Matt finish helps sees Felixstowe & Walton to Ridgeons safety

SCHOOLBOY Matt Mackenzie’s six goals in five games have fired Felixstowe & Walton United to safety in the Ridgeons League.

The 18-year-old continued his rich vein of scoring form by netting twice in Tuesday night’s 6-2 demolition of Debenham LC, which assured the Seasiders of Premier Division football next season after languishing at the foot of the table early in the New Year.

Man-of-the-moment Mackenzie, who made his debut as a 16-year-old two years ago and is nearing the end of his first full season at this level, said: “I have been particularly pleased with my recent run of form. After a good start I had a blip in the middle of the season and I was on the bench a lot. If I had not been substituted I might have got a hat-trick, but I was pleased with my performance against Debenham.”

The striker, who went on loan to Kingsley Healthcare SIL side Woodbridge Athletic earlier in the season but only played one match due to the bad weather, said that both his own game and the team had benefited from the firmer pitches in recent weeks.

“I prefer the harder pitches as I prefer a quicker game – in the winter it is a more physical game.

“Everyone wrote us off just after Christmas, but we have had a good run of results against teams we were not expected to get points off, like we did at Wisbech on Saturday when we went there and got a draw.

“I think our improvement is down to the pitches – it is easier for us to play on harder pitches as we are not a big physical team and the pitches we are playing on now suit us better.”

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Mackenzie, who has come through the club’s youth set-up, is currently studying for his A Levels in English Language, history and PE at the town’s Deben High School, and is hoping to go to university in Canterbury come September.

His footballing education saw him spend four years with the Ipswich Town Academy between the years of eight and 12, followed by six months at Norwich City when he was 14 years old.

He had trials at Barclays Premier League club West Ham United last season, but nothing more came of their interest.

Mackenzie, who will be hoping to continue his goalscoring run at home to Walsham-le-Willows tomorrow, said: “I would like to play at as high a level as I can. If I can keep scoring goals at this level I can push on and attract interest from clubs higher up.”

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