Seasiders bounce back with quality home victory


Felixstowe & Walton United gained a superb three points this afternoon after a thoroughly professional and disciplined performance, beating Tilbury 2-1 in the Isthmian League North. Zak Brown from the penalty spot and Henry Barley had Felixstowe ahead at the break, with the away side reducing the deficit with 14 minutes to play. After the late drama of Tuesday evening, a game that saw The Seasiders let a 2-1 lead slip to fall to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Heybridge, this time the team held firm to send the near 400 crowd home happy.

Felixstowe were forced into changing the starting line-up, Jordan Matthews and Miles Powell missing out, with Josh Hitter and Curtley Williams in the eleven. Tilbury included new signings Roman Campbell and Sam Coombes.

Tilbury had the first chance of the game after a tight opening, with Callum Robinson saving well from a downwards header from a corner that was on target. Felixstowe’s first real chance came on 13 minutes with Josh Hitter curling the ball towards the far post to Zak Brown who took the ball down before shooting and seeing his effort swept wide by the goalkeeper. The lively Josh Hitter was in the right place again on 16 minutes to win the ball and set up Stuart Ainsley on the left who steered the ball towards the far post with the outside of his foot, but again the goalkeeper was behind it. Tilbury were unlucky three minutes later when the ball fell kindly on the edge of the box and a smart half volley was parried away by Robinson in the home goal. Armani Schaar unleashed a fierce shot from 20 yards on 21 minutes after some head tennis in the visitor’s defence, his effort curling a foot wide. The home side took the lead on 34 minutes from the penalty spot, Schaar doing well to find space and Zak Brown in the area and he was bundled over, making a simple decision for the referee. Brown picked himself up and confidently sent the keeper the wrong way. Tilbury were appealing vociferously for everything, led from the bench, and it was no surprise when the referee had heard enough and produced her yellow card for Marc Harrison the Dockers Manager who had overstepped the line. Whilst the away bench continued to remonstrate and plead forcefully for every little incident all over the pitch, Felixstowe kept their cool and soon made it two nil, Zak Brown doing brilliantly to win the ball on the touchline, somehow crossed the ball whilst knelt down! And picked out Henry Barley who was running in to smash the ball into the gaping net from close range. Man of the match Barley was causing Tilbury all sorts of problems and again had the home supporters in raptures when he won the ball with a superb turn on the edge of our area to break up a Tilbury attack and threaded a delightful ball up to Zak Brown to run into space before being tackled. The away side were close to scoring just before the interval, a looping shot was well saved by Callum Robinson and he also managed to punch the ball away from danger as the follow up again looked dangerous.

Tilbury came out strongly in the second half and had a good amount of possession, they spurned a golden opportunity on 52 minutes after Sam Nunn had lost the ball in the centre, the ball came out right to Lewis Smith, and with a clear sight of goal he screwed his low shot just wide of the left post. Two minutes later and the action was up the other end as Josh Hitter worked his magic to create a crossing opportunity, he found Zak Brown on the penalty spot between two defenders; he turned and fired just over. There was a break in play while a flare amongst the away supporters was dealt with as the away side became increasingly vocal in their frustrations. To Felixstowe’s credit, on and off the bench, The Seasiders remained calm and composed, refusing to involve themselves in the antics on show and happy to see the minutes tick by as Tilbury wasted their own time. Callum Robinson sent a long goal kick straight downfield for Zak Brown to run onto on 68 minutes, he let the ball bounce once before lobbing the goalkeeper but could only watch on in agony as the ball fell just wide. Henry Barley had a golden chance to finally get the third goal on 71 minutes, he sidestepped two players on the right hand side of the box and tried a carbon copy of his spectacular goal in midweek, this time the ball slammed off the underside of the bar and down in front of the goal line after a stunning curling shot. After creating very little during the second half, despite some decent possession, the away side finally scored on 76 minutes, Joe Wright rose highest and glanced his header towards the top corner and out of the reach of Robinson. Felixstowe were happy to soak up pressure and hit Tilbury on the counterattack at every opportunity, on 83 minutes Zak Brown did superbly to set up Rhys Henry in the middle but his shot on the turn was deflected wide. Brown again showed his attacking presence when he cut inside the touchline and squeezed a shot towards goal but his shot ran right along the goal line. With five minutes left it was another Felixstowe counter that found Rhys Henry on the right, he expertly waited for Zak Brown to find the perfect position towards the far post, his pinpoint cross finding Brown who saw his close range effort agonisingly go wide as the cheers of relief started to fill the air. Tilbury were still holding the ball when they could but creating very little, their only chance of note when they were chasing the game in added time was a deflected shot from distance that flew wide. Felixstowe held on to calm the nerves of a happy home crowd who had seen a clean, competitive and entertaining game that resulted in their side climbing to eighth place in the table.


Despite my broken toe (agony), we spoke to Seasiders boss Stuart Boardley after the game. “We are obviously really pleased with the result, I thought first half we played much like we did against Heybridge the other night, (Ed – the good bits!) played really well, kept upping our game, and then started to drop off again. That’s something for me and Andy to look at over the next week as we could have been a lot more comfortable as we had plenty of chances to go further ahead second half, but nevertheless the boys really dug in at the end against a decent side who were pushing up and putting us under the cosh a bit, but we held out and I’m really proud of them. When you come off the back of a result like we had on Tuesday, the nerves can kick in and you could feel the tension around the ground amongst the fans and when we give the ball away and hear that tension it can get in to the players’ minds also, I’ve been there and it’s tough, but it’s all about character at that point and just making sure you do your job, we did that today which was really pleasing. The crowd, and us on the bench! needed that third goal, but to be honest, even when they had spells on top second half, I think we had the better chances still, we dropped in and defended well and hit them on the counter and probably should have put it to bed a lot earlier and made things a lot easier for ourselves. It’s a perfect result for us and sets us up well for next week’s game at Sudbury, they’ve had a great result today (3-1 FA Cup win vs Dartford) so it’ll be two teams that will be high on confidence, two good footballing teams and we’re all looking forward to it”.









Match report by Stuart Daynes

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