MATCH REPORT AND GALLERY: Fantastic Felixstowe & Walton hit Newmarket Town for six in Thurlow Nunn Premier Division
- Credit: Lucy Taylor
Felixstowe & Walton strengthened their grip on second place in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division with an emphatic 6-2 victory over Newmarket Town on Friday night, which saw all eight goals scored in the opening 45 minutes.
The Seasiders have been in excellent recent form, losing just one league game since the end of October, and came out of the blocks in front of a bumper crowd of 135 meaning business as they raced into a 4-1 lead after just 16 minutes, to stun a startled Newmarket side.
Livewire Danny Thrower got Kevin O’Donnell’s men off to the perfect start when his fortuitous strike from 25 yards after just two minutes somehow found its way past opposing keeper Elliott Anderson, who certainly won’t want to see the replay.
And nine minutes later the same player was involved again as the Seasiders doubled their lead.
After orchestrator Bradley Barber superbly won the ball back, he drove through the Jockeys’ static defence, playing a delightful one-two with Thrower in the process, only to be denied by the legs of the sprawling Anderson.
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Fortunately for Felixstowe though, Jordy Matthews was on hand to tap the rebound home.
Newmarket responded and shocked the Seasiders themselves in the 13th minute as centre-half Mark Webster acrobatically volleyed home Deakin Napier’s cross, the ball creeping into the net after it slipped under Danny Crump’s grasp.
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Not to be undone, proceedings escalated again just two minutes later as Felixstowe hit a quick-fire double in as many minutes to stun Newmarket and reassert their dominance.
Firstly and in a move that he started himself, the impressive Miles Powell, industrious in the centre of midfield all evening upon his return to the starting line-up, broke through the sleeping Jockeys’ defence after a one-two with skipper Ben Cranfield before coolly curling home.
Then, as the home crowd barely had time to breathe or sit down, they were on their feet again 60 seconds later as Cranfield latched onto a long ball over the top to slide beyond Anderson and make it 4-1 after just 16 minutes of action.
Newmarket, who shocked Hadleigh United just three days previously with a 2-0 away victory in the quarter-finals of the Red Insure Cup, once again tried to mount a fightback when Aaron Maskell clinically found the bottom corner to reduce the deficit to just two, after the dangerous Ross Paterson had rattled the crossbar.
But in an unbelievable end-to-end encounter, it was Felixstowe who again showed their superiority as they added two more goals late on in a frantic opening period.
After some terrific work from Matthews down the right wing, in which he ghosted past several Newmarket players, Anderson could only parry Thrower’s powerful effort into the alert Tom Dew’s path, who converted.
And just two minutes later, with only three minutes remaining of the breathtaking half, Matthews made it six when he arrowed a shot beyond Anderson from 15 yards following a superb passing move from the Seasiders which really was a joy to watch.
Newmarket improved in the second half but the damage was already done and Felixstowe secured a fantastic victory that proved crucial as fellow high-flyers Brightlingsea Regent, Godmanchester Rovers and Gorleston all won on Saturday.
Felixstowe (4-3-3): D.Crump, Pemberton, Hewitt, R.Barber, Davis, Powell (A.Crump 68), B.Barber, Matthews, Dew (Sheppard 87), Thrower (Laws 79), Cranfield (c).
Newmarket (4-4-2): Anderson, Dalby (c), Betson, Heffron, Webster, Napier (Chadwick 61), Maskell (Cahill 85), Lambert (Snaith 67), S.Paterson, Wayne, R.Paterson.
Referee: Jonathon Block