Seasiders promotion charge continues with rout of Saffron Walden
- Credit: Photo:Stan Baston
Thurlow Premier Felixstowe & Walton United 4 Saffron Walden 0 The Seasiders’ pursuit of promotion carries on into the final fortnight of the season, after a comfortable win against the side that halted their 12-match winning start back in September, writes Phil Griffiths.
A repeat of that result never looked likely, with Saffron Walden a shadow of that early season side as Felixstowe recorded their sixth straight win without conceding a goal.
Danny Crump enjoyed a comfortable afternoon between the sticks against a side that produced just one serious shot on target – a free kick on the edge of the area that Crump collected comfortably from Walden’s Gregg Strong.
There was plenty of action at the other end to entertain another healthy crowd of over 280 in the afternoon sunshine, with Walden’s Neil O’Sullivan producing a couple of top class saves to keep the scoreline down, together with some wayward finishing from the Seasiders.
Joe Francis had twice gone close himself before he laid the ball into Sheridan Driver just before the half hour mark. Driver’s low drive beat O’Sullivan, striking the foot of the post and rebounding to Scott Chaplin, who fired the ball into the roof of the net.
Sam Ford should have added a second a couple of minutes later, but lifted his shot over O’Sullivan’s bar at the end of a sweeping move, and the striker went close just before the break, drilling his shot across the face of the Walden goal before the visitors ‘keeper produced an acrobatic save to turn Driver’s shot over the bar for a corner.
Francis planted a thumping header past O’Sullivan from Stuart Boardley’s corner just after the hour to double the score, and Chaplin twice saw goal-bound efforts deflected for corners and a third hit the post as the pressure mounted on the visiting defence.
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Substitute Kye Ruel added the third from Boardley’s free kick into the area with 15 minutes left, and Ford made it four from the penalty spot in the final minutes, after referee Carl Pearse had shown Walden’s Joe Murphy a red card for a handball in front of goal, to block Ford’s initial effort.