Felixstowe & Walton beat Stowmarket Town on penalties in Suffolk Premier Cup
Felixstowe & Walton 1 Stowmarket 1. Felix won 4-2 on pens
Kevin Holland was the hero of the hour for Felixstowe & Walton as they moved into the third round of the Suffolk Premier Cup, despite playing most of the game with 10-men against Stowmarket Town at Dellwood Avenue.
Holland saved two penalties in the penalty shoot-out after the game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes – the home side down to 10-men in the first half after Nick Ingram was sent off.
It was a fine result for the home team who never let their one-man disadvantage tell.
Indeed a neutral would not have known which side was a man lighter and for that reason alone, not only was this a ‘result’ win for the home side, but also a psychologically big one as both teams chase the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division title.
Not that Stowmarket played poorly.
But after a decent first half where they deservedly went in level at the break, they never got going in the second 45 as Felixstowe shored things up superbly.
Stowmarket showed glimpses as to why they are the form team in the Premier division, but will be as disappointed with their second-half showing, as much as Felixstowe will be well happy with theirs.
In the end it came down to a penalty shoot-out to decide the winner and after Holland saved the first two Stow penalties, the destiny of who were going to be victors was never in doubt.
Felixstowe & Walton then march on to the next round, but both sides will feel they have bigger fish to fry in respect of the Thurlow Nunn championship.
Seasiders’ Callum Bennett made a good run early on but his shot lacked power and Felixstowe’s Ingram should have done better 12 yards out, but fired over.
As the rain started to fall Stowmarket started pressing but it was the Seasiders who looked more dangerous Scott Chaplin running across the area as Jordy Matthews almost bundled home his cross.
The home side were reduced to 10 men when Ingram launched the ball out of the ground and referee Morris-Sanders, having earlier booked the Seasiders’ striker, booked him again and sent him off.
It infuriated the home fans. But they were cheering four minutes later in the 29th minute as Morris-Sanders awarded the home side a penalty after Amar Lewis handled. It looked harsh but Joe Francis cared not and he thumped home the penalty.
At the other end Josh Mayhew, a handful all night for Stowmarket, especially first half, shot just wide and then the visitors equalised.
Some patient build-up from Stowmarket ended with Anton Clarke crossing. The ball was headed clear, but Billy Clarke, on the edge of the area thumped home.
Dave Cowley curled one over as the visitors started the second half on the front foot while up the other end Chaplin fired just wide after a good build-up down the Seasiders’ right.
Francis mis-kicked on 58 minutes as he was about to pull the trigger, after good work by Matthews and Felixstowe were coping well despite being a man light.
Felixstowe’s Sheridan Driver received a nasty facial injury after a high kick in the area and was taken off as the game rather petered out with Stowmarket not making their extra man count – and penalties ensued.
In the other Suffolk Premier Cup games Needham Market beat AFC Sudbury 2-0, Ryan Gibbs and Gareth Heath the scorers, while Ipswich Town XI thrashed Hadleigh 5-1.