Seasiders are undone by two swift Heybridge goals and a red card
- Credit: Archant
Heybridge Swifts 3 Felixstowe & Walton 1
Felixstowe & Walton Utd will be disappointed to not have gained at least a point to start the New Year, being undone by a 15-minute spell at the start of the second half that saw Heybridge score twice and the Seasiders reduced to ten men, writes Stuart Daynes.
Felixstowe made just one enforced change to the team that beat Basildon at the weekend, Jamal Wiggins coming in for the sick George Clarke.
Heybridge came into the game in seventh place in the table, but on a run of two defeats in the league, their only games played in December.
The first half was a lively affair, Heybridge keen on closing Felixstowe down at every opportunity, but rarely troubling the Seasiders goal. Canfer and Schaar both had good chances to open the scoring for Felixstowe before the home side took the lead on 29 minutes, Kouassi with an unstoppable finish from the edge of the box.
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Undeterred, Felixstowe kept pushing on and creating chances and Schaar may feel hard done by to see a goal kick awarded when he was clattered by two defenders as he was about to pull the trigger. Felixstowe did force the equaliser on the stroke of half-time, Ollie Canfer controlling the ball well before firing a terrific volley into the net.
Heybridge were fast out of the traps second half and immediately retook the lead, Alex Teniola scoring from close range following a ricochet in the box.
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It was three shortly after, Harrison Chatting finding himself in plenty of space on the right and scoring with a cool finish past Jack Spurling. Felixstowe's task was made harder on 59 minutes when on-loan defender Harry Knights saw his second yellow card.
The last half hour was always going to be difficult in the circumstances and it was the home side who probably should have increased the lead further, with the away side struggling to create chances with ten men.
Speaking after the game, Felixstowe boss Stuart Boardley said: "I felt we matched Heybridge first half, it was a half of few chances but we were pleased to be level at the break, although disappointed at the lack of a red card for what was a stonewall decision when Armani Schaar was through in goal, the referee has said he didn't see it so we are disappointed with that.
"The game was lost really at the start of the second half with the two goals and the red card, it was dead and buried really after that. I was pleased with the attitude of the players after that period, the endeavour was there and it was always going to be difficult with a man and two goals down."
Felixstowe have another crucial game on Saturday, Soham the visitors to Suffolk.