It’s a test of resolve now for Seasiders as Thurlow Nunn Premier title race opens up

Felixstowe & Walton joint bosses Kevin O'Donnell, left, and Ian Watson. A disappointing recent few g

Felixstowe & Walton joint bosses Kevin O'Donnell, left, and Ian Watson. A disappointing recent few games for the leaders. Picture: STAN BASTON - Credit: Photo:Stan Baston

It will be a real test of Felixstowe & Walton United’s resolve this weekend when they host Gorleston FC at the Goldstar ground in their final game of 2017, writes Phil Griffiths.

Having pretty much cruised through the first half of the season, establishing at one stage a 21-point lead, they have been pegged back after picking up just one point from their three Christmas games.

They now lead second-placed Coggeshall Town by just 11 points, with the Seedgrowers having four games in hand.

It has certainly opened up the title race with both Coggeshall and Stowmarket back in real contention, although the Old Gold & Blacks would need to produce an amazing run if they are to make up the 16-point difference between them and the Seasiders, while hoping Felixstowe slip up another three or four times.

It has been a remarkable calendar year for the Goldstar ground-based side, who just missed out on Step 4 football at the end of last season when Mildenhall Town were the only side to make the step up – Kevin O’Donnell with joint manager Ian Watson will want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Two teams will get promoted to Step 4 from the Thurlow Nunn Premier this season.

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Of the 49 league games played in 2017, 39 ended in wins for the Seasiders, two were drawn and just eight defeats, and any manager at any level of football would be happy with those statistics.

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With 18 games to go, the Seasiders know their fate lies in their own hands, and they should have enough experience in the side to see them home.

Gorleston arrive looking for their first win in four, having drawn two and lost one, that to Coggeshall, who rattled seven past them a fortnight ago.

Some indifferent performances have seen them slip down the table to their current 16th position.

But they are never a side to underestimate, and the Seasiders need to sort their own issues out if they are to get back on track.

Kick-Off is back to the normal 3pm for this last fixture of 2017.

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