It’s promotion joy for Seasiders as Walsham put to the sword
- Credit: Photo:Stan Baston
Felixstowe & Walton United 6 Walsham Le Willows 0
When referee Chris Horsman blew his whistle to bring this game to a close, it was as though the Goldstar ground itself released a huge sigh of relief as 450 supporters realised, ‘The Seasiders were promoted!’, writes Phil Griffiths.
It marked an historic moment for the club, achieving promotion with two games to go, and cued the celebrations knowing the side would be playing Step 4 football next season.
Looking to extend their six match winning run and achieve their ambition, the home side got off to the perfect start, opening the scoring inside the first three minutes and then doubling it with just 15 minutes on the clock.
A half cleared ball was lofted back into the box by Stuart Boardley, and Joe Francis at the far post headed downwards past debutant Dellan Morgan, an emergency signing in the Willows’ goal, for the opener.
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Kye Ruel added the second after Scott Chaplin’s initial shot was pushed away by Morgan, but only as far as Ruel, who drilled the loose ball back past the ‘keeper.
The early goals settled the nerves and gave the home side freedom to play some delightful football, although Walsham were well in the game for an hour, keeping Danny Crump busy, producing three top-class saves to extend his unblemished record to seven straight games.
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When Jamal Wiggins provided the pass for Francis to add the third just before the hour, the game was effectively won as the visitors visibly faded.
70th minute substitute, Miles Powell, marked his return from injury adding the fourth with ten minutes left and Francis completed his hat-trick in the closing minutes after Ford had caught out the Walsham defence with a quick break to set Francis up.
Callum Bennett completed the scoring in time added-on by the referee, after Morgan had blocked the initial shot, to start the celebrations as news filtered through of leaders Coggeshall’s defeat at Newmarket.
The results set up Tuesday’s clash at the Goldstar between the top two, with just one point now separating first from second as the season heads into a thrilling final week.