Report and pictures: Felixstowe & Walton 2 Newmarket Town 2
PUBLISHED: 10:28 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 10:28 17 November 2014
Star striker Ben Cranfield's spectacular last-minute volley rescued a draw for Felixstowe & Walton after the Seasiders looked destined to throw away all three points.
Unmarked Cranfield converted Tom Dew’s right-wing cross at waist height, hitting home an unstoppable effort from 16 yards, giving George Lawton no chance.
It was just about deserved for the hosts who would have been fortunate to win the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division contest, but would have felt hard done by had they been defeated.
Cranfield had earlier given the hosts the lead, on 35 minutes, the prolific forward finishing from a tight angle after a Newmarket clearance had hit Bradley Barber and fell into the goalscorer’s path.
The scrappy opening goal encapsulated a first half that saw the hosts produce the better approach play but generally fall short in the final third.
Felixstowe looked more dynamic in the opening exchanges of the second half, but the landscape changed dramatically when Richard Chadwick scored with the visitors’ first shot on target, after 57 minutes.
From that moment, Newmarket caused the hosts several problems down the left and defender Mark Webster headed home Kenny Kingshott’s left-wing corner to the near post with ten minutes to go.
That looked to have settled a feisty contest, especially after Lawton had pulled off a tremendous one-handed save, ten minutes earlier, to parry away Cranfield’s header from Bradley Barber’s cross, moments after the striker had headed the same player’s centre the wrong side of the post.
Prior to Cranfield’s first half opener, Danny Thrower squandered the hosts’ best chance, his curling left-foot shot, following good build-up play from Jordan Matthews and Cranfield, being tipped over the bar by Lawton.
For all their endeavour, Felixstowe lacked an end-product and a couple of loose balls in the first half almost saw them punished, only for ex-Seasiders’ striker Andrew Claydon to twice fire high and wide for the visitors.
Bradley Barber almost doubled the Seasiders’ lead on 48 minutes with a 30-yard shot that whistled just wide.
Newmarket’s equaliser was simple in its construction, Claydon holding up Aaron Maskell’s long ball before laying it off to Chadwick who fired home an accurate shot into the corner from 25 yards.
A minute later, Chadwick fired over from close range after Jamie Stannard failed to clear Paul Betson’s left-wing cross, before Felixstowe’s defence did well to clear Darren Coe’s powerful header.
Substitute Kingshott then almost made an immediate impact, stabbing wide at the near post, before the visiting forwards were unable to convert Luke Parkinson’s left-wing cross, a minute after the Jockeys went ahead.
Those chances were to cost Newmarket dear when Cranfield fired home his excellent equaliser.
Felixstowe & Walton: Stannard, Pemberton, Ainsley (Clark), Ross, Rhys Barber, Daves, Dew, B Barber, Matthews (Poxon), Cranfield, Thrower. Subs not used: West, Birchfield, Bloomfield.
Newmarket: George Lawton, Maskell, Betson, Webster, Coe, Will Lawton, Wilby (Kingshott), Snaith, Claydon, Chadwick, Clift (Parkinson). Unused sub: Cahill