Stunning Seasiders performance keeps the cup run going


The Seasiders produced yet another scintillating performance in the FA Trophy to reach the first round proper. Defender Sam Nunn scored a brace for the second successive game in the competition and Henry Barley made the game safe with a brilliant free kick as Felixstowe ran out convincing winners against London-based Met Police FC,

A minute’s applause was held before the match for Harry Butcher, a man who did so much for the local football scene and the community. Harry’s family were in attendance as the crowd paid their respects.

Felixstowe were without Jordan Matthews through illness, whilst Henry Barley and Leon Ottley-Gooch returned to the starting line-up, Armani Schaar took a seat on the bench as the home side looked to extend their winning run to three games, and their incredible unbeaten home run that stretches back to early December 2019.

The first half was played in the weather we have become accustomed to this season, the wind and rain that had caused so many other games to be called off this afternoon, lashing the Goldstar Ground and the supporters, who were showing exemplary behaviour to adhere to the new Covid rules in force at the ground to comply with the new legal restrictions.

Felixstowe were off and running immediately following kick off, showing no fear of facing a step 3 Met Police side that were playing their first game in this seasons competition and had made a strong start to the season, currently in 9th place in the Southern League Premier South. Stuart Ainsley was looking especially keen to make his mark on the game, being in the thick of the action and pinging balls all across the pitch. Callum Bennett had the Seasiders first chance in the 5th minute, his free kick from 20 yards just skimming the near post. Met Police were showing touches of quality at times and a ball through the middle on 8 minutes sent their lively forwards sprinting into the box but Jake Alley comfortably saved the low drive. The home side took the lead on 14 minutes and it was Sam Nunn who headed the Seasiders in front from a corner, a carbon copy of the two goals he scored in the previous round against Westfield. Three minutes later and it should have been two, Lamell Howell being tripped on the edge of the box and winning a penalty, but Callum Bennett dragging the resultant spot kick just wide of the keeper’s right post. Ethan Chislett for the visitors was booked for the foul and three minutes later a wild tackle in front of the home dugout saw referee Ollie Morris-Sanders produce a second yellow card, followed by a red, to reduce the Met to ten men. Lamell Howell was unlucky not to extend the lead on 32 minutes, Ollie Canfer threading a superb ball through two defenders that Howell turned on and fired in a close range shot that the goalkeeper did well to get down to. It was Canfers turn to test Forster in the away goal on 35 minutes, his speedy running and smart shot again finding the keeper in top form. The Seasiders were made to pay for their missed opportunities on 37 minutes as Met police scored with what was only their second chance of the game, a short goal kick from Jake Alley finding Tom Cursons who managed a sweet finish between Kyle Jopling and Alley to score an undeserved equaliser. Just before half time, the visitors had the ball in the net again, a shot was fired through a crowd of players into the centre of the goal but a handball had occurred as the corner was floated across. Lamell Howell had the last chance of the first half as he drilled in a low shot from 20 yards as the ball ran loose from a well-placed free kick.

Felixstowe made two changes at the interval as they looked to bolster their defence to cope with an increasingly lively looking Met Police front two, Jamal Wiggins and Captain Josh Kerridge replacing Leon Ottley-Gooch and Kyle Jopling.  Stuart Ainsley drew a smart save from the goalkeeper on 50 minutes as his rising long range shot looked set to put the Seasiders ahead for a second time and at the other end the away side saw a shot from the right evade everyone as it went past the far post. Lamell Howell again tried his luck from 25 yards on 68 minutes but his shot flew over the bar and shortly after Ollie Canfer saw his shot well saved when in a great position. The missed chances were always likely to cause a few nervy moments at the back against higher league opposition and Met Police squandered the best of their chances on 70 minutes, their striker being fed a delightful ball that found him all alone on the 12 yard spot, he poked his shot to the left of Jake Alley but the keeper managed to claw the ball away at full stretch. The crucial action came on 74 minutes, livewire Henry Barley, who was having a superb game set off on a mazy run from the halfway line, he found Lamell Howell on the left hand edge of the box and his shot was palmed away for a corner, from which Sam Nunn was yet again in the right place to plant his header firmly beyond the outstretched goalkeeper to a huge roar from the 322 supporters present. 6 minutes later and the roof nearly came off the Goldstar round as Henry Barley clinched the tie with a stunning free kick from 20 yards that the keeper got a hand to but could not prevent from finding the far corner of the net. Substitute Miles Powell saw his clever dink over the keeper go just over the top and as the board went up for 5 minutes extra, Met Police had their final chance in a game where they showed glimpses of quality but had struggled to contain a home side that were intent on attacking them at every opportunity and forcing the play and pace of the game, the striker dragged his shot well wide of the goal to sum up their afternoon. Jamal Wiggins was the latest and last player to try his luck from long range as the clock ticked down to full time, his effort flying just over as the whistle went and the Seasiders clinched a fantastic victory and some very welcome prize money to cap off what had been another excellent home performance. The cup run continues!

Manager Stuart Boardley spoke after the game and was understandably delighted with the afternoons work. “Obviously we’re really pleased, it’s great for the Club, the Fans, the Players, the Committee, and everyone connected to the club to get a good cup run and it gets a real feel-good factor around the place, despite the news of the potential lockdown coming, everyone in the dressing room is on a high”. Looking ahead to the first round draw on Monday, Boards said. “We’ll take anyone, if we can get a home draw then that will be fantastic. I think a lot of people may have been looking at today’s game and thinking perhaps it was a step too far for us? But I can assure you there wasn’t a single person in that dressing room who was thinking that, we felt we could go and win the game and I thought we did that well today and were the better side. The goalkeeper had a good game and you do wonder when you create all those chances but don’t take them whether that sucker punch the other end will come along but thankfully we’ve got a centre half who can head the ball! Sam Nunn’s head is like a magnet in that box!”












Match report by Stuart Daynes

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