Seasiders settle for a point on opening day


Felixstowe & Walton United had to settle for a point at home on the opening day of the league season. The Seasiders dominated the first half but found themselves behind on 27 minutes, Samuel Jeremiah converting a penalty after he was tripped in the box. It took just five minutes for the home side to level the score; Zak Brown scoring a cracking goal from the edge of the box.

Felixstowe went into the game with new signings Zak Brown, Joe Whight, Curtley Williams and Josh Hitter in the starting eleven, Billy Holland started on the bench whilst Lamell Howell missed out through illness, with Rhys Henry, Kyle Jopling, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Henry Barley and George Clarke all missing with injuries. There was a healthy crowd inside the Goldstar Ground despite the holiday season, a minute’s applause for Heybridge Swifts off-field legend Mick Gibson was well received, whilst black armbands were worn by the players of both sides.

Basildon United had a head start with competitive football following their 4-0 Emirates FA Cup victory over Stansted last weekend. Despite that, it was the home side that started the game like a steam train, dominating the opening 25 minutes and looking sharp moving forward. Callum Bennett, in his first competitive game as club captain was unfortunate to see his free kick from 20 yards just evade the left post and Josh Hitter and Leon Ottley-Gooch both troubled the visiting ‘keeper with efforts on goal. The away side were looking quick when on the ball and Samuel Jeremiah was starting to find space in the final third as the half hour approached. It was on one of these sprints into the box that saw the Bees take the lead, Jeremiah picking himself up from a foul just inside the box to send Callum Robinson the wrong way from the penalty spot. Zak Brown equalised just five minutes later, the former Ipswich Town striker had sprinted through to win the ball from a glancing header by Ollie Canfer to calmly but emphatically find the bottom right corner of the net from 18 yards.

The second half was a more even affair, Felixstowe finding it hard to break down a strong visiting defence, while the lively front men for the Bees were causing real problems with their pace, although they will be disappointed not to have converted at least one of their chances, Suiabo Balde and Jeremiah with the most notable chances, although the latter’s seemingly glaring miss towards the end as he fired against the post from 6 yards after rounding the ‘keeper, was perhaps not as bad as it initially seemed, Robinson in the home goal recovering well to narrow the angle as the striker looked certain to win the game for Basildon. The Seasiders were still having plenty of the play, but not creating clear-cut chances, Zak Brown was unlucky not to pick out Billy Holland in the centre with a cross from the near post, Miles Powell and Billy Holland saw efforts fly wide and numerous good balls into the box just would not fall kindly to a player in Red & White.

Seasiders Manager Stuart Boardley said after the game; “I have to be slightly disappointed as I think that’s two points dropped if I’m being honest with you. I felt we completely dominated the first half, played really well and moved the ball about quickly; we created chances and got a good goal. It was a sloppy penalty to give away, but overall I’m not too dissatisfied, there’s been a lot of build up to this game, effectively we’ve been close on a year building up to this one game and that can always create a dangerous platform for everyone, so I think to come away with a one all draw means we are off the mark and we remain unbeaten at home since December 2019, it’s really important to us that we protect that unbeaten home record.” Boardley went on to say. “I think Basildon looked really good on the break, I said to the players at half time that they looked more dangerous when we had the ball, when we lost the ball they were very quick to break and looked lively. But we take the point and move on to next week, another big game for the club as we start what will hopefully be a good Emirates FA Cup run this season”

Southend Manor visit the Goldstar Ground on Saturday 21st August, KO is 3pm. Due to competition rules, season tickets are not valid for the Emirates FA Cup.






Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Dave Francis



Team Line-Ups Here

Photo Gallery here