Seasiders fall to narrow defeat



Grays Athletic tightened their grip on fourth place with a narrow victory at injury hit Felixstowe & Walton United. The home side slipped to only their second defeat since November and just their second home league defeat in 28 months after David Knight fired in the winning goal on 61 minutes. Felixstowe edged the first half and should have been ahead but for the fingertips of Grays ‘keeper Danny Sambridge. Ollie Canfer did well after just three minutes to make space in the box and fire just wide. Annointed Chukwu shot across the goal line on 17 minutes for the visitors before Sam Nunn crossed for Canfer to head towards the top corner, the goalkeeper pulling off a brilliant save to tip the ball over. Canfer was again denied by Sambridge from Stuart Ainsleys free kick on 20 minutes and Joe Whight curled a 30 yard free kick just over the bar on 30 minutes. Canfer forced a corner on 38 minutes with some clever play in the box and from the set piece Billy Holland found himself in space for the header but he seemed to be distracted by the nearest defender who had missed his clearance.

The away side shaded the second half and when Knight turned and latched on to a poor clearance to score from 15 yards it was always an uphill struggle for the Seasiders who had been forced into four changes. Henry Barley missing out due to suspension, Ipswich Town commitments making Nwabueze and Knock unavailable for the game and Armani Schaar out injured. Kyle Jopling was back in the side with youngster Tommy Smith up front. A lack of numbers even meant Manager Stuart Boardley was named as a substitute! Grays were happy to sit back on their lead and soak up any pressure that Felixstowe could produce, chances were limited as the away defence held firm, Sam Nunn did have the ball in the net on 80 minutes but the goal was incorrectly ruled out for offside, video evidence showing the equaliser should have stood. Referee Bradley Mingay was kept busy all afternoon and his decision to book Grays defender Ryan Sammons in the first minute for an innocuous foul set the tone for the day, the home side seeing two yellows and Grays seven, with the two shown each to Sammons and goal scorer Knight late on seeing the visitors end with nine men, harsh for a game played competitively but in a clean manner.

Stuart Boardley spoke after the game. “It was one of those very tight games, you could tell from very early on, much like the Brentwood game in midweek, that it was probably going to be decided by the odd goal. I felt we probably edged the game, had more of the clear-cut chances and had that Sam Nunn goal at the end there incorrectly ruled out, the linesman giving the mistaken offside. Grays had that bit of quality to get their goal, games are decide on very small margins in this league and that little bit of quality in front of goal to get that winner. We limited them to very few chances, I don’t remember Robbo having to do too much except sweep up but that poor clearance for the goal was our Achilles heel today, we didn’t get good distance on clearances today and Knights showed quality to capitalise on the mistake and put that goal away. Tommy Smith came in and did well today, Rory Porter came off the bench and did well, but we miss players like Henry Barley, there’s no denying that the silly red card he picked up last week has cost us, he’ll learn from that. Injuries are playing their part again, but we do have a great squad and players are coming in who are more than able, so we are still going into these games expecting to win and expecting to play well, both sides huffed and puffed today and their wasn’t an awful lot of quality on show and of course we come off on the wrong side of the result, but equally we can say we did similar on Tuesday and came on the right side of a good result”. Boards went on to say. “A positive today is all the draws in the league, although that pulls Grays further away from us, but we have good character here and Tuesday’s game at Bury becomes a big one! Bury are a good side, we are fully aware of how good they are, they have good individuals, good team spirit and it will undoubtedly be a fiery local derby, that’s what we expect and it’s what everyone will want, it should be a good spectacle for Suffolk football and let’s hope we come out on top”.




Match report by Stuart Daynes


Team Line-Ups Here

Photo Gallery here