Dockside teams meet at the Goldstar as Tilbury head to Felixstowe & Walton

Jack Ainsley (in red) opens the scoring for Felixstowe at Tilbury back in October Photo: THOMAS BRAD

Jack Ainsley (in red) opens the scoring for Felixstowe at Tilbury back in October Photo: THOMAS BRADFORD - Credit: Archant

This weekend’s visitors to The Goldstar Ground, Tilbury, on a good run of form at present, having chalked up three clean sheets on the bounce including an impressive 3-0 win at home last Saturday to Canvey Island, writes Barry Grossmith.

Their form has certainly picked up since the appointment of ex-Basildon duo Marc Harrison and Liam Wallace before Christmas.

Felixstowe, meanwhile, also in decent form recently, came unstuck last weekend in a six-goal thriller at AFC Sudbury.

While not at their best midweek at home to Hadleigh United in The Suffolk Premier Cup, the Seasiders did, nevertheless, return to winning ways with a 3-2 win with two from Miles Powell and a penalty from Stuart Ainsley after Powell had been fouled in the Hadleigh box.

These two dockside teams met in Essex back in October, honours even in a 2-2 draw with late goals from either side.

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Felixstowe boss, Ian Watson, speaking after the Hadleigh game, said: “We were disappointed when we came away from their place without all three points and that is still in the back of our minds but we know what to expect when they come down here as they’ve picked up some very good results of late.”

Although the Seasiders squad is almost back to full strength, there are one or two players with heavy legs according to Watson.

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“We took a few knocks on Tuesday but the squad is definitely coming back together,” he said.

It was encouraging to see striker Darren Mills back in the first team midweek following an absence dating back to last September.

Mills managed 60 minutes on his return, while 17-year-old Henry Barley, on loan from Ipswich Town until the end of the season, impressed again on the left and there were appearances from the bench for youngsters Josh Lee and Rory Porter.

And so Felixstowe approach the final dozen league games in 10th spot, comfortably clear of the relegation zone as things stand.

With a Premier Cup semi-final awaiting and a possible final at Portman Road, this first season as a step 4 club is beginning to look a reasonable success.

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