Seasiders back to winning ways


After three away league defeats in a row a smaller than usual but nonetheless vocal away following saw Felixstowe gain a richly deserved win at struggling Romford.

Prior to the game injuries and absences continued to give manager Stuart Boardley a selection headache. However there was a welcome return to the starting line up for club captain Callum Bennett, which afforded Armani Schaar a well earned opportunity to play in the more attacking position he prefers. Zak Brown’s continued absence saw the returning Ollie Canfer leading the line, with Lamell Howell taking up his place on the bench after injury lay off.

1st Half:

Within five minutes Ollie Canfer was celebrating his return with a goal - a confident finish after a pinpoint cross from Rhys Henry, and indeed Canfer had a further chance just two minutes later which home keeper Carlos Simeon got down well to save. The first Romford chance of note came on 14 minutes when Joe Whight cleared off the line from the lively Darnell Kathambo.  Kathambo seemed the main attacking threat for Romford; on 20 minutes hitting a powerful strike from 25 yards producing a good save from Callum Robinson in the Felixstowe goal, then a few minutes later blasting a right foot shot just past the far post after cutting in from the left. Soon after Miles Powell ran forward from midfield and smashed a long range effort that the keeper did well to push out to his left. On 29 minutes Henry Barley produced one of his magical moments, leaving three or four opponents in his wake before being pulled back as he burst into the penalty area; however the referee did well, raising his hands high to signal the advantage as the ball broke to a well positioned Armani Schaar to calmly slot the second Seasiders goal. On 39 minutes the increasingly influential Rhys Henry stole the ball deep inside the Romford half and sent another great cross into the area for Canfer, whose side foot attempt was well blocked by the centre back. On 43 minutes it was Stuart Ainsley this time that put in a superb cross after more good work by Schaar; unfortunately Canfer just failed to connect. The final action of the first half saw another Miles Powell effort smothered well by Simeon in the home goal.

2nd Half:

Felixstowe started well after the break and it became increasingly clear that - not least due to the industry of the impressive Rory Porter - Miles Powell was starting to enjoy the time and space he was finding in midfield. A good example of this was seen in the 49th minute when "Milo" chested the ball down in centre circle and ghosted past two players before unleashing a screaming long range drive that the keeper did well to push for a corner. On 55 minutes a fantastic interchange between Barley, Canfer and Rhys Henry down the right saw Henry through on goal; he elected to slide the ball past the keeper on his near post but unfortunately found the side netting. On 59 minutes Callum Robinson made an excellent double save, first managing to keep out a vicious free kick by Romford's Jacopo Gatti and then jumping to his feet to parry out from a Romford striker who was following up the rebound. That may well have proved to be the decisive action, because from that point Felixstowe started to knock the ball around with increasing confidence, limiting Romford to very few opportunities. Felixstowe on the other hand created further chances to extend their lead, notably when Rhys Henry beat a couple of players on the left before a scuffed finish from just inside the penalty area was gobbled up by the keeper. On 80 minutes Joe Whight got in a good header from a Barley corner, then a minute later Barley himself hit a powerful shot from outside the area just wide of the scrambling Simeon. Canfer and Bennett were replaced late on by Darius Petrea and Lamell Howell as The Seasiders looked to add fresh legs to see the game out. With Felixstowe continuing to dominate, and Sam Nunn and Joe Whight looking a very secure partnership at the back, Romford could only muster a long range effort which was easily gathered by Robinson as the clock ticked past the 90 minute mark. Some gloss was perhaps taken off the result deep into injury time when an excellent cross field ball found Romford striker Cristian Adu Gyamfi who finished emphatically low past Robinson's left hand. Any last minute nerves Felixstowe might have had were allayed a minute or so after the restart when the referee blew the final whistle.

The final 1-2 scoreline perhaps flattered the hosts, but the win pushed Felixstowe up into 15th place and clear of the relegation stragglers, though in truth with several - mostly home - games in hand on the teams above them Felixstowe will be looking to push into the top half of the league table in the next few weeks.

Seasiders Manager Stuart Boardley spoke after the game. "We started the game really well, we obviously got the early goal through Canfs, it's great that he is back and scoring again. I thought we controlled the game from start to finish, they had a couple of spells midway through the first half and again midway through the second half where they caused us a few issues but nothing where we felt particularly uncomfortable, I felt we should have been four or five up to be honest towards the end, and we were disappointed to concede a goal at the end as we would have liked the clean sheet. We were obviously very short of numbers, it was fantastic for Rory Porter to come in and get his first start with me in a league fixture, and he did really well. We had a lot out injured and unavailable so the way we dealt with that was really pleasing and I thought it was a solid, professional performance, without being too expansive in the final third, we created a lot of opportunities but the final pass or the shot wasn’t quite there at times and I felt their goalkeeper had a good game also”. Boards went on to say. “We move on to next week at Basildon, I know we will have at least four players back from either unavailability or injury which will massively help and the squad will only get stronger from here, it’s two big games against Basildon and Witham and we’ll be looking for six points from those”.

Attendance 73




Match report by Martin Brooks

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