Seasiders fail to weather the storm

FA VASE SOCCER: A full round-up of all the action from the first round of the FA Vase including a special report on Felixstowe and Walton's clash with Leyton.

FA VASE FIRST ROUND

Felixstowe & Walton United 0 Leyton 5

THE Suffolk seasiders were blown away by a whirlwind start from Ryman League side Leyton and this Vase tie was effectively over after quarter-of-an-hour.

To their credit Paul Adams' Jewson League Division One side battled back well in the second half and made some good chances of their own but were unable to convert them, even missing a penalty.

Cruelly, the Londoners snatched a fifth goal for a comprehensive win.

Now Felixstowe need to concentrate on getting some league points and must also bounce back in cup competitions against the likes of Newmarket Town (tomorrow in the Suffolk Premier Cup) and Wroxham (a week later in the Jewson League Cup).

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A bright and crisp Saturday afternoon at Dellwood Avenue looked perfect for football – but it was the visitors who took the game by the scruff of the neck.

From the kick-off they were full of running and inventiveness, and took an early lead after a corner with the help of poor marking by the home defence.

Felixstowe's Aaron Wells headed it out but Leyton's George Gregoriou was in space to plant a volley firmly into the net.

Within a minute it was 2-0 as Felixstowe rocked. A free-kick 35 yards out on the left was looped in by Paul Golby, and Chris Tucker rose unchallenged to head into the net giving keeper Ross Charters no chance.

Felixstowe were 3-0 down after 10 minutes when speedy Jon Emery burst forward down the right wing and cut in to finish past Charters.

And a minute or so later Leyton were 4-0 up, and the tie effectively over, when a slick move involving Emery and Golby set up Jeff Wood for a simple tap-in.

For the home side, David Thurkettle set up Paul Berry for a shot but he put it high and wide.

Felixstowe were finding it hard to make progress but left winger Thurkettle produced some magic to get behind his full-back and cut in, only for keeper Martin Peat to smother his cross-shot. And he didn't even get the corner.

For Leyton, left winger Manny Williams was proving a real livewire and looked capable of playing at a higher level than Ryman Two.

Not only was his instant control and speed always a threat but he also won tackles against players with a considerable weight advantage.

Leyton's keeper, Peat, had to run out and kick clear as Ismail Etti looked like getting through and, after 26 minutes, Felixstowe should have pulled one back.

Etti chased down a poor back header but the keeper managed to get a toe in as he tried to round him. Etti collected it again and supplied Robbie Fuller but by then Peat was back on his line to save the shot.

After 28 minutes Fuller appeared to be body-checked in the penalty box but no offence was spotted by the referee.

By the end of the half the visitors, though more than happy with their lead, still disputed every throw-in and called for offside every time there was a long ball forward.

In the second 45 Felixstowe had the chances to reduce their deficit. Fuller got behind the defence after 65 minutes and seemed to have his ankle tapped as he shaped to shoot but nothing was given.

Then Etti was completely clear but delayed his shot and Peat plunged to save at his feet.

The home side had a great chance to score after Etti was put through by Thurkettle, showed great skill to trick his way past Thomas, but was sent clattering to the ground.

This time referee Richard Beevor pointed to the spot. Thurkettle took the spot-kick but the keeper saved with his feet and it ballooned out for a corner.

And there was more heartache for the Seasiders when a corner wasn't completely cleared and Williams was in space to tuck his shot away when fed by Lewis.

The oldest club in London were safely through to the next round and, having seen some of the better sides in the competition last year, they have all the qualities needed to win it.

Line-ups

Felixstowe and Walton United: Charters, Crump, Wells, Thompson, Bygate, Barker, Daniels, Fuller, Etti, Thurkettle: Subs used: Clarke, Andrews, Felgate.

Leyton: Peat, Peddle, Soteriou, Thomas, Tucker, Lewis, Emery, Goldby, Wood, Gregoriou, Williams. Subs used: Brooks, Fenton.

FELIXSTOWE manager Paul Adams was disappointed by his side's performance.

He said: "That is not good enough and we have got to learn, and learn quickly.

"The game was over in the first 10 minutes. They are a good side and we struggled. After that we played for pride and maybe they took their foot off the pedal.

"Either way, it was a too little, too late in terms of what we were trying to do.

"We can't give easy chances, like we did in the first half, and expect to win games.

"We have got to get back to basics. We have got to do the simple things, like keeping the ball and passing it.

"When we have the ball we must keep it and not give it away as cheaply as we did. We never had enough quality in the game.

And we have got to take our chances. We had three good chances in the first half and couldn't score, and we missed a penalty.

"The first two goals were bad ones to give away. Once it was 4-0 there was no way back. Now we have to bounce back quickly."

Felixstowe club president Dave Ashford said it was becoming more and more difficult for smaller clubs to survive at a time of falling gates. This Vase clash was watched by just 85 paying spectators.

