Ainsley brothers will be the best of enemies as Felixstowe & Walton face Lowestoft Town
- Credit: James Ager
There promises to be a battle of brotherly love in Felixstowe this evening as brothers Stuart and Jack Ainsley come up against one another at the Goldstar Ground.
The popular duo, who have filtered into the non-league scene after coming through the Ipswich Town academy, will become enemies, as Stuart’s Felixstowe & Walton United play host to Jack’s Lowestoft Town in a Suffolk Premier Cup encounter.
Elder brother Stuart is relishing the opportunity to play against his sibling, who made four Championship appearances for Ipswich Town, during his time at Portman Road.
“It will be a first,” said 26-year-old Stuart, who moved to Felixstowe from Lowestoft in the summer, primarily due to Lowestoft’s promotion into the Vanarama Conference North, which meant that he couldn’t commit to the Trawlerboys’ increased travelling schedule.
“I don’t think I’ve ever played against him (Jack). We’ve played a bit together (at Lowestoft last season), so it will be interesting.
“I don’t really know how to go about it, do I kick him or not?”
Having grown up and gone to school together in the area, the pair are more than just brothers, they’re best friends too, with Jack set to be the best man at Stuart’s wedding.
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“We’ve had a little bit of banter about the game,” joked Stuart.
“We had a family get together on Sunday and had a bit of a laugh about who they will be cheering on.
“With Felixstowe being our local team and the underdogs, I told them they should support Felixstowe!”
Stuart made the switch across Suffolk in the summer with a heavy heart, having featured regularly for the Trawlerboys over the previous four seasons.
“I didn’t really want to leave, but the travelling would have been too much for me,” admitted Stuart, who works in London.
“I love the club and the boys, the fans and chairman were always great to me and I was desperate to stay but staying just wasn’t viable, there’s more to life than football sometimes.
“They’ve (Lowestoft) had a couple of overnight stays and the travelling they’re doing is just ridiculous.
“I don’t think there’s any coincidence that they haven’t won away from home (in the league) yet, but they’re holding their own.
“I’m enjoying it (at Felixstowe & Walton).
“It’s full of nice people, and although we still haven’t found that consistency we’re looking for yet, we are getting there.”
The Seasiders were runners-up in the Suffolk Premier Cup last season, and Stuart is hoping the Seasiders can use that impetus to upset favourites Lowestoft.
He added: “Being where they are, Lowestoft are the best team in the competition – but you always have a chance in cup football.
“I remember when Felixstowe beat Ipswich Town in this competition when Jack was playing (for Ipswich) a couple of seasons ago.”
Kick-off is at 7.45pm tonight.