a penalty just before halftime, Callum Bennett being knocked over in an off the ball incident, the referee was unsighted so after a lengthy discussion with his assistant, a lecture to both players involved was deemed sufficient.

The second half started with Felixstowe immediately showing their attacking intentions, suddenly Canfer, Clarke, Yaxley and Schaar were finding space and creating chances, it was Armani Schaar who was quickest to a ball through on 50 minutes, the goalkeeper did well to push away his low drive, from the resultant corner Harry Knights spun smartly to fire into the net and reduce the deficit. Felixstowe were looking lively now and George Clarke almost immediately equalised, his angled drive missing the left post by just a couple of inches. Any hopes of a recovery that the large away following had quickly evaporated though as Maldon forced their way forward and Ryan Charles found plenty of space to drill home a third goal for the Jammers, three minutes later and it was four, a defensive header from Dan Davis falling at the feet of Jorome Slew who gave Beckwith no chance from eight yards. Felixstowe were still creating chances and it was George Clarke who scored the second for the away side, smashing the ball home following some excellent play from Jordan Matthews and Ollie Canfer. It was déjà vu for the Seasiders a minute later, Maldon again reacting to conceding a goal by immediately launching an attack, this time it was Charlee Hughes who found the space to slot home the fifth home goal. The Seasiders were perhaps unfortunate not to pull another goal back as the half wore on, Schaar, Canfer and Clarke with half chances and Felixstowe winning plenty of corners. On 85 minutes the scoring was complete, Hamza Kaid scoring Maldon & Tiptree’s sixth goal to complete an impressive performance.



Speaking after the game, Felixstowe Assistant Manager Andy Crump said. “Obviously when you look at that score line it is massively disappointing, we just said to the boys in the dressing room that yes, Maldon are a good side, but how many of those goals we conceded could have been avoided? We probably gave them four of their six goals because we weren’t switched on quick enough or we weren’t getting tight enough to people, you cannot concede six goals and stand a chance, it doesn’t matter how well you play. Stuart Boardley gave them a tear-down at half time as we felt we weren’t being brave enough when we had the ball, we were conceding too much possession and we were passengers in the game at that point. We did play well going forward second half but defensively we were poor and we have to learn from that.”

Felixstowe now face a crucial week in their season, a home game with Coggeshall on Tuesday is followed by a trip to bottom side Romford on Saturday. The Seasiders will have to pick up points in these games if their goal of avoiding relegation is to be achieved.

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