London-bound Felixstowe & Walton look to pull off a real upset in FA Cup First Qualifying Round with visit to Ryman Premier Division side Enfield Town
- Credit: James Ager
Felixstowe & Walton United head back down the A12 towards London for a third successive FA Cup game this season as they visit Ryman Premier Division side Enfield Town, situated two leagues above the Seasiders, in the First Qualifying Round of the highly-regarded competition.
A 1-0 success at Tower Hamlets back in the middle of August in an Extra Preliminary Round, followed by a superb 3-0 win at Ryman North outfit Ware FC leaves Kevin O’Donnell’s men with a tough, but equally mouth-watering test against an Enfield side who play in the same division as Suffolk sides Leiston and Bury Town, of whom they drew with 1-1 this season.
Ben Cranfield’s unanswered single goal got the Seasiders progression at the Mile End Stadium, before the hotshot, who has scored six goals in all competitions so far this season, scored a brace to sink Ware on their own patch alongside Stuart Ainsley’s 50-yard wonder-strike.
There’s no doubting that Felixstowe go into this game as big underdogs but O’Donnell’s men will be travelling with confidence and encouragement after winning their last four games on the bounce – and in convincing fashion.
After somewhat of a slow start to the season with two heavy 4-1 home league defeats to Norwich United and Kirkley & Pakefield in between that trip to Tower Hamlets, the Seasiders are now on a roll having defeated Walsham-le-Willows 4-2, FC Clacton 5-1, and Gorleston 2-0 in their last three Thurlow Nunn Premier Division fixtures, as well as that win at Ware.
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Opponents Enfield have endured a bit of a turbulent start too, as after losing four of their opening six matches, they parted company with former Braintree Town boss George Borg.
Borg’s assistant, Brad Quinton, who was with Borg at Cressing Road, has since been appointed as manager, and after winning starts at third-placed Hendon (3-0) and Tonbridge Angels (2-1), Enfield come into this tie on the back of two defeats – a 4-0 home defeat to leaders Maidstone United and a narrow 1-0 defeat to an organised Metropolitan Police side on Tuesday evening.
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The last time Felixstowe and Enfield met was back in 2003 when the Seasiders travelled in First Round FA Vase action – with the score-line reading 2-0 to Enfield, who were plying their trade in the Essex Senior League at the time.
Seasiders’ fans will hope for a different outcome this time around in a match where O’Donnell’s men have nothing to lose.
Enfield play their football at Queen Elizabeth II Stadium in Donkey Lane and the Seasiders will be looking to pull off a real upset.