Seasiders go 22 points clear at top after win over Clacton
- Credit: Archant
Thurlow Nunn Premier Felixstowe & Walton United 4 FC Clacton 2 Teenager Lewis Smy’s 90th minute debut goal saw the Suffolk Seasiders maintain their 100% home league record and complete the double over their Essex counterparts, to further strengthen their position at the top of the Premier Division.
Scott Chaplin drilled home a Joe Francis cross with just three minutes on the clock, and both Francis and Josh Kerridge tested Luke Avenell as the Seasiders dominated the early play.
But it was the visitors who scored next, when Jordan Brazitas saw his intended cross strike the inside of Danny Crump’s far post, and nestle in the home net.
The equaliser gave Clacton some momentum to take the game to the home side, and Crump produced a top class save to deny Jake Plane from putting his side ahead from a free kick.
The home side regained the upper hand and restored their advantage through Craig Jennings, just before the half hour mark, putting the finishing touch to a Callum Bennett cross into the area.
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And Rhys Barber added a third before the break with a powerful header from a Joe Francis cross, but Clacton again pulled a goal back, this time through Jake Plane, as referee Paul Burnham was about to blow for half-time.
Clacton never managed to pose the same threat in the second half and Luke Avenell was kept busy producing a fine save from Callum Bennett at the expense of a corner, and taking Chaplin’s flag kick confidently, in a ruck of players.
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The main talking point after the break was the home side’s introduction of 16-year-old Rory Porter from the sub’s bench with an hour gone – he looked comfortable in his midfield role – and 17-year-old Smy, whose brother Danny made almost 100 appearances before retiring last year.
And it was Smy who got his head in the mix to glance home another Scott Chaplin corner, to give the scoreline a more comfortable look.
With the Seasiders three closest rivals all dropping points on Saturday, joint bosses Kevin O’Donnell and Ian Watson found their side’s position at the top of the table extended to a huge 22 point difference.