Felixstowe & Walton United progressed to the Quarter Finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup with a resounding victory at Brantham Athletic on Tuesday Evening. An Own Goal and Armani Scharr had put the Seasiders 2-1 up at the break before an incredible four goal substitute appearance from George Clarke, back from a lengthy injury layoff, saw Felixstowe run out convincing winners.

The Seasiders showed the depth of their squad by rotating the starting eleven, whilst still putting out a very strong side; there were debuts for Caleb Palmer and Dan Leggett, and a return to the side for Jamal Wiggins, Armani Schaar and Stuart Ainsley.

Brantham started the game brightly, going close to an opening goal after just two minutes, Callum Robinson down quickly to save the smart strike. After a fairly even opening 26 minutes it was the away side that took the lead, a defender touching the ball over the line after debutant Caleb Palmers header had hit the crossbar and bounced down onto the goal line. 4 minutes later and it was 2-0, Armani Schaar racing clear and producing a brilliant finish from 20 yards across the goalkeeper, the offside appeals from the home side ignored by the officials. Brantham were back in the game on 40 minutes when a well-executed free kick was played back into the box and Johnathan Lee headed home.

Any momentum the home side may have been building before half time quickly dissipated as Felixstowe came out strongly in the second half. Caleb Palmer worked a great chance on 50 minutes and his shot from a wide position had to be tipped away by former Seasider Plummer in the Brantham goal. It was the introduction of George Clarke after an hour that turned a good game into a game that will live long in the memory. George joined the club late last year and played on through the pain and restrictions of a serious toe issue, scoring six goals in his dozen or so matches. His surgery in the early summer was followed by a lengthy rehabilitation process and his hard work was evident immediately. It took less than a minute for him to extend Felixstowe’s lead, firing home from close range to the delight of the 50+ Seasiders supporters in attendance. Georges pace and power was a joy to watch and he was relentless in his play, 5 minutes after his introduction and he was at it again, this time scoring a stunning goal to make it 4-1, forcing his way through two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike from 25 yards. Brantham scored their second of the night shortly after, a cross from the right being smartly converted from Johnathan Lee for his second goal. 5 minutes later and George Clarke had his hat trick, showing his determination and eagerness to be in the right place at the right time when the chance looked lost, Goalkeeper Plummer dropping a cross, Clarke on hand to poke home the loose ball. Armani Schaar nearly doubled his goal tally for the game, being an inch short of converting a neat cross at the far post. In what was an exhilarating second half, Clarke completed the scoring with his fourth goal, just 20 minutes after coming on, a cross from the right evading the keeper and Clarke smashing the ball in off the bar.


Seasiders boss Stuart Boardley spoke after the game. “I am really pleased, but there is still improvement to be made, at times for 5 or 10 minute spells we were a bit sloppy and we allowed them to get on top for those small spells, but largely I thought we were the better side and looked the more dangerous side going forward. We chose to rotate the squad a little bit tonight and give Caleb Palmer and Dan Leggett their debuts, which was fantastic. Both are good young players and did well, they are more than capable at playing at this level, it just shows the strength of the squad that we have.”












Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Thomas Bradford













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