Five-star Felixstowe & Walton show their class but Thetford make a real tussle of it

PUBLISHED: 09:59 10 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:05 10 September 2017

There's a big smile of satisfaction for Felixstowe's Jordan Matthews as he shoots past Luke Bailey for his second goal. All photos: STAN BASTON

There's a big smile of satisfaction for Felixstowe's Jordan Matthews as he shoots past Luke Bailey for his second goal. All photos: STAN BASTON

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Thetford Town 0 Felixstowe & Walton United 5

Scott Chaplin fires home the opening goal for the Seasiders. Photo: STAN BASTON Scott Chaplin fires home the opening goal for the Seasiders. Photo: STAN BASTON

The Seasiders’ management viewed this game as potentially their toughest to date and for 53 minutes it was just that, with some quality defending mixed with a good dose of lady luck required to keep a clean sheet in the first half, WRITES PHIL GRIFFITHS

But when Scott Chaplin broke the deadlock, the floodgates opened with Max Melanson picking up a second yellow for a late challenge on Matthews four minutes after Chaplin’s goal, and the visitors then grabbed control of the game, running in four more goals without reply to entrench themselves further at the top of the league.

Although Felixstowe & Walton had a greater share of the first half possession, it was Felixstowe’s Danny Crump who was the busier ‘keeper. Thetford’s Glen Shepherd was off target at the end of a dangerous run, and both Dan Davis and Rhys Barber had to make goal-line clearances before Crump punched the ball away, under pressure.

Happy Felixstowe fans clap off their team after the win at Thetford. Happy Felixstowe fans clap off their team after the win at Thetford.

Stuart Ainsley cleared off the line again and Ross Bailey tested the Seasiders ‘keeper again before the referee blew the half time whistle.

Felixstowe increased the pace straight from the restart, with Matthews and Powell both testing Kingsley Barnes before Chaplin saw his shot parried by the ‘keeper but roll into the net for the opener.

With Thetford then reduced to ten men, the visitors stretched the hosts back four and in the 68th minute Francis drilled home his seventh goal of the season, after Powell had put him clear with a perfect through ball.

Stuart Ainsley and Jamal Wiggins see off aerial pressure from Thetford’s Matt Morton Stuart Ainsley and Jamal Wiggins see off aerial pressure from Thetford’s Matt Morton

The result was settled in a 10 second period when Thetford’s Matt Morton hit a thumping header against the Seasiders’ post from a corner on 73 minutes, and from the rebound Felixstowe broke with Chaplin finishing in style to make it 3-0, when it might easily have been 2-1.

With the points safe, Felixstowe played some high quality football,

Francis set up Matthews to add his first and Felixstowe’s fourth in the 84th minute.

Seasiders' 'keeper Danny Crump climbs highest to claim the ball for the Seasiders. Photo: STAN BASTON Seasiders' 'keeper Danny Crump climbs highest to claim the ball for the Seasiders. Photo: STAN BASTON

But Matthews needed no help to make it 5-0 in the 87th minute as he turned in the Thetford area and produced a sparkling finish.

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