Clacton 0 Southall Town 1

CLACTON welcomed Hellenic Premier side Southall Town to the Bowl on a glorious sunny afternoon, expecting to be in the draw for the next round. Unfortunately, it was one of those days when the Seasiders squandered too many chances.

A solitary goal from visiting captain Ross Christie was enough to upset Clacton's hopes of progression in this great competition.

From the kick off, it was just four minutes on the clock when Aren Howell was presented with a guilt-edged chance, but the striker managed to scuff his shot from 10 yards. Just 10 minutes later, a great sweeping move ended in a spectacular diving header from Sean Hillier that scraped the paint off the visitors upright.

Play swept back up the other end, and on the 14th minute, the ball was in the Seasiders goal.

A corner saw the ball bounce off three heads in the box, before the unmarked Christie steered the final header past Gould.

The 20th minute saw Burgess retire from the game with a damaged knee, which seem to place an imbalance on the shape of the team.

In the 24th minute, Paul Hillier struck a 35-yard shot leaving the keeper well beaten, but the crossbar saved his blushes and the ball bounced out to Simba, whose rocket shot was somehow saved by the visiting custodian.

It was then Sean Hillier's chance to hit the ball into the back of the net, and again with the keeper well beaten, the ball smashed against the bar and bounced down on to the line, but unfortunately, there were no strikers on hand to finish the ball off.

The 30th minute saw a rare threat from the visitors as Glynn headed against the home crossbar, before the game petered out as it approached half-time.

The second half continued with Clacton dominating proceedings, but they simply could not finish their chances. A cross from Sean Hillier saw Simba pull off one of his famous overhead scissor kicks, but the ball sailed just over the bar. Even a couple of goal mouth scrambles, could not get the ball in the Southall net.

The only threat of the second half came when a visiting striker found himself in a one on one with Gould, but the Clacton custodian spread himself wide and pulled off a great save.

The last opportunity presented itself on the 86th minute, as Simba put in a great cross, Sean Hillier managed to head wide of an open goal.

Halstead 2 Stanway 3

THERE will be no trip to Villa Park at the end of the season, as Halstead crashed out of the FA Vase to league rivals, Stanway, whom they had beaten just two weeks ago.

The visitors' success was tempered with the second-half dismissal of Jimmy Clewley, after two yellow cards, both for fouls, ironically his second dismissal at Rosemary Lane in as many games.

Halstead were without Tony English, Matt Hearn, Gary Bright, Robbie Welham and Steff Kendall, all on the injured list.

But overall it was probably a fair result, Stanway two up at the break while Halstead simply could not get going, while after the break an early reply set up an exciting second half. Although well on top, they were vulnerable to breakaways and that is how the visitors hit their clinching third. However it must be said, Halstead had their chances, but could have improved their distribution.

Stanway were first out of the blocks, showing they were certainly up for the challenge, Lloyd Pentney holding a fine first-timer from Clewley – but it was the visitors who went ahead on 14 minutes when Glen Driver fired home in a goalmouth scramble. But from the re-start Chatters missed a great chance to level when he headed weakly and allowed Dave Schultz to save comfortably.

Play flowed back and forth with Stanway showing more guile and taking advantage after half an hour, Richard Sestack losing possession to Clewley who set up Martin Curtis to tap home at the far post.

Exchanges began to warm up and Mitchell Springett, who conducted the Stanway proceedings well from midfield, was booked for a challenge on Adrian Owers. The latter suffered other rough treatment and was eventually replaced by Carl Metson, early in the second half.

Halstead certainly put a new complexion on the game when they reduced the arrears in the first minute of the second period, a clever dribble by Grant Strong paved the way for Pete Johnston to open his account for the club.

With the lively Metson joining the nippy Chatters up front, Halstead began to make inroads on the Stanway goal, then on the hour Clewley saw red after two fouls on Matt Chinnery and Gary Harvey.

The injury bug struck again on 75 minutes, with Owers already departed Chinnery then hobbled off for Terry Knight to take over, but when Halstead failed to take advantage of a corner, the ball was cleared and picked up by Driver to run through unchallenged for the third goal.

And although Chatters immediately replied to keep the pot boiling with eight minutes left, former Halstead defender Richard Schultz rallied his colleagues to see his side through to the next round.

Maldon 2 Harefield United 0

SOUTH Midland Leaguers Harefield United were dealt an early blow from which they never really recovered, and for Maldon it was passage into the second round with a well-deserved win.

For the first real time this season the Maldon players gelled as a complete team instead of a mixture of talented individuals producing a workmanlike performance to dominate the play for long periods.

Harefield must take credit for not dropping their heads and throughout strived to keep in the game, but in the end it was Maldon's class which told.

As early as the opening minute saw Maldon strike a deadly blow, from a free-kick at 30 yards out on the left. Robbie Reinelt sent in a great shot low and hard, which keeper Shaker Nougall could only help on the way into the back of the Harefield net.

The visitors put some good moves together and despite Goodacre clearing off the line never really found a way past the resolute Maldon defence. With the game only 21 minutes old it was sewn up for Maldon when Craig Hutley squared the ball across for a second class goal of the match, Reinelt again hit a shot from the 18-yard line this time into the roof of the net.

