GALLERY: Felixstowe & Walton United 3 FC Clacton 3
- Credit: Archant
Jordy Matthews’ 93rd minute goal preserved Felixstowe & Walton United’s unbeaten home record against a determined FC Clacton team who took the lead three times in a pulsating 3-3 draw, despite atrocious conditions.
The home side welcomed Bradley Barber back from injury, replacing the suspended Miles Powell, and Kevin O’Donnell named Lewis Pemberton at full-back with Matt West on the bench.
Taking charge of his first game as boss, Phil Yearling saw his young Clacton side start very positively with Aaron Condon opening the scoring in the third minute. Clowsley opened up the home defence down the right before passing to Condon to drive his shot low under the diving Danny Crump.
Cranfield and Clark both went close as Felixstowe pressed for a reply and the increasing pressure on the visiting defence produced a 25th minute equaliser when Jordan Giddings in the Clacton goal was beaten by Bradley Barber’s low strike from 28 yards.
Defending deep, Clacton looked dangerous on the break and regained the lead six minutes before the interval when Condon, skipping round the advanced home ‘keeper, scored his second following a deep ball from defence.
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The second half was played in driving rain with the Clacton defence working hard to repel the waves of Felixstowe attacks.
Sheppard headed against the bar and Giddings also saved a Cranfield shot onto the bar as the visitors put bodies on the line to hold onto their narrow lead.
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However, the pressure told in the 82nd minute when, following a corner, Cranfield’s shot was blocked on the line and in the resulting scramble Rhys Barber forced home the ball to equalise once again.
Two minutes later Bradley Barber saw his 25-yard free kick cannon back off the Clacton bar and the chance for a winner looked to have gone.
But in the deteriorating conditions there was still plenty of incident to come.
Wales fouled Pemberton and when the Felixstowe defender retaliated he left referee John Steel no option but to issue a red card.
On 90 minutes Clacton looked to have claimed all three points when Billy Wales met Newland’s free kick to fire home the visitors’ third.
But there was still time for more dramatic action.
Felixstowe mounted one last attack and Matthews rattled home the sixth and final goal of the game deep into time added on.
Both teams deserved something from the game having provided an entertaining match in adverse conditions and the draw was a fair result.
Felixstowe & Walton United: Danny Crump, Lewis Pemberton, Arran Sheppard, Andy Crump, Rhys Barber, Dan Davis, Ryan Clark (Darius Laws 79), Bradley Barber, Jordy Matthews, Ben Cranfield (c), Ryan Birchfield (Danny Thrower 35). Unused: Matt West
FC Clacton: Jordan Giddings, Lee Clowsley, Parris Newland, Tom Austin (c) (Louis Newland 45), Lee Peacock, James Gregory, Jack Clampin (Adam Daniels 73), Keylon Marvell, Aaron Condon, Stewart McFarlane, Jake Plane (Billy Wales 53)
Referee: John Steel
Assistants: Lee Garrod, Ryan Thurbin. Attendance: 80