Seasiders extend unbeaten run

Felixstowe & Walton United continued their impressive recent form with a deserved 2-1 win over Great Wakering Rovers. Goals from Jordan Matthews and Ollie Canfer came either side of a penalty for the visitors that perhaps made the score line closer than the action suggested, but Felixstowe secured the three points and remain twelfth in the league table.


The Seasiders welcomed back Joe Whight and Curtley Williams who both started on the bench, whilst Ollie Canfer was back in the starting line-up after recent illness. The pitch may have looked in good condition after it had been rolled, but it was soft all over and if the pre-match rainy conditions had of started a couple of hours earlier then the game may have been in serious doubt.

After all the recent postponements it was Felixstowe who were clearly gagging to get playing again as their first half display showed, showing great intensity and pace from the outset they were soon causing the visitors all sorts of problems and the first goal so nearly came after just 80 seconds. Anyone who reads these reports regularly will not be surprised to hear that it was Henry Barley bursting down the right wing, creating space on the edge of the box and curling his beautiful shot around the goalkeeper, unfortunately the left post had other ideas and the ball hit the inside of that post and bounced back right along the goal line to safety. Ollie Canfer shot a foot wide on 8 minutes as Felixstowe continued to show great tempo and quick, crisp passing all over the pitch. Great Wakering were slow starters but from their FA Cup victory here earlier in the season we were all too aware of the threat they posed, number 10 Billy Knott is a former Lincoln City star and was making good moves across the top, as well as causing a few heart flutters in the clubhouse to Seasiders Joint Chairman, Chris Daynes, an ardent supporter of the Red Imps. Martin Tuohy was also a danger man, his record against Felixstowe is fairly epic over the last three years and on 13 minutes he was gifted an opportunity to add to that record when a loose clearance from deep fell straight at his feet but  uncharacteristically, he shot tamely straight at Callum Robinson. Stuart Ainsley broke quickly on 16 minutes and fired well over from long distance and Barley shot wide shortly after following another good build-up from the tricky winger. Charlie Warren was closest to opening the scoring for the home side just before the half hour mark, his speed and power on show as he sprinted forward and launched a fantastic shot that the goalkeeper somehow managed to save to his right, then Henry Barley again came close, his shot taking a deflection and wrong footing the keeper, but he recovered well to save as the ball was about to cross the line. Felixstowe did eventually take the lead that their performance thus far had deserved, a central free kick on 39 minutes fed Callum Bennett who linked up with Josh Hitter on the right with a neat one-two and a perfectly placed cross fell to Jordan Matthews on the edge of the box, he took the ball down and fired an unstoppable rising shot inch perfect into the right hand top corner of the net. Wakering fired over the bar shortly after but were then given a golden opportunity to equalise when a soft trip was penalised in the area. It was that man Tuohy who stepped up to send Callum the wrong way and give his side an undeserved equaliser on the stroke of half time.


Felixstowe were stinging from that penalty and they again came out all guns blazing and went ahead just three minutes into the period, Ollie Canfer with the superb finish as he curled the ball round the keeper to nestle in the far corner from 20 yards. Canfer headed wide on the hour as Felixstowe attempted to grab a third home goal that would have effectively killed off the opposition, the visitors still not creating too much but playing on the break and occasionally causing anxious faces on the side-lines. Harry Knock saw his stooping header blocked on the line on 70 minutes and Barley had another curler go just wide on 80 minutes as the clock ticked down. Callum Bennett had gone off with a hamstring injury that looked fairly serious, Armani Schaar replacing him at right back. Felixstowe had not shown quite the flowing football that had impressed the wet but small crowd during the first half, but were still controlling the game and limiting the away side to very few breaks and chances. Sam Ford and Sam Nunn both came close on 83 minutes as chances were deflected and saved on the line respectively, whilst at the other end, Tuohy finally saw another glimpse at goal but his shot was batted away by Robinson. The final chance came on 90 minutes as Billy Holland was denied as yet another attempt was cleared off the line by the visitors. The referee blew for full time after 5 added on minutes to make it five games unbeaten, three wins in a row and 13 points from 15.


Felixstowe Manager Stuart Boardley spoke after the game. “It was lovely to be back playing football! The players were excited about today s game pretty much for the last two weeks or more as we had the postponements due to Covid and waterlogged pitches of course, so just to be back out there playing and to get another win is fantastic. First half we played some really good stuff, we controlled the football for probably 35-40 minutes and really did open them up at times and could have been two or three up. We scored a fantastic goal through Jordy, just by moving the ball quickly, getting in behind them, a good cross and a great finish, definitely something we’ve been working hard on in training. Towards the end of the first half Wakering got a slight foothold back in the game and we conceded a really sloppy penalty, that was a bit of a sucker punch so I think them scoring just before half time sent them in on a high and us in on a bit of a downer after that great first half performance, so that was hard to take, but I felt Canf’s goal just after the restart lifted us and we did ok from there in the second half. There are things to work on, we didn’t move the ball quickly enough second half for me and we had some tired legs out there towards the end, as a result of all the time we’ve had off and the heavy pitch, having said that, we’ll be better off from playing that game and getting 90 minutes in our legs which really sets us up for a big game on Saturday with Hashtag United”.






Match report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Tom Bradford

 Team Line-Ups Here

Photo Gallery here