A SPIRITED second-half performance helped Witham Town beat high-flying Felixstowe & Walton United 3-2 at the Simarco Stadium in a result that defied the Pitching In Isthmian League division north form book, writes JIM PURTILL.

After taking a fourth-minute lead though Callum Harrison, second-placed Felixstowe had dominated the first half and had several chances to increase their lead.

An away victory looked likely but Felixstowe were stunned by a forceful Witham revival in the second period.

It was an extraordinary turn of events, as Witham grasped the initiative and proved too strong for their promotion-chasing opponents.

The outcome gave Witham their first league home win and shattered Felixstowe’s unbeaten away record.

The first chance of the match resulted in Felixstowe taking the lead when Harrison’s left-foot shot found the far corner of the net.

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After 13 minutes Harrison went very close to scoring again as he shot just wide of the post.

He was proving a menace for the Witham defence as goalkeeper Amarildo Cekrezi had to foil him again minutes later.

The visitors established control of the midfield and most of their attacks stemmed from passes by Billy Holland and Noel Aitkens which tested the Witham defence on both flanks.

For the first half hour Witham were effectively camped in their own half as they were forced to deal with repeated Felixstowe attacks.

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Witham found little respite from the pressure. Arnold Mengi's shot in the 25th minute was the hosts’ best effort up to that point but it was comfortably saved by Callum Robinson in goal.

Two minutes later a very good Felixstowe chance went begging when Josh Hitter rushed his shot and missed the target badly.

Several robust challenges went unpunished by the referee and the game became a feisty affair after half an hour following a heavy tackle on Witham’s Josh Osude.

Felixstowe seemed to lose their composure as the match became a more physical encounter and Witham asserted themselves in midfield.

Freddie King showed his quality and aggression for the hosts and the energetic probing of Darius Ghinea helped to bring Jeffrey Cobblah and Osude into the match.

Witham had found it hard to attack with conviction in the first half but they took the game to the opposition from the start of the second period.

The midfield played further forward and linked up more effectively with Osude and Cobblah.

King and Ghinea were more prominent and Witham’s attacks carried more menace. Osude equalised in the 56th minute and the pattern of the match changed.

Substitute Luke Ige in an unaccustomed attacking position harried the Felixstowe defence and Witham showed an attacking resolve that forced the visitors onto the back foot.

Ghinea put Witham ahead after 65 minutes and the match became a pulsating contest as both sides went in search of more goals.

Holland and Aitkens wasted good chances for the visitors within three minutes of the goal and Harrison levelled with an excellent shot in the 69th minute.

The action came thick and fast with Osude, Ghinea and Cobblah causing problems for the Felixstowe defence but it was King who struck the winner for Witham with a superb shot from distance after 85 minutes.

Felixstowe fought back with determination and put the Witham defence under pressure in the 11 minutes of added time.

Harrison missed a good chance to equalise and a great save by Cekrezi prevented a certain goal to secure a very commendable victory for Witham.