Felixstowe & Walton United looking for a reaction at Walsham-le-Willows after heavy Whitton United defeat
- Credit: James Ager
Felixstowe & Walton United boss Kevin O’Donnell will be looking for a reaction from his side as they travel to Walsham-le-Willows tomorrow afternoon.
The Seasiders were on the wrong end of a heavy 6-2 home defeat to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division new-boys Whitton United last weekend, and boss O’Donnell wants his troops to quickly forget that nightmare with three points tomorrow.
Undoubtedly the most eye-catching result in the division six days ago, O’Donnell admitted that his side got exactly what they deserved against Whitton.
“If I’m honest, we were as bad as they were good,” he declared.
“It was a bit of both – Whitton were quick, sharp, and came at us with a game plan, and our players didn’t play anywhere near the standard expected of them.”
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The Seasiders boss admitted that he ‘learnt a lot’ about some of his players last week, and will ‘certainly be making some changes’ for tomorrow’s trip across Suffolk.
“We’ve had lots of discussions since,” continued O’Donnell.
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“We’ve highlighted where we went wrong, and as bad as a result as it was, it might benefit us in the long run.”
O’Donnell also admitted that he was impressed with visitors Whitton, who are quickly climbing the league table.
“They’ve got a good squad,” added the Seasiders chief. “A few ex-players came back here with a point to prove and fair play to them, 6-2 was quite rightly a fair result.
“Saturday represents a good chance for us to put that right though.”
Walsham come into this game also on the back of a defeat having lost 2-0 to third-placed Newmarket last weekend, but are dangerous opponents to play as Ryman Premier Division side Leiston found out in a Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-final recently.
Paul Smith’s men put up a great fight for an hour against higher-level Leiston, before quality and fitness took its toll and Leiston eventually ran away as 4-0 winners.
O’Donnell continued: “Walsham have had a stop-start season so far, but have got a few players back from Bury Town (Jack Brame, Nathan Clarke) recently.
“Their spirit is one of their biggest strengths and it’ll be a difficult game for us, but it goes without saying that I’m expecting a reaction from last weekend, and I’m expecting the personnel picked to get the result we want.”
The eighth-placed Seasiders might feel happier being the visiting side tomorrow afternoon with just one league defeat from seven trips this season, while the 17th-placed hosts have lost six of their nine league fixtures at Summer Road.
O’Donnell is hoping to have a few faces back from injury for the encounter, with assistant player-manager Danny Bloomfield possibly in line for a league comeback.
Bloomfield has been sidelined with a nasty knee injury since mid-September, and O’Donnell believes the Seasiders have missed the experience and quality of the striker, who was an unused substitute against Whitton.
“We gave Danny 45 minutes in a closed-doors friendly recently and those minutes were invaluable for him,” expressed O’Donnell.
“We’re assessing him week-by-week and hopefully he’ll play a part on Saturday.
“There’s no doubting we’ve missed him, he’s been massively missed, but we don’t want to rush him back, it was a very nasty injury.”