Felixstowe & Walton ease past FC Clacton under the Friday night lights
- Credit: Archant
It was a comfortable three points for the hosts as they completed a league double over their Essex counterparts on Friday night to keep the pressure on at the top of the table with their 13th clean sheet in 25 league games.
Stand in ‘keeper Kevin Holland was never unduly troubled by a lightweight Clacton forward line and on the few occasions he was called into action he dealt comfortably with the threat.
The home side were still smarting from the 4-0 defeat at the Goldstar back in October when Clacton knocked them out of the league cup, and looked determined to make sure there was no repeat, from the first whistle they were on the front foot forcing an early corner that Armani Schaar curled over Fowler’s bar from eight yards out.
The visitors caused a few anxious moments when they broke quickly after frustrating a couple of Felixstowe attacks with Jordan Brazitas looking lively, but danger man Aaron Condon was well policed by the Felixstowe defence to deny him space to cause problems, although on the one occasion when he did find room he was only just over Holland’s bar with a 20 yard effort.
The opening goal came in the 18th minute when Callum Bennett, who had been causing the visitors’ defence problems from the start, cut inside from the right and his ball into the Clacton area fell perfectly for Schaar, with the aid of a deflection from a Clacton player, and he got his foot round the ball to beat Fowler from close range. It was a sharp finish from the young striker to end a run of five games without scoring, and five minutes later it was 2-0 when Stuart Ainsley rifled an unstoppable effort beyond Fowler that curled wickedly into the side netting.
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It was the full back’s third goal in as many games and came from a neat piece of interplay between the two full backs from a corner.
Bennett’s short flag kick out to Ainsley was played back and when the right back again played it to the left back, he let the ball run across him before unleashing the curling 25 yard volley that looked a goal as soon as it left his foot.
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The visitors were left to rue a couple of missed opportunities between the goals when firstly Kevin Coyle hit a low 30 yard free kick straight at Holland and former Seasider Karl Andrade was wide of the target with a shot on the turn from the angle of the penalty area.
The visitors had their best spell of the game in the final 15 minutes of the first period but the home side never looked in serious danger of throwing their two goal lead away and once the sides had turned round, the result was never in doubt.
The home side, with the wind at their backs, penned the Essex Seasiders in their own half for long periods but despite their dominance it took until the 74th minute to add the third goal when Sam Taylor, who had only been on the pitch two minutes after replacing Connor Field, stabbed the ball home from a corner, reacting quickest after the initial flag kick came back off the bar from Barber’s shot.
Felixstowe boss Kevin O’Donnell said: “The side showed an excellent attitude to the game, with the midfield three willing to work and chase lost causes, we knew Aaron (Condon) would be the danger man and Stuart (Ainsley) kept him quiet for most of the 90 minutes.”