Seasiders win on their travels again


Felixstowe & Walton United secured their second away victory in the space of four days with a 2-0 win at Isthmian League newcomers Hashtag United. Zak Brown scored both goals and could have had a few more on another day in a game that The Seasiders again showed the strength in their squad, once more missing six first team regulars.

Hashtag United, the internet sensations with nearly 600k YouTube subscribers and playing this season at step 4 for the first time in their short history were coming into the game fresh from an impressive 3-0 home win over title favourites Maldon & Tiptree earlier in the week, their first league win of the season, whilst Felixstowe had also impressed in midweek, with a superb 4-1 away win at Hullbridge Sports. Felixstowe started with the same eleven that scored that fine victory, the only changes being on the bench as Lamell Howell and Gary Hammond took their seats on the side-line.


The Seasiders had the better of the early exchanges on a hot, energy-sapping afternoon on the 3G pitch of Bowers & Pitsea FC in Basildon, Sam Nunn was unlucky not to connect onto a Stuart Ainsley cross and the keeper caught well from a dangerous Ainsley corner. The home side had a decent chance on 4 minutes, Jesse Waller-Lassen heading wide after a good cross and then doing well to set up Hughes-Mason whose shot also went wide of the left post. From the goal kick, Felixstowe went in front after 6 minutes, Zak Brown sprinted through to the long clearance, leaving the defence static behind him and bearing down on the goalkeeper, emphatically fired in his second goal of the season. Josh Hitter fired over the bar on 10 minutes and just after, Zak Brown nearly doubled the lead as his shot from the right just missed the near post. Brown was all over the field and in confident mood after his goal and on 14 minutes was unlucky once again, this time creating his own chance from the left touchline and forcing the keeper to touch the ball around the post from his stinging shot. Josh Hitter skimmed in a free kick from the left touchline on 22 minutes that Ollie Canfer just failed to get a toe to. Kris Newby for the home side shot from distance on 24 minutes, the ball bounced in front of Callum Robinson but he did well to gather the ball. The livewire Hitter saw his shot saved on the half hour mark after some fine wing play from Armani Schaar and shortly after the ball was in the Hashtag goal but the whistle had already been blown for a Felixstowe foul. Waller-Lassen again tested Robinson on 40 minutes with another long distance effort but it was the away side going in at half time a goal in front having restricted the Tags to a handful of half chances and having taken their own early chance.

Zak Brown was close to doubling the lead when in a great position straight from the kick off second half; his shot from 18 yards flew just over. On 50 minutes it was Billy Hollands turn to test the goalkeeper, creating space in the penalty area and curling a shot from 12 yards that was well saved, and on 52 minutes it was Brown again causing all sorts of panic in the home defence as he burst into the box once again and saw his pile driver of a shot saved by the keeper, just as it looked to be going underneath him. Hashtag slowly started to come into the game around the hour mark and were seeing more of the possession; any chances they had were still limited to long free kicks and hopeful balls into the box that Robinson was always in charge of, Felixstowe were still creating the better chances and Zak Brown on 54 minutes yet again came close with a good effort that was just an inch or two wide. Robinson comfortably tipped over a looping header from a free kick and Brown was denied again by a fabulous save as he beat two men on the edge of the area and saw his shot somehow kept out. Hashtag hit the side netting from an angle on 60 minutes and then Noel Aitkens showed his attacking qualities as he escaped the attention of three defenders to find himself in on goal, his shot again saved by the experienced home goalkeeper Jamie Jackson. Hashtag missed their best chance on 78 minutes when their forward found space in the centre and as the ball came to him on 12 yards he somehow miskicked the ball and fell over, it was an escape for the away side that were still having the clear cut opportunities in the match despite Hashtags possession. Felixstowe did what good teams do on 79 minutes, and killed the game off with a fantastic goal; Ollie Canfer did brilliantly to win the ball in the centre and fed a delightful ball through for Zak Brown who beat two defenders en route to slamming the ball past the goalkeeper and celebrated with the visiting supporters. Robinson comfortably saved a free kick low down on 85 minutes and again was first to a decent ball towards his near post as the game entered stoppage time. Zak Brown could have completed his hat trick in added time as the ball was stolen off his toe as he was about to pull the trigger from six yards but he had to make do with two goals as the Seasiders comfortably saw out the game to record a great away win.


Felixstowe Manager Stuart Boardley spoke to the Media team after the game. “I asked the lads for a solid, professional performance today, get three points and to keep a clean sheet, and we did all that! I couldn’t ask any more of them on a very hot day, and the heat did affect both sides as the game was not that quick a pace. We created more than enough chances to win the game today, we went through a spell in the second half where we stopped passing the football and stopped trying to play up from the back, and we went a bit long really and played into their hands a bit, but when we had our good spells in the game, when we created all our chances, got the ball down and were brave, we passed it right through them. We had stopped that for that period but as soon as we got our heads together and figured that out and started passing the ball again, that’s when I think we looked the more dangerous side once again”. Boards went on to say. “Zak missed a few opportunities but he’s getting in the right areas, got two goals today but will be disappointed he didn’t get a hat trick, but he did his job and got us the goals that won us the game. I thought from one to eleven we did well today, Lamell Howell came on and did well out of his usual position in that right wingback role so that was great, but it was an all-round solid team performance today. We have mixed emotions about the break we now have, the ten day break has come at the wrong time in some ways as we are on a bit of a roll, but equally the break will allow some of the boys who weren’t here today the chance to get back and get a full solid week of training ahead of the difficult home game against Heybridge Swifts on Tuesday week (28th Sept)”.





Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Thomas Bradford



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