Matthews lashes the ball home as Seasiders pick up another three points
- Credit: Photo:Stan Baston
Felixstowe & Walton 2 Haverhill Rovers 1
A late winner from Jordan Matthews ensured the race for the league title mathematically extends into tomorrow, although in reality only a turnaround of mammoth proportions could deny Mildenhall Town from lifting the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division crown.
This win left the Seasiders hanging on to second spot, nine points adrift of the leaders with three games to go and Newmarket, the current form side of the division, breathing down their necks, just a point behind.
The home side should have wrapped the points up in a first half they dominated both in possession and chances, and the visitors ‘keeper, making only his third appearance of the season, was kept busy turning away a 35-yard effort from Rhys Barber that looked destined for the top corner, and denying Ethan Clarke with a one-handed save from another 25-yard volley before the game was ten minutes old.
The visitors’ goal led a charmed life at times as Felixstowe pressed with Sam Holmes prominent in much of the defensive work.
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But the goal looked like evading the home side for the second successive week until the 33rd minute when Barber, who had stayed up for a string of corners, was on hand at the far post to drill the ball past Philp from the tightest of angles.
Although little had been seen of the visitors as an attacking force they were level two minutes before the break through Luke Haines, who struck a venomous free kick that Danny Crump could only help on its way with the aid of a post.
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That goal lifted the visitors and they looked a far more potent force after the break, with Crump much busier until a trip on Callum Bennett by Jordan Palmer, who had dropped back into defence with Holmes off the field receiving treatment, saw the visitors No.10 get a straight red card from referee Carl Pearse.
Stuart Boardley, who had replaced Bennett, set up the winning goal with nine minutes left with a free kick that was only half cleared and Matthews lashed the loose ball past Philp from 12 yards.
Tomorrow, Felixstowe travel to Ipswich Wanderers in a local derby, while Haverhill are at Saffron Walden.
Referee: Carl Pearse.