Seasiders up for Suffolk Premier Cup challenge against higher league Needham Market

PUBLISHED: 14:51 12 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:51 12 February 2018

Joe Francis bags his second for Felixstowe at Newmarket. Picture: STAN BASTON

Joe Francis bags his second for Felixstowe at Newmarket. Picture: STAN BASTON

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Felixstowe & Walton United joint manager Ian Watson says his side will relish the opportunity to test themselves against higher-league opposition in tomorrow night’s Omni Freight Services Suffolk Premier Cup tie at Needham Market, writes Nick Garnham.

Felixstowe's Joe Francis guides his header past Newmarket keeper Alex Archer on Saturday. Picture: STAN BASTONFelixstowe's Joe Francis guides his header past Newmarket keeper Alex Archer on Saturday. Picture: STAN BASTON

The Seasiders returned to winning ways following successive defeats courtesy of a 4-1 victory at Newmarket Town on Saturday, to remain top of the Premier Division of the Thurlow Nunn League and on course for promotion this season.

The top two will win promotion to Bostik League North and Felixstowe, who have 11 matches to play, are 17 points clear of third-placed Stowmarket Town, although their Suffolk rivals do have four matches in hand.

Watson said: “We needed a result on Saturday and the players responded really well. We had two really good training sessions last week – we usually only have one – and it paid off. We played really well and had a good win, which we needed, with both Coggeshall and Stowmarket winning again.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s tie at Needham Market, Watson said it would be good for the club to test their credentials against a side from the Bostik League, where they hope to be playing next season, albeit Premier Division opposition.

He said: “It will be a massive challenge, but one we are looking forward to. Although we won’t worry about anything until mid-May, it will be good to test ourselves against them.

“We will be massive underdogs, but it will be a release from league games and we can relax and enjoy it. We have not done so well in the cup competitions this season, but we will be looking to rekindle the form that we showed in the FA Cup last season.

“We will be putting out our strongest available side as it is the Premier Cup – it is a massive competition and is important to us.

“We are expecting our supporters, who have followed us in good numbers this season, to be out in force tomorrow night.”

Felixstowe will be without Stuart Ainsley, who is serving the second match of a two-match suspension.

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