Superb Seasiders show their class in home win


Felixstowe & Walton United produced a scintillating performance at The Goldstar Ground to secure their first league win of the season against previously unbeaten Dereham Town. Stuart Ainsley and Miles Powell the scorers of two first class goals for the home side who could afford a missed penalty in a game they dominated from start to finish in front of a bumper Bank Holiday crowd of 405.

Felixstowe were again forced into making changes to the starting eleven after suffering further injuries during the narrow defeat at Canvey Island on Saturday, Callum Bennett, Lamell Howell, Miles Powell and Curtley Williams started the match ahead of Armani Scharr and Josh Hitter with the injured pair of Leon Ottley-Gooch and Sam Nunn missing from the squad.

After a quiet opening five minutes it was the home side that had the first opportunity of the game, Miles Powell causing all sorts of problems for the Dereham defence on the right and his cross was met by Lamell Howell in the six yard box who looked certain to score until the goalkeeper somehow scrambled the ball away from the fierce shot. Felixstowe were ahead after 13 minutes and what a goal it was! Zak Brown and the lively Miles Powell linking up well on the right once again and crossing for Lamell Howell who laid the ball back for Stuart Ainsley who from a full 40 yards out wide curled the ball into the far top corner away from the desperate attempts of the goalkeeper to reach it. Ainsley of course admitted after the game that it was intended as a cross, but let’s take nothing away from what was an exquisite goal and surely an early contender for goal of the season. On 19 minutes it was nearly two nil, Ollie Canfer did well to win the ball and cross from the right for Billy Holland whose powerful shot from around the penalty spot was rising and just missed the crossbar. It was all Felixstowe at this point and two minutes later it was the turn of Zak Brown to bring the supporters to their feet, more excellent play from Miles Powell saw him feed the ball through for Brown to run onto, his shot from ten yards at an angle went right through the goalkeeper but again flew just over the bar. Dereham’s first decent chance came with 34 minutes on the clock, with a forward finding space near the back post but his shot could only find the side netting. Dereham are a decent side and had won all their games this season thus far so whilst it remained only one nil it was always slightly nervy when they did venture forward, fortunately the Seasiders defence was looking very strong, with Curtley Williams and Joe Whight looking especially in control around the box and comfortably dealing with anything the visitors were throwing their way. Zak Brown again found himself in a good position in the box on 40 minutes, he elected to pass across the box rather than shoot on this occasion and the away defence cleared the ball from danger. Callum Robinson’s hands were stung just before half time as a good shot from close range came straight at him, he did well to parry the ball away, and a minute later it was Robinson’s outstretched foot saving the day when a shot looked to be heading into the far corner of the net.

Felixstowe had a great opportunity to double their lead straight after the break, Zak Brown was bundled over in the box by a covering defender and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Callum Bennett stepped up and smashed the penalty hard and central but the strike cannoned off the bar and to safety. Dereham had perhaps their best opportunity of the second half shortly after the penalty, the forward finding himself in on goal and poked the ball towards the corner but Callum Robinson was down like lightning to save once again. The Seasiders did go further in front on 57 minutes, Ollie Canfer broke from the middle of the pitch and Miles Powell took the ball and whilst others complained as he was clattered into, he won the loose ball and nonchalantly curled in a beautiful shot which nestled superbly into the far corner to huge cheers from the crowd. Zak Brown was close to a goal on 63 minutes, as the ball came through the middle he dropped his shoulder and fooled the defender and was in on goal, his shot was fierce but just wide of the goal. Five minutes later and it was again Zak Brown at the centre of the action as the home side tried to kill off the game, his brilliant play on the byline led to a lovely cross over the six yard box that Armani Schaar and Ollie Canfer were an inch away from connecting with. As the clock ticked down it was still Felixstowe looking very much in control, Dereham had two half chances but their shots from distance floated harmlessly wide. Stuart Ainsley nearly wrapped up the goal of the season competition that he had already staked his claim for earlier in the match with a superb effort on 87 minutes, he created the chance himself with a brilliant tackle in the centre circle and as he spotted the goalkeeper off his line, he sent in an effort from a full 50 yards that was heading in until the backtracking keeper got a finger to the ball and diverted it over the bar. Joe Whight had the last chance of the game in added on time and was unlucky to see his long range floating shot just go over the top.

Stuart Boardley spoke to the media team after the game. “We are really pleased, I felt from one to eleven we were fantastic, we probably should have been further in front at half time, much like at Canvey on Saturday, but we had to settle for the one goal before the break, instead of dwelling on what had happened at the weekend I thought we took the game to them again second half and let’s be honest, we should have had more goals with the missed penalty and a couple of one on one chances that we haven’t put away, but overall we are really pleased with the lads, the general performance was really up there and to get a result was great.” Boards went on to say. “Dereham are a really good side, Olly and Adam have got them going really well, they’re well drilled and have some good attacking players in particular so they’ll be up there at the end of the season, no doubts. The biggest thing that pleased me today was our desire to defend; the lads actually enjoyed defending today, enjoyed winning headers and doing the ugly side of the game, if we can do that every week, the players we’ve got in the building will show their quality, as they did today in those final third areas, keeping the ball, and I don’t ever think we really looked under threat today, even towards the end of the game when only one or two goals ahead.”






Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by David Francis



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