Felixstowe earn win at Saffron Walden in five-goal Thurlow Nunn Premier thriller
- Credit: Archant
The Seasiders maintained their 100% start to the league campaign on their first visit to Catons Lane since being promoted a decade ago.
However, they found it under threat as Saffron Walden bounced back from a two-goal half-time deficit to level the score, before a late penalty produced a winner to make it three wins in a row, two of them away from The Goldstar Ground.
Felixstowe showed some real character, following the hosts’ 79th-minute leveller, to hang on for victory.
Early on, Joe Murphy tried his luck from distance but the Seasiders’ Danny Crump collected comfortably, before the visitors went ahead in the 17th minute.
A pinpoint crossfield pass from Miles Powell found Callum Bennett wide on the right and the full back took on his opposite number before cutting inside and laying the perfect ball into Armani Schaar’s feet for the 18-year old to produce a clinical finish across the Walden ‘keeper.
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The Seasiders had control of the game without creating too much although Floyd Croll was the busier of the two custodians.
In the 32nd minute, Felixstowe doubled their tally with the simplest of moves and a piece of clinical finishing. Crump heaved a long kick downfield for Danny Smy to head on to Sheridan Driver and the Seasiders’ No 10 drilled the ball beyond Croll with the home defence only able to watch.
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The visitors should have sewn the game up five minutes later as they fired in three efforts on target, but Walden kept themselves in the game with some excellent defensive work, under increasing pressure and, having survived, they produced a spell of pressure on the Felixstowe goal as the clock ticked to half-time.
The home side were very much back in the game on the hour when Neil Calver was halted by Stewart Ainsley in the area with the referee pointing to the spot.
Crump produced a fine save to push the midfielder’s spot kick away but Lawrence hoisted the resultant throw in down the slope into the packed goalmouth and Murphy got the final touch to bundle the ball over the line.
Walden went in search of an equaliser with Rhys Barber heading off the line in the 73rd minute.
The goal they had threatened came five minutes later when Calver made amends for his penalty miss by turning home Bell’s good cross to the far post.
There was still time for late drama when substitute Ethan Clarke sped away down the left only to be halted inside the Walden penalty area and Powell drove the resulting spot kick into the roof of the net to grab all three points for The Seasiders.
Not the most flowing game in the debilitating heat and Seasiders’ boss Kevin O’Donnell was clearly relieved to have grabbed all three points, but it’s the kind of game they will look back at and remember the scoreline and little else.