Seasiders beaten in the sunshine as Francis announces retirement

Henry Barley wheels away after equalising for the Seasiders at Coggeshall. Picture: STAN BASTON

Henry Barley wheels away after equalising for the Seasiders at Coggeshall. Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Archant

Bostik North Coggeshall Town 2 Felixstowe & Walton United 1 In a sign that we are nearing the end of the season, this game at West Street was played in glorious sunshine, writes Barry Grossmith.

Coggeshall keeper Danny Sambridge saves from Felixstowe's Joe Francis (in blue and white), who anno

Coggeshall keeper Danny Sambridge saves from Felixstowe's Joe Francis (in blue and white), who announced his retirement after the game. Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Archant

But despite the welcoming weather, and the fact that Coggeshall have already made the play-offs and Felixstowe are comfortable in seventh place, this was a game between two rivals played in a very competitive spirit.

The Seedgrowers seized the initiative forcing two early corners and pressing high, with impressive work in particular from Michael Gyasi wide right.

The Seasiders’ first real attack came on 13 minutes from Liam Hillyard, but it was the home side who struck first with a Tevan Allen overhead kick that beat keeper Jack Spurling.

Young Henry Barley looked good going forward for Felixstowe and a cross from him on 19 minutes found Miles Powell, who failed to convert. The Seasiders’ first corner followed shortly after while Coggeshall, for all their first half pressure, were not really threatening.

Felixstowe & Walton United's Liam Hillyard powers past Coggeshall’s Danny Cunningham and George Cock

Felixstowe & Walton United's Liam Hillyard powers past Coggeshalls Danny Cunningham and George Cocklin. Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Archant


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With five minutes remaining until the break, a cross from Hillyard from the right found Barley, who powered home his second league goal of the season and Felixstowe’s equalizer.

Unfortunately, the lead only lasted a couple of minutes before Coggeshall were back in front following something of a mix-up in the Seasiders’ defence and a goalmouth scramble, which allowed that man Nnamdi Nwachuku to put the home side ahead again with his own 24th league goal this season.

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There were no further goals in the second half but plenty of yellow cards with each side picking up three. Felixstowe’s Callum Bennett, who’d been booked in the 64th minute, received his marching orders with a second yellow for an alleged sliding tackle on 90 minutes.

Seasiders’ assistant manager Danny Bloomfield said: “I’m satisfied with the performance. We competed well with a side 21 points ahead of us and they were pleased to hold on to their 2-1 win.”

Seasiders substitute Josh Lee goes close as he fires past Coggeshall keeper Danny Sambridge. Picture

Seasiders substitute Josh Lee goes close as he fires past Coggeshall keeper Danny Sambridge. Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Archant

After the game, Joe Francis announced his retirement from football, having served Felixstowe well for two years as well a long career at Leiston, Lowestoft and King’s Lynn. He’ll be missed both as a player and character. Thanks Joe.

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