Felixstowe win, Coggeshall lose. The Seasiders are back to a 17-point lead after Long Melford victory

Long Melford keeper Josh Shepherd climbs above Seasider Sheridan Driver to punch away for safety. Photo: STAN BASTON

Long Melford keeper Josh Shepherd climbs above Seasider Sheridan Driver to punch away for safety. Photo: STAN BASTON

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Long Melford 1 Felixstowe & Walton 3

Seasiders' Ethan Clarke in close tussle with Long Melford’s Dan Smith at Stoneylands on Saturday. Photos: STAN BASTON Seasiders' Ethan Clarke in close tussle with Long Melford’s Dan Smith at Stoneylands on Saturday. Photos: STAN BASTON

Felixstowe & Walton re-established their 17 point lead at the top of the Thulow Nunn Premier Division as second-placed Coggeshall slipped up, writes Phil Barber.

What looked a routine three points, when leading scorer Miles Powell put his side ahead after just three minutes at Long Melford on Saturday however, was anything but!

The hosts recovered from the early set-back and levelled in the 24th minute to put the Seasiders defence under close examination, having the better of the exchanges up to half time.

But after the break the visitors regained control and the lead, through Powell, but took until the 87th minute to make the game safe, when Scott Chaplin finished off a neat build-up between Josh Kerridge and Powell, beating stand-in ‘keeper Josh Shepherd.

GOAL! Scott Chaplin fires home to make it 1-3 and to seal the win  for the Seasiders Shepherd climbs above Seasider Sheridan Driver to punch away for safety GOAL! Scott Chaplin fires home to make it 1-3 and to seal the win for the Seasiders Shepherd climbs above Seasider Sheridan Driver to punch away for safety

The early goal put the home side on the back foot, and the Seasiders should have extended their lead through Jordan Matthews and Rhys Barber, who both missed the target from good positions, and it was against the run of play when Callum Henson turned home Ali Hassan’s low cross from close range in the 24th minute.

The momentum switched and the buoyed up home side should have taken the lead and even extended it, as they took the game to Felixstowe.

David Lopez failed to get any real power into a low strike from the edge of the area to test Crump, Henson spurned a great chance, sliding his effort wide of the post and Jake Jackson drew a save from Crump as the half drew to a close.

Josh Kerridge replaced Kye Rule at the break and the balance of play was back with the visitors in the second half.

Kerridge saw an effort blocked by Ross Waugh and Shepherd produced a fine save to deny Barber from Ethan Clarke’s cross.

Felixstowe were back in front just after the hour when new signing, Regan Pelling’s cross was met by Barber but only half cleared after rebounding off the bar, the loose ball falling to Powell who struck an unstoppable volley from the edge of the area with Chaplin making the game and the points safe in the final minutes.

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