GALLERY: Felixstowe & Walton United survive scare to put five past Woodbridge Town

Woodbridge V Felixstowe & Walton (red / white)

Woodbridge V Felixstowe & Walton (red / white) - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Woodbridge Town 1 Felixstowe & Walton United 5 Felixstowe & Walton United strengthened their position in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title race by proving too strong for bottom side Woodbridge Town yesterday, but not without an almighty scare.

The Woodpeckers were the better side in the first period and they deservedly took the lead through Jake Green’s header.

However, the Seasiders turned the game on its head right on the stroke of half-time as they scored twice in a minute to go in at the break leading.

And after captain Ben Cranfield scored just moments after returning from the interval, the game was as good as dead as Felixstowe ran away comfortable winners thanks to another classy finish from Cranfield and fifth goal in injury-time from substitute Thomas Dew.

Felixstowe’s excellent and consistent form this season has seen them turn from darkhorses for the title to some people’s favourites, and based on their controlling and commanding second-half performance, they might just achieve that with two games to go.

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Not that boss Kevin O’Donnell will be that pleased with his side’s opening 44 minutes. Largely off the pace, sloppy in possession, and lacking ideas, it was Woodbridge, a side cast adrift at the foot of the table for the majority of the season, who caught the eye as they were first to every loose ball, winning the majority of the individual duels.

The excellent central trio of Tom Trevivian, Alex Greggor, and Sam Mead epitomised Woodbridge’s fight for the cause and time and time again they broke wave after wave of frustrated Felixstowe attacks and set up opportunities for team-mates.

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Young Jono Fryatt really ought to have done better after great work from Haz Ekeolere, who caused no end of problems in the first period, but he dragged his shot wide.

Jordy Matthews hit the bar for Felixstowe as they showed glimpses of their quality before Green headed Woodbridge into a 28th minute lead after a pinpoint free-kick from Mead.

Chances continued to come to the hosts but as they have found time after time, if you don’t take your chances you get punished.

And Felixstowe are the kings of punishment.

Rhys Barber, who showed his class with a commanding performance at centre-half, made no mistake from Ryan Clark’s cross on the stroke of half-time before Bradley Barber rolled in a quickfire second goal after a poor clearance from keeper Liam Daniels.

It was harsh on Woodbridge and they never got a chance to recover as top goalscorer Cranfield clinically finished just three minutes after the break following another precise Clark cross.

This effectively killed the game off and from then on in Felixstowe finally started to show their class – knocking the ball around at will.

Cranfield doesn’t usually miss and he once again showed his class in front of goal with another excellent strike mid-way through the half, before Dew wrapped things up with practically the last kick of the game as he pinched Miles Powell’s goalbound effort on the goal-line.

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