Seasiders strike twice late on to win again


Felixstowe & Walton United left it late, but two dramatic goals secured a sixth successive win on an eventful afternoon at the Goldstar Ground. After dominating the opening period, Felixstowe found themselves a goal down for the majority of the match after the plucky visitors scored with a rebound from a saved penalty. Sam Nunn equalised on 81 minutes before Henry Barley got the deserved winner on 90 minutes. Zak Brown saw a red card upon his return but the Seasiders move up to ninth in the league.

Stuart Ainsley and Sam Ford missed out on the starting eleven with Sam Nunn and Henry Barley returning. New loan signing from Ipswich Town, Jesse Nwabueze was on the bench.

Felixstowe were looking for a sixth league win on the bounce as they started the game in tenth position, the visitors were second bottom but had held Bury to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday and despite the league position, we knew there are no easy games in this league. It was the home side quickest out of the blocks and could have gone ahead after just 20 seconds, Billy Holland seeing his 20 yard low drive turned round the post by Greene in the away goal. Barley saw his close range effort saved on the line on 3 minutes and Armani Scharr smashed the ball against the crossbar from 8 yards on 5 minutes as wave after wave of attack pummelled the visiting defence. Henry Barley shot a few inches wide on 7 minutes after creating an opening in the centre. Billy Holland headed narrowly wide from a corner on ten minutes and Jordan Matthews shot across the face of goal on 11 minutes. Hullbridge finally managed a break forward on 17 minutes and won a soft penalty as Robinson dived at the feet of the forward. Callum saved the penalty down to his left but the ball rebounded back out to Stokes who fired it into the net to give the away side the lead.  Barley beat three players on 21 minutes to shoot just wide with the keeper beaten and Canfer missed a golden opportunity to equalise on 35 minutes, his effort saved by the keeper after Schaar had created the chance on the byline and crossed into space. Hullbridge were limited to rare breaks whilst Felixstowe continued to dominate the remainder of the half but the away defence held firm and closed down the Seasiders danger men at every opportunity. The antics of the goalkeeping coach in the away technical area eventually drew the attention of the officials, his constant berating of the home bench, supporters, players and officials made for interesting if embarrassing viewing for those close by and did nothing to inspire his side, but they made it until half time leading 1-0.

Nwabueze replaced Canfer at half time and his incredible speed was soon enthralling the home support, he was in the thick of all the action as his left wing presence led to attack after attack for Felixstowe. Henry Barley saw his 49th minute shot from 12 yards cannon off a defender on the line and Charlie Warren had his 53rd minute shot well saved by the goalkeeper. Barley again came close on 62 minutes when he burst in from the right and shot wide of the left post and substitute Noel Aitkens shot wide from distance shortly after as Felixstowe’s missed chances reached epic proportions! The last ten minutes produced plenty more action; Zak Brown replaced Charlie Warren on 80 minutes to see his first run out for 10 weeks following his groin injury. He immediately made a difference up front with his pace and strength but it was Henry Barley who set up the equaliser on 81 minutes, his great cross from the left nodded in by Sam Nunn. A minute later and the crowd were in shock as the referee awarded Hullbridge a second penalty for an alleged handball, further shock ensued when the referee consulted his assistant and reversed his decision, instead indicating the ball had hit the defenders chest, much to the annoyance of the Hullbridge players and a certain member of the visiting coaching team! This galvanised Felixstowe even further and with the crowd behind them they piled forward looking for a winner. It was like a basketball game at times with the play swinging from end to end and it looked like both sides could grab the winning goal, but on 90 minutes and with the away area full of bodies, Henry Barley somehow lashed in the winner, the defender tried to clear but the assistant was running back indicating the goal already as Zak Brown made sure by also forcing the ball home. There was jubilant scenes on and off the pitch with the late drama and unfortunately Zak Brown got caught up in the excitement and gained a second yellow card in the space of 10 minutes to end his comeback earlier than expected. The final whistle blew to confirm another good, if slightly uncomfortable victory.






Match report by Stuart Daynes


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