Felixstowe & Walton go out of FA Vase to Hadley
- Credit: Archant
Any hopes of an extended run in the FA Vase were dashed by Spartan South Midlands League leaders Hadley, who struck twice in the second half of an evenly-contested First Qualifying Round encounter.
The visitors pulled one goal back and caused a late scramble in the hosts’ penalty area, but there was no late equaliser to send the game into extra-time.
The match was played at Southern League Potters Bar’s Pakex Stadium, with Hadley’s home ground undergoing a major reconstruction, and the price of playing on foreign fields proved costly with an attendance of less than 40 watching the game, with over half the crowd from Suffolk.
It was a clash of two differing styles. The hosts looked to use their pace all over the pitch, while the visitors had a more measured build-up and, after a hectic start that saw Hadley have the better of the early exchanges, settled down and began to get grip on the game.
The Seasiders’ Sam Taylor won a corner and Callum Bennett’s flag kick bobbled around in the box before being scrambled off the line as both Josh Kerridge and Aaron Sheppard tried to force the ball over the line.
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Kerridge tested Charlie Mann in the home goal with a well struck volley from the edge of the area, while at the other end, Hadley danger man, Zaine Gangadeen, proved difficult to keep in check with his pace and close control.
Hadley’s best chance of the opening half came on the half hour when Gangadeen set up Machedo who fired across Danny Crump but inches wide of the far post.
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Within a minute of the second half starting, Hadley were in front.
An uncharacteristic error from Rhys Barber, who tried to head the ball back to Crump – only to see his effort fall short – resulted in Machedo pouncing on the loose ball and drilling his effort inside the near post.
While that goal may have been fortuitous, there was no luck about the hosts’ second on the hour, as the same player ended a sweeping move with a rising shot from the edge of the area.
Kerridge rattled the Hadley cross bar with a powerful effort as Felixstowe tried to get back in the game and, with time running out, manager Kevin O’Donnell threw on Andy Crump who made an immediate impact, pulling a goal back from a Jordan Matthews cross.
However, it was not to be as the hosts defended in depth to see the game out.