The home side might have been further ahead right on half-time . Harefield's Barry Dunn sent a poor back pass, which was intercepted by Neil Docking but the striker sent his shot inches wide with the keeper coming towards him.

In the early stages of the second half the visitors had two players booked as frustration and tension crept into their play. As Maldon took control Josh Leeke and Hutley were both unlucky with good efforts.

In the 66th minute Maldon had the ball in the net for a third time, Docking hooking in what looked to be a perfectly good goal, but it was disallowed on a linesman's flag with Mark Adams adjudged to have carried the ball over the byline before crossing.

Nine minutes from time Reinelt's cross was just inches away from the outstretched boot of Dave Streetley, the last real incident of the match as Maldon coasted home to victory.

Lowestoft Town 5 Ipswich Wanderers 1

ALTHOUGH Lowestoft reached the next round of the F A Vase the game was much closer than the scoreline suggests.

It was the visitors who threatened first with Baker sending a curling shot just wide of the post.

However the Blues slick attacking play saw them move ahead in the eighth minute with their first threatening move. Cambridge and McGee combined down the right. Cambridge's cross was flicked on by Godbold for King to sweep home from the edge of the six-yard box.

Play became bogged down in midfield with nether side creating any openings until Lowestoft moved two up in the 33rd minute.

Ipswich appeared to have broken up a Lowestoft attack when Stokeld played the ball forward, McGee let the ball run and Head nipped in to chip the ball over the advancing Stannard.

Ipswich started the second period strongly and pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute.

A cross from the right by Downes was headed back into the centre by Harewood to Hehir, who swivelled to shoot home from six yards.

Ipswich threatened for a period but their resistance was broken when Lowestoft netted a third in the 61st minute. A quick break down the left ended with King's shot being blocked, only for Poppy to race in and shoot home from 10 yards.

With this goal Lowestoft took a grip on the game and they added two more goals in the final 10 minutes.

Firstly Head tapped a free-kick square to Stokeld who shot home from 25 yards, the ball taking a deflection off a defender.

In the final minute Thompson fed the ball to Godbold whose delightful throughball split the Wanderers defence for King to run through and pick his spot past the exposed Stannard.

Haverhill 0 Soham Town 3

SOHAM continued their fine away form to overcome their First Division

opponents with a convincing win.

Rutter gave them the lead in the seventh minute, taking advantage of a static defence to get ahead of Catten and fire the ball in at the near post.

The Soham midfielder scored his and Soham's second three minutes into first half injury time, firing a deep cross from the left across goalkeeper Walton and into the far bottom corner. The third goal came on the hour mark, the home defence again in a state of confusion as Bugg headed into the empty goal from close range to send Soham into the second round.

Ware 3 Needham Market 0

OVERALL Ware deserved to move into the next round, but Needham Market can reflect back and think that if they had taken one of the chances they created, especially when one behind, it could have been so different.

After an even opening half an hour in which Kevin Holland had made two good saves for the visitors, Lee Briggs and Marc Wake had half chances saved.

It was the home team that finished the half the stronger, and Dean Folkard was turned by Ware striker Field, who went on and then shot home past a wrong-footed Holland just before the break to give Ware the lead.

After the break Needham Market took the initiative and Lee Briggs had two efforts saved by Robinson, when on another day he would have finished easily with at least one of the two efforts.

Then Needham had to regroup when Folkard hobbled off, Graham Pooley was unlucky to concede a free-kick for handball and from Hunt's kick striker Edmonds was on the end in a crowded area to deflect the ball home to double the home team's lead. As Needham faded the impressive Field then added a third to put the game beyond Needham's reach and take Ware safely into the next round.

Burnham Ramblers 1 Bury 4

AFTER a closely-contested first half, Bury slipped into top gear after the interval and powered their way to a comfortable victory over their Essex opponents.

The visiting defence had to be alert from the outset with Pankhurst and Beale making strong runs down the left flank. But after 23 minutes Harrison gave Bury the confidence boost they needed, heading home at the near post after a good link-up between Denniss and Tatham.

Unfortunately, 10 minutes later, Bury were punished when they failed to clear their lines and the powerful Beale was on hand to drive home the loose ball for the equaliser.

The pacey Harrison continued to cause problems for the home defence after the break.

After 52 minutes Collins was impeded on the edge of the box. Keeper Bench could not hang on to North's curling free-kick and Tatham drove in the rebound to restore Bury's lead.

After 75 minutes, McCarthy's frustration brought about his dismissal for a second bookable offence after bringing Harrison down outside the box, and the youngster gave the perfect response by crashing the free-kick into the top corner. There was no denying Bury now and with two minutes left North released Tatham, who chipped over the advancing Bench.

With the game safe, Wilkins released the youthful Sim, Kent and Proctor off the bench and Bury played out the session in style, delighting their followers with some lovely one-touch football.

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