Northwood - Velocity Cup 2 (Home)

Result: Felixstowe & Walton Utd 3 - 1 Northwood
Date: 23 October 2018
Time: 19:45
Match Type: Velocity Cup 2
Venue: Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe
Attendance: 165

It was smiles all round at The Goldstar Ground last night as The Seasiders progressed to the 3rdround of The Velocity Trophy with a 3-1 win at home to Northwood FC from The Bostik South Central Division. We now await the outcome of next week’s encounter between Egham Town and Bracknell Town to find out how far round the M25 we’ll be going for our next match in this competition. Form would suggest we would be happier facing struggling Egham who sit next from bottom in the same league as Northwood. Bracknell, also in that league, on the other hand, are riding high as league leaders and are in fine goalscoring form.

 The Goldstar, showing off its brand spanking new covered stand behind the goal at the Colneis Road end, was a windy venue with gusts seeming to be against Felixstowe in both halves of the game. But this didn’t prevent some fine free flowing football and some impressive displays all round. There was a start for young Rory Porter playing wide left with Jack Ainsley and Joe Francis pairing up in the middle in what was, essentially, a 4-4-2 line up. Rhys Henry, starting on the left, kept himself very busy throughout, working hard, cutting inside and getting involved, particularly during the first half.

 And it was Henry who opened the scoring for The Seasiders by converting an effort that came back to him off the left-hand upright. It’s fair to say that this was a deserved lead and very encouraging following what was perhaps not the side’s finest hour at Tilbury last Saturday. Director of Football, Tony Barnes, was happy to say after the game, “This was probably the best we have played all season.” And this sentiment was echoed by a number of fans discussing the match in the bar later.

 Joint managers Kevin O’Donnell and Ian Watson both left the field with broad grins on their faces and “Watty” also expressed the sentiment that this was our best outing to date in this campaign.

 For a moment heads did drop when Northwood’s Danny Newton equalized four minutes before the break, but spirits were lifted on the stroke of half time when a Stuart Ainsley free kick from the edge of the box found brother Jack waiting to send The Seasiders in at half time with a 2-1 lead.

 What was a little revealing, as half time approached, was a comment from the visitors’ dugout along the lines of “Their number 9 (Joe Francis) is running us ragged.” And indeed he was. Put simply, the whole side looked like it was enjoying itself.

 The second half was a more physical affair and a little feisty at times. Another home-grown young’un, Evan Bolt, replaced Porter on the hour mark, allowing both youngsters more game time and experience at senior football. 

 A one-goal lead is never enough and it was relief all round when Francis finally put the game to bed with the third on 90 minutes. In fairness to Northwood, they did come into the game a little more in that second period but with the referee’s whistle, justice was served as The Seasiders progressed to the next round.

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