WITHAM Town suffered an undeserved 1-0 defeat at promotion-chasing Felixstowe and Walton United in a close encounter, writes JIM PURTILL.

The Pitching In Isthmian League division north contest was spoiled by a chaotic final half hour that included two red cards and a flurry of yellows.

Witham began strongly and Josh Osude should have scored after two minutes but he failed to beat Felixstowe goalkeeper Joshua Blunkell from close range.

A good shot from the left by Witham’s Freddie King just missed the far post minutes later while at the other end, Harry Fairs saved well from Felixstowe’s Henry Barley.

King and Archie McFadden excelled in midfield with their energy and assertiveness.

The visitors were solid at the back and Rowan Dorling shone in an unaccustomed position in front of the central defence.

Deese Kasinga-Madia forced a corner on the left and Osude looked dangerous on the right whenever he was on the ball.

Felixstowe’s one good chance of the first half arrived in the 37th minute when Fairs brilliantly saved a shot by Barley from the right.

Four minutes later, Ryan Dear shot wide for Witham and Osude's cross almost found Khris Oti, in front of goal.

It was an excellent first 45 minutes for Witham and they started the second half positively.

Oti almost scored just after the restart when he chased a long ball down the right flank, while Barley was Felixstowe's danger man and forced Fairs into a good save at the near post.

The match changed suddenly and dramatically in the 65th minute when Dear was shown a red card for headbutting an opponent as the ball went out of play.

King was shown a yellow card for his part in the subsequent melee together with Felixstowe's Noel Aitkens and Lamell Howell.

Aitkens left the field six minutes later after receiving a second yellow card, while Witham's Joseph Alatise was next to go in the referee’s book.

King should have hit the target after 79 minutes when he shot over while McFadden shot wide just afterwards and Felixstowe’s Leon Ottley-Gooch received a yellow card.

Witham fell behind when substitute Zac Brown scored for Felixstowe against the run of play in the 84th minute.

The visitors launched a series of attacks and Brown was booked for a foul three minutes after his goal.

The drama continued and in the Felixstowe penalty area, Ottley-Gooch and Witham’s Luke Ige jumped for a high ball.

Ottley-Gooch knocked Ige into goalkeeper Blunkell and both players received head injuries.

Blunkell had to leave the pitch with concussion and his place in goal was taken by an outfield player and Felixstowe were reduced to nine men, as they had used all three substitutes.

King shot wide with time almost up but Witham failed to equalise.

Nobody including the officials will look back on the final half hour with any pleasure but Witham can consider themselves unlucky to lose.