Dereham - Bostik North (Away)

Result: Dereham 0 - 1 Felixstowe & Walton Utd
Date: 27th August 2018
Time: 15:00
Match Type: Bostik North

It’s time to confess. There were more than a couple of people on the coach up to Dereham on Monday morning who uttered sentences like, “I don’t fancy this today”, and, “I just don’t want to get hammered.” Those people who felt like this, and I’m afraid I was one of them, have to offer those lads on the pitch today a massive apology. The team was, in the words of Ian (Watty) Watson, “outstanding”. The atmosphere on the coach coming home was - how shall I put it? - different from the trip up to Norfolk earlier in the day.

We all set off for Norfolk for this Bostik North encounter hoping for the best less than 48 hours after that shock home defeat to Walthamstow FC in The FA Emirates Cup on Saturday The first news to filter in was that Joe Francis was missing as was Ethan Clarke and Darcy De’ath. With Kye Ruel out with an achilles injury and Joe Bloomfield still missing due to illness, things didn’t bode well.

And it got worse. We soon discovered that Josh Kerridge was struggling to be 100% match ready and Dan Davis was suffering with a bad back. An hour before kick off Davis eventually had to pull out.

But with every cloud, as they say, comes a silver lining. It was really encouraging to see young Evan Bolt, just 16 years old and Lewis Owen, at 17, both on the bench.

The Seasiders and The Magpies each found themselves with one win and one defeat at this early stage in the league, with the Suffolk side boasting better goal difference. But Dereham, despite losing their season opener 6-0 to Aveley, had most recently also put 4 goals past Coggeshall. It was difficult to know what to expect.

As is always the case, we took with us a vociferous group of around 60 supporters, bolstering the 207 at Aldiss Park on what was a breezy Bank Holiday afternoon.

The first half was an even affair with each side having a similar number of chances. What was nice to witness was two teams both trying to play football, moving the ball around on the deck and not resorting to disruptive play.

It was in the 42ndminute that the deadlock was broken with Miles Powell’s effort deflected into the net, giving The Seasiders a welcome half-time lead. Speaking after the game, Milo admitted that there was a deflection but was adamant that “it was definitely going in anyway.”

The second period was an altogether happier time for Felixstowe, who moved the ball around with more confidence and held on to their one goal lead despite The Magpies coming close on a couple of occasions.

Ben Clarke came on for Sam Ford in the 69thminute and it was encouraging to see the young Evan Bolt make his Felixstowe debut when he replaced Stuart Boardley with 12 minutes left on the clock. Evan didn’t seem fazed by the experience at all and will, no doubt, be all the stronger for having tasted senior football at such an early stage in his career.

We started this match report with an admission and I’ll end with one. The final 5 or 6 minutes most certainly fell into that category of clichés known as “squeaky bum time.” But, in the end, it ‘s fair to say that this was a well-deserved three points.

Talking after the game Ian (Watty) Watson said, “The players stepped up to the mark,” adding that, “Dereham was a hard place to go to.” Reflecting on the overall performance, Watty was of the view that the team had “defended superbly.”

We also managed to talk to Evan’s Dad, Gareth, who humbly admitted that, “Evan has already achieved a higher standard than his Dad.” A day of confessions all round it seems.

Being involved in a Bostik League game so soon after the defeat on Saturday gave the Seasiders the opportunity to right the wrongs from two days earlier. This opportunity was grabbed with two hands. To come away with a clean sheet and three points most certainly lifted the spirits for us.

Next up is Aveley at home on Saturday 1stSeptember at The Goldstar Ground when we will endeavour to chalk up our third Bostik League win.

Click here for line ups, yellow cards, substitutions etc.  Some photos here