Felixstowe & Walton United eased into the Third round qualifying of the FA Trophy after a second half demolition job of Isthmian League South Central Westfield. Two goals from defender Sam Nunn and others from Ollie Canfer, Callum Bennett and a stunner from Stuart Ainsley saw the Seasiders reach the furthest ever achieved in the competition. Woking based Westfield were reduced to ten men on 50 mins when Caleb Wright saw red.
The Seasiders made four changes to the starting eleven following last weekend’s league defeat at Maldon & Tiptree, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Noel Aitkens and George Clarke coming in for Henry Barley, Leon Ottley-Gooch and for Captain Josh Kerridge, who was undergoing follow up surgery today on a foot injury from last season. With Callum Robinson out injured, former Ipswich Town man Jake Alley was deputising in goal and has re-joined the club on a short term deal to provide injury cover, following on from his impressive performances during his loan spell at the club last season.
The first half was a fairly even affair, both sides looking to play fast, flowing football on an excellent surface. Felixstowe were looking very solid at the back, combative and energetic in midfield and very lively up front. The visitors are free-scoring in their league and in Darnell Goather-Braithwaite they have a quality forward that is lightning fast and he was involved in most of the visitors attacking play during the half that although entertaining, was short of clear-cut chances. Ollie Canfer was close to heading in the opener after 10 minutes following excellent wing play from new crowd favourite Lamell Howell. Howell stung the keepers hand on 14 minutes after creating space on the left to fire in an effort on goal whilst substitute Henry Barley fired over the bar from an angle in first half added on time. Westfield came closest to scoring on 23 minutes, a mistake at the back led to the visiting forward rounding Alley in the Seasiders goal but his shot was weak and Sam Nunn was on hand to clear the danger.
The second half started well for the home side who took just two minutes to open the scoring, Sam Nunn ghosting in at the rear post to superbly head the Seasiders into the lead. Things got even better on 50 minutes when Caleb Wright saw his second yellow card, followed by a red, to put the visitors down to ten men and the loss of the opposing defender spurred Felixstowe on even more. On 56 minutes it was two nil, Stuart Ainsley scoring the goal of the game. Substitute Ainsley working hard on the left to win the ball on the side line, coming inside and unleashing a curling, inch perfect shot from 25 yards that was destined for the bottom corner of the goal the second it left his toe. Felixstowe were looking like scoring every time they ventured forward and on 62 minutes it was three, again Lamell Howell was the creator, not giving up on a loose ball when a floating cross had evaded everyone, picking up the ball on the far left and whipping in a brilliant ball that Ollie Canfer headed home through the keeper. Henry Barley looked eager to get his name on the score sheet, twice going close with rasping efforts that just flew over the bar, whilst at the other end Westfield created their only real chance of the half but were denied by Jake Alley who was behind the goal bound shot. Ollie Canfer nearly made it four on 70 minutes but his shot over the goalkeeper just sailed past the crossbar. Felixstowe were running riot now and put the game far out of reach on 78 minutes, Sam Nunn scoring his second from close range after being in the right place at the right time to force the ball home. Callum Bennett completed the scoring, and sent the crowd home happy with a cracking goal on 88 minutes, cutting through the Westfield midfield and defence, beating several men before smashing the ball into the net from just inside the box, a quality finish to round off a spectacular performance and result for Felixstowe who move one step closer to a game against one of the non-league big boys.
Speaking after the game, Seasiders Manager Stuart Boardley was understandably delighted, “I thought first half we were 7 out of 10 solid, we asked the lads beforehand to go out there, be solid and give us a firm base on which to work on for the rest of the game. I feel at times we concede too many early goals and once we can keep getting that soli base in the game we can then move forward and really push on as a team from there, and clearly that’s what we did in the second half today, I thought we were really good, kept the ball well, passing and movement was good and the confidence was flowing throughout the team. We looked really dangerous every time we went forward and always looked like we were going to score, whilst remaining solid at the back. I can’t fault the lads today, they were fantastic.”
Match report courtesy and Copyright Stuart Daynes at Felixstowe & Walton Utd FC
Referee Mr Paul Quick
Assistants Mr George Lowe & Mr Sam Wigington