Walthamstow - The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round (Home)

Result: Felixstowe & Walton Utd 0 - 1 Walthamstow
Date: 25th August 2018
Time: 15:00
Match Type: The Emirates FA Cup Preliminary Round
Venue: Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe
Attendance: 305

The Seasiders and Good Cup Runs: Still not a Match made in Heaven

(Photos from Phil Griffiths)

Unfortunately, there is no way of dressing this up. This was one of those frustrating days at The Goldstar Ground with disappointment all round. An FA cup run would have been both financially rewarding and motivating in itself.

Following last week’s defeat at Great Wakering Rovers, many thought here was a chance to get back to winning ways and set out on an exciting cup run.

But there will be no “romance of the FA Cup” this year. Essex Senior League side Walthamstow travelled up from East London on Saturday and returned home with a 1-0 win under their belt and the knowledge that their name will be in the hat for Tuesday’s draw for the 1st qualifying round of the competition. It seems that Cup competitions are not bringing a great deal of joy to Felixstowe these days.

The day started brightly enough both on and off the pitch, with plenty of sunshine, 305 spectators and a lively start by The Seasiders. Darcy De’ath, who came on as a late sub last week, made his home debut in this his second spell at the club and there was also a very welcome return for Jack Ainsley following his suspension. Up front, Miles Powell made way for Sam Ford.

The opening ten minutes did suggest that  Felixstowe might get something from this game but it was James Peagram who opened the scoring for the visitors on 15 minutes, netting from the edge of the box and, despite their best efforts, The Seasiders found it hard to get a toehold in a game which saw Walthamstow closing the home side down in an organized and very determined fashion. It was a hard pill to swallow but even those with the most rose tinted glasses had to admit that the first half had not seen The Seasiders at their glorious best.

The second period can best be described as fractious, with 4 yellow cards for each side and 2 reds for Walthamstow. The visitors offered a very physical presence and despite playing against 9 men, Felixstowe couldn’t break through a well-disciplined defence and exited the competition much earlier than expected. The stop-start nature of the game suited Walthamstow, making it increasingly difficult for Kevin and Watty’s boys to develop a game plan that flowed.

There were chances and if a goal mouth scramble had resulted in an equalizer, who knows how things may have played out after that. One can but wonder!

Speaking to Seasiders TV after the game, joint manager Kevin O’Donnell said, “They came with a game plan…we knew they were going to be physical and an “in your face” type of side….after they went down to nine men, they set up the back four and put midfielders in front and stopped us.”  He went on to say that Felixstowe did have plenty of chances but it just wasn’t to be, although Rhys Barber and Sam Ford did go close. Kevin finished by saying that, “We know this will be a steep learning curve - as long as we win more than we lose we’ll be okay….We’ve just got to chalk this one up and move on to Monday."

With just a short break, it’s off to Norfolk for a Bostik North Bank Holiday afternoon encounter with Dereham Town who themselves made an early exit from the FA Cup, going down 4-1 away to Bedford Town FC. The Seasiders' faithful will no doubt follow in number, as they always do, and will be hoping not to have to witness a trio of defeats.

Click here to see the Felixstowe line up with substitutions and yellow cards.

All photos provided by Phil Griffiths available here