Grays Athletic - FA Trophy Extra Preliminary (Home)

Result: Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1 - 3 Grays Athletic
Date: 29 September 2018
Time: 15:00
Match Type: Buildbase FA Trophy Extra Prelim
Venue: Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe
Attendance: 250

Felixstowe & Walton United FC 1-3 Grays Athletic

Buildbase FA Trophy Extra Preliminary Round 

We know only too well how progress in cup competitions has been eluding us for a couple of seasons now. And losing yet another cup game on Saturday was a bitter pill to swallow. Defeat doesn’t help the club financially and it denies the fans that memorable cup run we all crave.

 It’s true losing at home is never easy to take but for many of us something that makes defeat more palatable is when your side works hard and has the right attitude. Only the harshest critic would suggest that we failed to deliver at home to Grays Athletic on that front.

 Speaking after the game joint manager Kevin O’Donnell told Seasiders TV, “Despite the defeat, there were a lot of positives in the game today.” He spoke too about the hunger and desire. Nevertheless, problems do exist, and he concluded saying, “One of the key bits that wasn’t good today was our finishing”.

 It was a clear and sunny day and some 250 faithful turned up at The Goldstar Ground with a healthy contingent coming from Grays. What everyone witnessed was a close enough encounter in a competitive game with the Essex side going through to the next round after a 3-1 win.

 Kevin and Watty kept faith with Milo and Jack Ainsley up front and at times we looked threatening. With both Joe Francis and Sam Ford coming on later in the game, no one can accuse Felixstowe of not attacking the game and going all out for the win or at least another chance in a replay in Essex.

 Jack Ainsley, who has twice hit the post in recent games, came close in both halves, grazing the keeper’s left hand post in the first half and failing to finish when one on one with the stopper Lloyd Anderson in the second half.

 But it was Joao Carlos who posed a threat every time he had the ball and who opened the scoring for the visitors shortly before half time, leaving the Seasiders to consider their second-half options during the break. But just four minutes after the resumption, a powerful, unstoppable second from Carlos from outside the box gave Grays a two-goal lead.

 Not to be deterred, we pushed forward and Jack Ainsley, despite those other near misses, netted his third of the season just a few minutes later, bringing The Seasiders back into the game. Substitutions were made, hopes were raised and we continued to threaten but what followed was any number of missed chances with us struggling with our finishing time and again.

 In case this is beginning to sound like a Felixstowe bombardment on the Grays goal, let’s not forget that the visitors had their chances too. Speaking after the game the Grays manager Jamie Stewart rued missed chances from his side as well.

 This was a frustrating game to watch all in all, with the home side moving the ball well and pushing forward at every opportunity but sadly with no real end product. As we pushed more and more, as we threw caution to the wind aiming to secure at least that replay, we left ourselves vulnerable at the back, allowing Grays to add a third from Adeyinka Cole on 89 minutes. A penalty saved by Jack Spurling in the dying seconds prevented a 4-1 scoreline, which would have looked a little unfair given the effort we put in.

With no fixture next week, Felixstowe now have ten days to regroup before a Suffolk Premier Cup tie away at Long Melford on Tuesday 9thOf October.  Time for a cup win, surely.

Click here for photos by Stan Baston

Click here for line ups, substitutions, cards etc.