Barking - Bostik North (Home)

Result: Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1 - 1 Barking
Date: 23 February 2019
Time: 15:00
Match Type: Bostik North
Venue: Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe
Attendance: 367


Whilst it’s true that life in mid table does take away some of the excitement of the chase for promotion on the one hand and the fear of relegation on the other, the desire to win each and every game from the players and fans alike remains solid throughout the season. Given the way we started on Saturday at home to Barking, with a Miles Powell header on just three minutes, and the overall performance in the first half, many people left The Goldstar Ground a little disappointed having to settle for just a point from this 1-1 draw.

There were a number of chances to extend the lead with Jack Ainsley, Rhys Henry and Josh Kerridge all going close. Inevitably, when chances go missing, people are prone to thinking that a one-goal lead at half time just might not be enough. In the end, that’s how things turned out, with the visitors from Essex going home probably the happier of the two sides.

There have been a number of games recently where first-half performances have left something to be desired but where we managed to step up a little in the second half. The story of this game, however, was the complete opposite, with a second-half performance that left a little to be desired.

Somehow, things didn’t seem to flow quite so well after the break with Barking always being a threat themselves. Sahr Kabba replaced Kemo Darboe on 71 minutes and within 2 minutes had leveled the score with an effort from just inside the box that managed to beat keeper Jack Spurling. Following Barking’s equalizer, we made a double substitution with Joe Francis and Liam Hillyard coming on for Darren Mills and Stuart Ainsley. Whilst we worked hard to retake the lead, there was always that niggling fear that Barking might just nick it themselves. They didn’t and in the end some people may have left the ground believing a point was acceptable in the circumstances. What made that a little difficult for some fans was the knowledge that there were two shouts for penalties involving Liam Hillyard and Ethan Clarke, who replaced Callum Bennett, with just over five minutes left to play.

The draw leaves Felixstowe in tenth spot in The Bostik North and seventh on recent form. With only three defeats in the last 12 games in all competitions, it’s clear to see that Watson & Bloomfield are gradually putting together a very competitive side.

Speaking directly after the game, Watty was disappointed not to pick up all three points but he remained both positive and philosophical, saying, “The first half was excellent. In fact it was a first-half battering but, unfortunately, the 2ndand 3rdgoals didn’t come. The boys are all sitting in the dressing room frustrated, but that’s a positive.” He added, “The subs came on in the second period and had an impact, and whilst we did have two potential penalties denied us, we did get a bit sloppy and scrappy at the end. Barking could have nicked it themselves so we’ll take the point.”

Next up is a visit to Grays Athletic who sit one place above Felixstowe with an almost identical record. Three points in that encounter would allow The Seasiders to leapfrog The Blues safely into the top half of the table but this will be a tough day out considering recent form between the two sides earlier in the season. Back in September, Grays came to Suffolk and progressed in The FA Trophy with a 3-1 win with two goals from Joao Carlos and again in November with a 2-1 win in the league with Joao Carlos on the scoresheet yet again.

Having met the side twice already, we will go into the game knowing what to expect. What is promising now, at this stage in the season, is that we are clearly a very competitive side that has learnt a number of lessons as the season has progressed. The desire to win next week will be just as strong as it would be if this were a promotion or relegation dogfight.



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