Visitors' comeback denies Jammers - Maldon rues missed chances and Felixstowe's Hitter grabs two goals

By Lee Witney

19th Feb 2023 | Football

Maldon players celebrate Mike Finneran's goal.
Maldon players celebrate Mike Finneran's goal.

Maldon & Tiptree 1, Felixstowe & Walton United 2

A second half comeback from Felixstowe & Walton United condemned Maldon & Tiptree to a second defeat this week in an Isthmian North fixture between two sides who'd be decent scores in scrabble.

The Jammers, who were looking to bounce back from a late defeat against high-flying Hashtag United on Monday night, made two changes from that game as Joe Turpin returned to the centre of defence in place of Peter Mokwenye in a move that saw Chris Gregan move to left back and there was a start for Ronnie Bates in place of captain Scott Kemp, whose departure was announced on Friday evening.

The match took a while to really get going, but on 15 minutes, Harry Phillips nearly caught Felixstowe keeper Callum Robinson out with a wind assisted shot from the right by line. Robinson just about managed to punch the ball clear before the referee blew for a foul on him.

Five minutes later and it was Maldon who benefitted from the referee's whistle as Oliver Canfer saw what he thought was the opening goal chalked off for a foul on Jammers keeper, Tommy Dixon-Hodge.

A few minutes later, great pressing play from Maldon's Harry Phillips forced a corner that nearly led to the opener for the hosts. The corner found Danny Nesbitt free at the back post, but his half volley whistled over the bar.

Barely two minutes later and it was Felixstowe's turn to miss a glorious chance when Josh Hitter beat the offside trap and raced away. Faced with an onrushing Dixon-Hodge, he somehow hit the outside of the post and the Jammers survived.

At the other end, Phillips latched onto a loose back pass, but his shot with the outside of his right foot hit the base of the post and though it bounced only a few yards out no Jammers player was there for the tap in.

Just after the half hour mark and Maldon took the lead. The ever-tricky Phillips was fouled just inside the Felixstowe half The resulting freekick was put across towards Danny Nesbitt who, in turn, headed back across the face of goal to find an incoming Mike Finneran who had the simple task of heading home from a couple of yards out to put the Jammers 1-0.

Straight from kick-off and it was nearly 1-1 when Zak Brown beat the offside trap, but could only fire into the side netting with Nesbitt chasing hard to pressure him.

Battling performance (Photo: Stefan Peck)

Halftime came and like Monday, the Jammers were 1-0 ahead and looking fairly comfortable although the two Felixstowe breaches of the offside trap will have been fair warning.

Felixstowe started the second half much better and were rewarded on the hour mark when Canfer crossed in from the right-hand side for Hitter to tap home at the back post.

Eight minutes later and the visitors completed the turnaround. Again, it was Hitter at the back post to put the Seasiders ahead.

Felixstowe now had a real stranglehold on the game and Maldon couldn't get anything going in a creative sense as they searched for an equaliser.

That nearly changed with 10 minutes left when Ronnie Bates broke from the the half way line and ran in on the Felixstowe goal. His one on one shot forced Robinson into a fine save. The save then fell at the feet of  Toib Adeyemi who showed all the finishing skills of a centre half to blaze his shot over from about 10 yards.

Prior to that counter, a dampener was put on the afternoon with George Clarke stricken on the edge of the box with what looked to be a serious injury. Everyone at Maldon & Tiptree wishes him a speedy recovery.

The game petered out into the Essex Riviera afternoon as Maldon were again made to rue missed chances for the 2nd time in the space of a week. They had again put up a decent fight against a high flying team but had again come up just short, losing by the same score of 2-1.

Maldon remain in 13th place, seven points clear of the bottom four.

Next up is the first of two huge games starting with a trip to Basildon United on Tuesday night and then another away day to Gt Wakering Rovers at 2pm KO on Saturday, 25 February.


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