Basildon United - Bostik North (Home)

Result: Felixstowe & Walton Utd 1-0 Basildon
Date: 09 March 2019
Time: 15:00
Match Type: Bostik North
Venue: Goldstar Ground, Felixstowe
Attendance: 334


With the minutes ticking away, it was looking more and more the case that the 334 fans at the Goldstar Ground would witness the Seasiders’ first goalless draw of the season. Whilst there may have been some who would have been prepared to take the point, there is no doubt that the overwhelming majority watching the game would have been disappointed and frustrated not to have picked up all three.

Playing against the wind in the first half, attacking the Colneis Road end, Felixstowe soon started to assert themselves with some clever, intricate footwork at the back and in midfield but it was in front of goal that things somehow weren’t quite working.  Joe Francis came close to opening the scoring with a header on 22 minutes but The Bees, with the strong wind behind them, kept tight in the first half.  They rarely threatened keeper Jack Spurling’s goal, although he did bring off one particularly important save to deny what would have been a rather unfair lead going the Bees’ way.  Credit needs to be given to Basildon who, under new manager John Sussex, looked organised and clearly keen to show Sussex that they were capable of halting what has, if truth be told, been a fairly dreadful run of form for them in recent games. 

For the home fans, this game offered the opportunity to do the double over the Essex side, having picked up a 1-0 win at the Ho Stadium back in November.  There would, however, have been few if any fans under the illusion that here were the three points for the taking.

With the game goalless at half time, it would have been the visitors who were pleased with that scoreline and the Seasdiders who would have been somewhat disappointed and frustrated. 

Having the wind behind us in the second half, surely it would only be a matter of time before the deadlock was broken.  However, the Bees continued to stand their ground and it was only another impressive save from keeper Spurling that prevented Basildon from stealing the lead. 

The game was played in a good spirit with only one booking throughout, that going to Basildon’s number 10, Ashley Pibworth.  With Jordy Matthews’ introduction on the hour mark and a welcome return to Kye Ruel, back from long-term injury 10 minutes later accompanied by Liam Hilliard, fresh legs and a tweak to the system breathed a little more life into the Seasiders.   Leaving the field at that time were Miles Powell and Darren Mills. 

It was beginning to seem increasingly likely that the 3 points would remain out of reach despite plenty of pressure on the Basildon goal.  At one stage, with around 15 minutes left on the clock, 3 attempts on goal in the space of a matter of seconds might have convinced even the optimists in the crowd that it just wasn’t going to happen.  Following a number of decent crosses throughout the game from Callum Bennett, it was a corner from him from the left that, in the melee that followed, appeared to cross the line, and somehow came out but there to tap home from close range was Josh Kerridge to give Felixstowe what could only be described as a deserved win. 

Speaking directly after the game, Assistant Manager Danny Bloomfield said, “I think we deserved the win.  To be fair to Basildon, they did a great job of frustrating us but it was nice to have so much of the ball and the desire to win the game from us was brilliant right to the end.” 

These 3 points for Felixstowe mean Ian Watson and Danny Bloomfield’s side have extended their good run of form to include only 3 defeats in the last 14 matches, lifting the side into 8th place in the Bostik North. 

With the welcome return of Ruel following an extended period out injured, there is now very serious competition for places among the squad and this was evident with the likes of Jordy Matthews and Liam Hilliard both coming on midway through the second half and impressing immediately.

Saturday’s win allows Felixstowe to go into Tuesday night’s Suffolk FA Premier Cup semi final against Stowmarket Town in confident mood according to Bloomfield: “Our form and our levels are high so we’ve got to carry that into Tuesday.” A win on Tuesday would see the Seasiders in a final at Portman Road. 


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