Super Seasiders storm to sixth consecutive victory


Felixstowe & Walton United made it six consecutive wins and extended their unbeaten start to 2024 with a thrilling victory at Wroxham. The home side took a 16th minute lead through Dodsworth but Felixstowe levelled with Charlie Warren scoring his first of the afternoon on 28 minutes. With the clock ticking down it was Warren who scored direct from a corner on 81 minutes to put the Seasiders in front with his fourteenth of the season, before Josh Hitter wrapped up the points on 86 minutes.

Stuart Boardley made three changes to the starting eleven with Charlie Warren, Sam Ford and Lamell Howell in for Callum Harrison, Josh Mayhew and Callum Bennett. Academy players Kubi Kussan and Archie Dunne deservedly took a place on the bench.

Felixstowe had the better of the early exchanges, with plenty of possession and Noel Aitkens probably having more touches in the first ten minutes than every other player combined! Two crosses from the right were dealt with by the home keeper before Wroxham had their first chance out of nowhere, Felixstowe lost possession 40 yards from goal and Ryan Hawkins gathered it and launched an absolute rocket towards goal, Josh Blunkell was beaten but the ball cannoned off the cross bar. Five minutes later and the Yachtsmen did have the opening goal, Travis Dodsworth making space on the left and sending in a cross that eluded everyone and nestled in the far corner of the net, his reaction to it showing it was an intended cross rather than effort on goal. Felixstowe were so close to an equaliser on 19 minutes, a great through ball found Zak Brown in space and he darted in towards goal only for his shot to be well saved by Burwood, the loose ball fell to Sam Ford who tried to place the ball but again Burwood kept it out, with the ball falling to Ford again! Who again was denied as on-loan Burwood saved a certain goal for the third time. Felixstowe were playing some lovely passing football and seeing more of the ball but Wroxham were lively on the flanks and were causing plenty of headaches with their running. Charlie Warren was played through on the left on 23 minutes and his left foot shot was just wide, and may actually have clipped the upright. Five minutes later and the equaliser did come, Josh Hitter played in a free kick from distance that Warren took down superbly amongst a group of defenders and he calmly slotted home from 7 yards. Lamell Howell set Henry Barley free through the middle on 30 minutes, he delayed getting his shot away as he reached the edge of the box and he was closed down. The home side showed the danger they possess with a good chance on 32 minutes, their forward leaping highest at a corner and his header from around the penalty spot was brilliantly turned over the bar by Blunks. Dodsworth sent in a good cross a minute later to the far post that Harvey Peters should have done better with but he shot wide from close range. It was Felixstowe then back on the attack as the action continued at both ends, this time it was Zak Brown going close, his low stinging effort from 23 yards being turned out by the home keeper. Wroxham’s danger man, Ryan Miles then came close just before the half time break, turning and firing towards the bottom corner after taking down a corner, Josh Blunkell was down fast to deflect it out for another corner.

The second half belonged to the visitors, Wroxham struggled to contain wave after wave of Felixstowe pressure and only occasionally ventured towards the Norwich end of the ground. The first clearcut chance of the half came on 56 minutes with Sam Ford doing well to control the ball on a pitch that had cut up badly since the first whistle, he played the ball inside to a waiting Noel Aitkens whose left foot effort flew just past the left post. Two minutes later and the cross bar saved the home side, Stuart Ainsley sent in an inch-perfect cross to the far post and Sam Ford rose and headed from an angle onto the face of the bar. Wroxham’s only real chance of the half came on the hour mark, Lamell Howell and a home player both went down in the centre circle after a collision and with the referee waving play on, Ryan Miles was one of two players sprinting towards goal but Blunks got down well to keep out the effort. Josh Mayhew had a lively start after coming on and he was so close to putting the away side deservedly ahead on 65 minutes, his shot from inside the box to the right of the goal smacking the opposite post. Three minutes later and with the pressure growing on the home defence, Josh Hitter found Joe Whight from a throw-in, he snuck between two defenders and headed just wide. Henry Barley then tested the keeper with a great effort that fell to Charlie Warren who was closed down and the shot blocked. With the minutes flying by, the large away following were no doubt thinking it was not going to be our day, until Charlie Warren intervened and sent them wild. His corner curled out and then in towards the far side and with Jack Ainsley coming close to making sure, the ball found the inside of the net. Five minutes later and the points were confirmed, Josh Hitter reacting quickest at the far post to turn in a cross for his ninth of the season.

Seasiders boss Stuart Boardley spoke after the game. “I thought we started the game incredibly well, first ten or fifteen minutes I don’t think Wroxham got out of their half and we were so strong without that clinical finish to put us ahead. They then went up the other end and scored a goal that was clearly meant as a cross, it sort of drifted and floated over Blunk’s head into the top corner, but I don’t think that we allowed that to unsettle us or cause us undue concern, we got back into playing some decent stuff and I felt our midfield were causing them all sorts of problems, we were getting in-between the lines and I felt our passing was as good as it has been for a long time. So, I was really pleased with our first half performance, even though we only went in at 1-1, but we had not been clinical enough and only got that one goal from all those numerous chances. Second half I don’t think we were as good, but certainly limited Wroxham to very little and we spent long periods camped in their half, albeit without the full controlled possession we had seen in the first half, but we still played in positive areas and that continued throughout. We asked the lads at half time to be more clinical, a bit more ruthless in that final third and not to be lackadaisical at the back at we had been on a couple of occasions. When you have so much time on the ball you can sometimes take your foot of the gas a little bit and at times it felt like maybe that elusive goal wasn’t going to come, we made a couple of changes to increase the goal threat, with Josh Mayhew coming on, who was a handful and then Charlie scoring direct from the corner was a massive boost for us. As soon as we scored that, our control of the game intensified even further and Wroxham didn’t really have an answer to it. Josh Hitter’s header for the third goal allowed us to keep that ball in good areas for the remainder. It was a really professional performance, I enjoyed the way we controlled the game, and passed the ball, particularly in that first half. It was a difficult pitch to do that on, but we did that very well against a very tricky Wroxham side, there aren’t many teams that go there and come away with the three points”.



Report by Stuart Daynes

Photos by Stefan Peck

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