Felixstowe & Walton defeated by last-gasp Stanway Rovers goal
- Credit: Archant
A scruffy goal from substitute Jordan Palmer in the second minute of time added on by referee Nigel Phillips saw all three points head over the border into Essex as the visitors came from behind to snatch the late winner after Jake Clowsley had cancelled out Brad Barber’s 51st minute opener.
Early morning concerns about the state of the pitch after another heavy night of driving rain proved to be unfounded, thanks to an almost gale force wind that blew relentlessly across the playing surface throughout the day.
Some light work in both goalmouths, leaving them soft but playable, was all that was required to satisfy the match officials after a cursory glance an hour before kick-off.
It was the first game of the New Year for both sides, with the previous week’s schedule being decimated through similar conditions; but while the rain may have stopped, the wind certainly hadn’t at 3pm, making it a bitterly cold afternoon for the healthy, mid-winter crowd.
The visitors might have had an early lead when Dan Slattery’s cross field pass found former Seasider Adam Hampson in space 20 yards out but his sweetly struck 5th minute volley whistled past Bedingfield’s right hand post with the hosts’ custodian unmoving.
It was the closest either side came to scoring in a difficult first half that, at times, resembled a game of ping pong, with the strong wind at their backs favouring the home side while Stanway were happy to sit back and deny the hosts space to play the ball into the danger areas while always posing a threat when they got forward.
Perhaps the most significant event of the opening half was the substitution of the Seasiders assistant manager Danny Bloomfield, who limped off three minutes before the break with a recurrence of the knee injury that had sidelined him for most of the first half of the season.
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Having cancelled each other out in the first half it took just six minutes of the second for the deadlock to be broken – and it was a calm, calculated finish from Brad Barber as he collected Thrower’s cross field pass 30 yards out to surge into the Rovers area and slot the ball across Beeson into the bottom corner.