Last-gasp goal blow for Planters
Felixstowe 2, Norwich United 1The Planters were denied a well-deserved point at Dellwood Avenue when Felixstowe substitute Matt McKenzie netted a cruel 95th minute winner for the home side.
Felixstowe 2, Norwich United 1
The Planters were denied a well-deserved point at Dellwood Avenue when Felixstowe substitute Matt McKenzie netted a cruel 95th minute winner for the home side.
Earlier Duane Wright had given the hosts a seventh minute lead with Jordan Blyth pulling the Planters level after 24 minutes.
The Planters recalled Steve Shipley into the side and their was a debut for Danny Tacon recently signed from Kirkley & Pakefield, Jamie Wilson and Paul Atkins dropped down to the bench.
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The Planters started well and a lovely through ball from Tom Jeal put Matty Robinson away but the ball ran away from him down the slope.
Felixstowe took the lead somewhat against the run of play from a quick break down the right Adam Hampson's cross eluded the Planters defensive efforts and Wright had time to turn and fire home from 10 yards.
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The Planters were not shaken by the goal and continued to have the upper hand and Robinson headed narrowly over from Jeal's cross.
The Planters grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 24th minute with a lovely move down the left, Robinson fed Ben Furlong down the left wing and the full-back took the ball to the byline before crossing to the near post where Blyth coolly guided the ball across Felixstowe keeper James Waters and inside the far post.
Felixstowe came back strongly towards the end of the half, ex-Planter Gavin Frost seeing his shot deflected over the bar and another ex-Planter Keith Hetherington saw his near-post flick header fly across the face of goal before being cleared by Andrew Claydon.
The home side were piling on the pressure and a series of corners ended with Darren Coe having to head clear from close to the goalline. The Planters were relieved to go in at the break all square when, with the last kick of the first half, Bradley Barber's free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Ben Nower.
The Planters looked much stronger after the break and Blyth had an excellent chance to give them the lead after 56 minutes, Claydon did well to win the ball and squared to Blyth, he stepped inside one challenge before shooting, only to see the keeper touch it wide of the post.
The half saw few real clear cut chances but the Planters saw the greater share of possession and the better of the chances that came and Robinson cut inside well but shot wide and Blyth saw his header go straight to Waters.
As the game entered the final stages Lee Hunter let fly from 30 yards and saw Waters struggle to bundle the ball wide.
The Planters were to suffer heartache deep into injury time, with 95 minutes on the clock Nower came out of his area to head clear of an incoming forward only for the ball to fall to home team substitute McKenzie who hit the ball goalward from 45 yards and, to United's dismay, the ball dipped just under the bar to take the points.
Manager Paul Chick said after the game: “I thought that was very hard on the team, if we'd have been at the top of the league on a good run that shot would have sailed over. Full credit to the boys though they competed well and deserved at least a draw, and Danny Tacon came in and had a very good game at the back.”
Felixstowe & Walton United: Waters, Saker, Wake, Frost, Calver, Driver, Barber, Wright, Hetherington (Tawell 96), Hampson (Bloomfield 71), Read (McKenzie 78).
Norwich United: Nower, Squires, Furlong, Tacon, Coe (Wilson 68), Shipley, Hunter, Jeal, Claydon, Robinson, Blyth. Unused subs: Atkins, McCabe, Pauling.