Heady days for Seasiders as they look forward to Friday night football at Dellwood Avenue. It’s those Jockeys from Newmarket who are looking to upset the odds against O’Donnell’s men

Bradley Barber, left Felixstowe & Walton

Bradley Barber, left Felixstowe & Walton - Credit: Archant

These are heady days for Felixstowe & Walton football club.

Second in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division and with two cup semi-finals on the horizon, the east Suffolk side are enjoying a cracking season.

And tonight they will hope to bring their brand of attacking and successful football to new fans in the seaside town, as they entertain Newmarket Town at Dellwood Avenue in a Friday night Thurlow Nunn clash, kick-off 7.45pm.

Friday night football isn’t new among non-league sides but for the Seasiders the opportunity to showcase their team on a different night of the week will hopefully prove more than beneficial – and attract a few more through the gate.

“It was Newmarket who proposed to us earlier in the season the two clubs changed our league clashes to Friday nights,” said Felixstowe director of football and club secretary Tony Barnes.


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“Sadly, our game at their place was postponed because of the weather, but we should be ok to go. Our pitch is ok and hasn’t been played on much lately, we are looking forward to it.”

And so Felixstowe should.

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They’ve enjoyed a great week so far, coming back from a goal down to defeat Gorleston on Saturday to march into second place in the table and then netting three goals in the final minutes at Kirkley & Pakefield on Tuesday night to reach the League Cup semi-final – the Seasiders are already in the Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final, where they play Needham Market, at Woodbridge.

Manager Kevin O’Donnell has assembled a young, yet experienced squad just right for the Thurlow Nunn – with Step 4 in their sights.

“When chairman Andy Wilding took over a couple of seasons ago, he said he would like to get the club to Step Four,” Barnes added.

“We are certainly close to that on the pitch, but although there is not a lot we have to do off the pitch, there is a lot we would like to do.

“I think its fair to say for the first time, what’s happening on the pitch is slightly out-stripping what’s going on off the pitch.”

On the pitch, Barnes also has his thoughts.

“Kevin (O’Donnell) has brought in a very professional and disciplined attitude to the squad.

“We want the players to keep being encouraged as they are now and it would be nice to be in this position next season with the hopes then of moving up. I think Bradley Barber has been great for us. He makes us play football.

“And remember we lost Danny Smy and Matt Buckle after just a couple of games with long-term injuries.

“Looking at the league table gives me a bit of a nose bleed to be honest but it’s fully deserved.”

Tonight Felixstowe put their unbeaten home record to the test against the 10th-placed Jockeys.

Unbeaten overall in seven and with one defeat in 17, O’Donnell’s side have only lost in the league at Haverhill, Brightlingsea and Hadleigh – three of the top five – with both Hadleigh and Brightlingsea still having to visit Dellwood Avenue.

Barnes admits: “Maybe, just maybe, Hadleigh and Brightlingsea will go on really good Vase runs and take their eye off the league a little. You never know.

“Where we end up, we’ll have to wait and see.”

The Jockeys are having a steady season and have lost just three league matches in their last 14.

They were involved in an extraordinary game at home to Gorleston in December, where they lost 5-7!

A goal-fest like that tonight would be good fare for what is sure to be a larger-than-usual crowd. But for both sides it’s the points that will count most.

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