Felixstowe suffer a very damaging defeat in their pursuit of League title
- Credit: Photo:Stan Baston
Saffron Walden 2 Felixstowe & Walton 0
While this defeat didn’t mathematically knock Felixstowe & Walton out of the title race, it now means they will need an extraordinary turn round, both in their own results and leaders Mildenhall’s, who moved 12 points clear of the chasing pack after their win at Kirkley & Pakefield on Saturday.
A second loss in nine days away from home has left the Seasiders in a battle to hold on to second spot, making tomorrow night’s game at home to third-placed Gorleston a crucial one for both clubs.
A home win will probably ending the Greens’ slim hopes of catching the leaders.
An accident at home last week ruled Scott Chaplin out for the remainder of the season, while Callum Bennett failed to recover from a dead leg picked up in last week’s defeat at Stanway.
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With both Sheridan Driver and Craig Jennings also missing, the visitors’ resources were fully stretched at the start of what was always going to be a tough test for Kevin O’Donnell’s side.
The opening 45 minutes provided plenty of entertainment for the neutral.
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Although there was precious few of those in the 200 plus crowd, the sides could quite easily have turned round at 2-2, with goal-line clearances at both ends of the pitch.
In a hectic opening ten minutes Jamie Lewis twice cleared off the line to deny the home side, and Sam Souter in the home goal produced an excellent save to deny Jordan Matthews at the end of a move started by the Seasiders’ No.7 deep in his own half.
The pace and action level from both sides never dropped throughout the first 45 minutes.
A 25-yard rocket from Stuart Boardley, who joined the fray at half-time from the subs bench skimmed the Walden bar, and two desperate goal-line clearances denied Ethan Clarke just after the hour to leave the feeling that maybe this wasn’t to be the visitors’ day.
That was compounded when Harry O’Malley turned Ledwith’s corner past Crump in the 68th minute for the opening goal, and debutant substitute Malaki Toussaint rolled the ball into an empty net after Davis and Crump got a backpass all wrong, leaving both stranded and the Saffron Walden player a gift for the second.