Planters go nap, with Claydon hitting four
Felixstowe & Walton United 1, Norwich United 5
Andrew Claydon single-handedly destroyed his former club with four goals and an assist as Norwich United secured the three points.
He added to his first-half hat-trick shortly after the break and then laid on the fifth for Tom Jeal after the Seasiders had been reduced to ten men, former Planter Ben Garnham being dismissed for a second yellow card.
Claydon was modest after the game, saying: “Everything came off today, but the boys were tremendous. We all played really well today”.
Claydon opened the scoring in the sixth minute, controlling Lee Hunter’s chip from the right he turned and outmuscled his marker before shooting home from an acute angle.
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Felixstowe were causing problems for the visiting defence and Jordan Matthews fired over the bar from a shot on the turn.
The Seasiders drew level half way through the first half Craig Payne was able to turn in the area and despite Ben Nower getting a hand to the shot the ball crept over the line.
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Despite a good spell from the home side they didn’t cause the Planters defence any problems and it was the Planters who regained the lead after 34 minutes.
A good ball down the left wing from Andy Key forced the home side to concede a corner and from Hunter’s flag kick Claydon rose head and shoulders above the home defence to head home from close range.
Five minutes later and the Planters had a two goal cushion as David Cory played a lovely through ball for Claydon to run onto, take into the area and calmly hit home to complete his first hat-trick in Planters colours.
The home side were clearly knocked back by Claydon’s haul and Allicion Blake was lucky to stay on the pitch after his use of the elbow on Carl Poppy two minutes before the break, but the referee, J Steel, only showed a yellow card.
Blake went close five minutes after the break, collecting a good pass he fired over Nower’s bar.
Claydon increased the Planters lead ten minutes after the restart, Hunter won the ball deep in his own half, took the ball to the halfway line before playing it into Claydon whose first touch took him away from his marker and again he took the ball into the area before netting his fourth.
Claydon could have had a fifth when he headed Hunter’s cross to the far post narrowly wide. It was all the Planters now and Hunter saw his shot held by Seasiders keeper Dan Heath and Jeal fired wide from Claydon’s lay-off.
Garnham’s foul on Hunter justifiably produced a yellow which added to an unfortunate booking six minutes earlier saw the ex Planter dismissed somewhat unfortunately.
The Planters took full advantage two minutes later when Claydon laid the ball off to Jeal who drilled home from just outside the area.
Ross King brought another save out of Heath, but it was Nower who produced the last save of the game when a cross from the right caught on the wind and he had to tip over for a late corner.
Felixstowe & Walton United: Heath, Sheppard, Ryland, Garnham, Cook, Agricole (Snell 64), Denniss (Rea 75), Blake, Payne (Andrade 64), Matthews, Hampson. Unused subs: Smythe, McCullum.
Norwich United: Nower, Shipley, Key, Lovelock (Coe 46), Preston, Jeal, Hunter, Poppy (Bennett 82), Claydon, Cory (Harvey-Cooper 69), King.
Referee: J Steel. Assistants: R Chapman & D Haynes.