Premier Cup SF Felixstowe & Walton Utd Leiston March 2024 1

Seasiders KO Leiston to book final place

FELIXSTOWE & Walton United manager ‘over the moon’ after reaching Suffolk Premier Cup Final.

FELIXSTOWE & Walton United manager Stuart Boardley was ‘over the moon’ after seeing his side reach this season’s Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Final.

The Seasiders came from behind to defeat Leiston 2-1 in their delayed semi-final at Humber Doucy Lane, home of Ipswich Wanderers FC, on Tuesday evening.

The Blues had taken a first-half lead through Jamar Loza, but their opponents, who play a level lower on the Non League pyramid, hit back with second-half goals from Leon Ottley-Gooch and Callum Harrison.

Leiston had Ross Crane sent off after 84 minutes after receiving a second yellow card for reacting to a heavy challenge from Stuart Ainsley by pushing him over.

Ainsley was booked for the foul - one of eight players to have their names taken by referee Callum Walchester.

Felixstowe & Walton United will now face Needham Market in the final on a date and at a venue to be confirmed.

Loza, who had earlier dragged a shot wide, put the Southern League Premier Central side ahead after 39 minutes, heading home from Crane’s right-wing cross.

Premier Cup SF Felixstowe & Walton Utd Leiston March 2024 2

Leiston striker Jamar Loza (blue shirt, No.11) heads his side in front against Felixstowe & Walton United after 39 minutes. Main photograph: Leon Ottley-Gooch volleys home the equaliser for the Seasiders. Photographs: Paul Voller

Leiston had a couple of chances to extend their advantage early in the second period, skipper Seb Dunbar shooting just wide of the far post and Adam-Bailey Dennis heading over in the 52nd minute.

The Isthmian North promotion-chasers were level within a minute, former Leiston player Ottley-Gooch volleying home Henry Barley’s right-wing cross.

Josh Blunkell saved at close range from Loza three minutes later and that was the closest Leiston came to a goal either side of Harrison coolly finishing past Sam Donkin in the 69th minute after being played in by Barley.

With no further scoring it meant that Felixstowe & Walton United advanced to their first final since losing 3-2 to Leiston at Portman Road in the 2018-19 season, while condemning Leiston to a second successive semi-final loss.

Premier Cup SF Felixstowe & Walton Utd Leiston March 2024 3

Callum Harrison (red shirt) shoots beyond Leiston keeper Sam Donkin to score the winning goal for Felixstowe & Walton United in Tuesday's semi-final. Photograph: Paul Voller

Boardley, who is a former Leiston player and manager, said: “I am absolutely over the moon. The effort from one-to-eleven, particularly in the dying embers of the second-half, was incredible.

“We have had a really disappointing weekend against Lowestoft and that took a lot out of us physically and we were missing five, six, seven players tonight - and big players for us as well, so the eleven that went out there tonight gave me absolutely everything and I couldn’t be prouder of them.

“We said at half-time we were well in the game. It was a poor goal to concede from our point of view, but I think 1-0 at half-time was a fair reflection of the first-half.

“I thought they were the better side and had more possession and more possession in good areas, so we couldn’t begrudge them that lead, so I just asked us at half-time to be more positive when we got the ball and the togetherness in the second-half was what led us to the victory.

“They battled hard, they won second balls and then had that little bit of quality that we pointed out at half time we were missing to be able to convert those chances.”

Premier Cup SF Felixstowe & Walton Utd Leiston March 2024 4

Leiston's Ross Crane (blue shirt) is about to be sent off after pushing over Felixstowe & Walton United defender Stuart Ainsley. Photograph: Paul Voller

Looking ahead to the final against Needham Market, Boardley said: “We want to test ourselves against the best and there are no bones about it they are the best in Suffolk because they have proven that this year.

“They are bang up the top of that league and deservedly so and we really want to test our wits against the best of them and that is what we will come up against in the final.”


The Teams

Felixstowe & Walton Utd: Josh Blunkell, Callum Bennett, Stuart Ainsley, Josh Hitter, Leon Ottley-Gooch, Joe Whight, Zac Brown, Henry Barley, Josh Mayhew, Callum Harrison, Andre Hassanally. Unused subs: Kubi Kussan, Noel Aitkens, Archie Dunne, Ivan Costa, Zac Tuvey.

Leiston: Sam Donkin, Chris Casement (sub Cameron Rayworth, 82 mins), Seb Dunbar, Adam Bailey-Dennis, Eddie Jackson, Ryan Jarvis (sub Joe Marsden, 76 mins), Albie Armin, George Quantrell (sub Jack Manly, 80 mins), Jamar Loza, Ashley Boatswain, Ross Crane. Unused subs: Zach Dronfield, Ollie Saunders.

Referee: Callum Walchester.

Attendance: 411.

Related News

View All