Felixstowe 2 St Ives 1

NE14 East Men’s League

Division One

AFTER the disappointment of last week’s opening game defeat away at Dereham, Felixstowe bounced back with a hard fought win at home to a strong St Ives team.

Felixstowe welcomed back James Walker into the heart of defence, adding some much needed steel into the back four. The opening exchanges saw both sides create a number of opportunities, with Felixstowe pressing hard to stifle the St Ives attack with a number of crunching tackles, whilst using their effective fast paced counter attack hockey to hit their opposition defence at every opportunity.

It was St Ives who had the first clear cut chance of the afternoon however, working the ball well into ‘D’ before a vicious reverse stick shot was magnificently tipped over the bar by the outstretched Andrew Fothergill in the Felixstowe goal. Shortly after Felixstowe took the lead. A penalty corner for St Ives was quickly closed down by the Felixstowe defence, and cleared efficiently to Alex Woodhouse in midfield. He quickly sent Joe Green through on goal, whose shot flew past the approaching keeper with the aide of a slight deflection.

As the half drew to a close Felixstowe continued to break down the St Ives attacking play, but we’re still thankful to keeper Fothergill who pulled off a string of top quality saves to keep the visitors at bay.

Felixstowe started the second half the better of the two sides, by maintaining possession more frequently and making their opposition chase the ball for long periods of time.

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David Goode moved up into midfield from defence, and used his lightening pace to attack the heart of the St Ives defence at any opportunity. This dominance soon resulted in the Seasider’s second goal of the game. Great work by Matt Walker in the heart of midfield led to a Felixstowe counter attack.

Woodhouse gathered the ball and led a three-man attack on the St Ives goal. The movement of the Felixstowe forwards opened up David Goode on the left hand side of the pitch, who controlled Woodhouse’ pass with ease and flew past the on coming defender. He then swivelled on a six pence and fired the ball into the goal from the tightest of angles. Soon after Woodhouse had the chance to put the game beyond St Ives’ reach, but fired wide after a great cross from Entwistle.

The St Ives defence we’re clearly struggling to cope with the precision and pace of the Felixstowe attack, but still managed to cause problems themselves with some very good passing moves. Once again Fothergill in goal was called upon, making several top quality saves, much to the frustration of the St Ives forwards.

The visitors finally managed to get a goal back however, somewhat controversially. An attack down the left wing resulted in the ball being hit dangerously into the ‘D’. This was overlooked by the umpires and left an unmarked striker on the back post the opportunity to put the ball in the net from a few yards, which he duly took.

Felixstowe stood firm after this setback, and dropped deeper to consolidate their lead. The defence of Kelcher, Nathan Walker, Healy and James Walker we’re rock solid, backed up by the aggressive tackling of Matt Walker in defensive midfield. One final penalty corner attempt from St Ives could have stolen a point, but the ball flew wide of the post and out of harms way.

The whistle blew to end the game and give Felixstowe their first three points of the season. A well-deserved win, due to the attacking flair, teamwork and hard graft of the entire Felixstowe side. Next week they travel to Waltham Forest and will hope to build on this impressive victory.

Man of the match – Andrew ‘Foggy’ Fothergill

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