Felixstowe & Walton hoping for successful Christmas period
- Credit: Archant
Felixstowe & Walton United manager Kevin O’Donnell is challenging his side to bounce back from last week’s 3-2 defeat to Haverhill Rovers as the Seasiders go into a crucial three-game festive period. The Seasiders host Diss Town this weekend before welcoming Woodbridge on Boxing Day and then travelling to Kirkley & Pakefield on December 28.
“Last week was a disappointing result for us but luckily there’s always chances to make up for that disappointment.
“We’re quite fortunate that two out of the three games over Christmas are at home and taking nine points from these fixtures would be a huge boost in what we’re trying to achieve.”
O’Donnell is set to welcome goalkeeper Danny Crump and defenders Dan Davis and Lewis Pemberton back to the fold this weekend following suspension in last week’s defeat.
“We did miss the three players out with suspension last week because they’re key players and make such a difference,” admitted O’Donnell.
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“Haverhill are a side that are in our target area to finish so the defeat was most disappointing in that respect.
“I can’t fault the players for attitude and desire because that’s always terrific but to lose in the manner we did was disappointing,
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“We switched off and gifted them sloppy goals but we’ll be back to full strength this week and looking to bounce back.”
O’Donnell continued: “I think it’s important to be at full strength over a busy period like this because the games come thick and fast and you want to get all the points you can.”
Despite last week’s set-back, the Seasiders have gone from strength to strength in recent weeks, cementing their place in the top half of the league.
Saturday’s defeat was only their third in the league this season and their impressively consistent form has seen them creep up the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division and emerge as dark horses for a top three finish.
Couple that with a run in the Suffolk Premier Cup (semi-finals) and Red Insure Cup (quarter-finals) and it has been quite a season so far for the Seasiders.
O’Donnell is optimistic over his side’s fortunes for the rest of the season but is also keeping his feet on the ground.
“Winning games in the cup competitions breeds confidence and a winning mentality into the league and vice-versa,” said O’Donnell.
“It’s been a few years since the fans have talked about being in the top half of the league, as well as being in the semi and quarter-finals of two competitions but we’re not getting carried away.”
O’Donnell continued: “We’ve achieved a lot already this season but I hope we can continue this and then see where we end up.”
The Seasiders welcome 14th-placed Diss to the Goldstar Ground on Saturday, hoping to do the double over the Tangerines – after beating them 2-1 in the reverse fixture courtesy of goals from Rhys Barber and Ben Cranfield.
“Diss have had an up and down season,” said O’Donnell.
“Chris Tracey looks to have come in and steadied the ship – they are improving.”
And despite Felixstowe’s healthy position over their opponents, O’Donnell is taking nothing for granted.
He said: “They lost their local derby last week against Thetford so I’m sure they’ll be looking to make amends for that and we certainly won’t be underestimating them.”