|PLAYERS||POSITION||RATING (/10)||POINTS||Total points||OVERVIEW VS HAVERHILL BOROUGH (16th July 16)|
|PACEY||GK||Clean sheet. Not much to do but was ready when called upon|
|GRINDROD||DEF||A confidence performance, great coming forward, worked very hard|
|MOODY||DEF||A great performance and remained calm throughout|
|SOLKHON||DEF||A good performance, worked hard and made it difficult for haverhill to attack|
|BELL||DEF||A good performance, made some good runs, looked threatening|
|SNELLING||MID||Worked very hard, created chances and back to full fitness|
|DRANE||MID||A good performace, looked in control. I was hoping to see Drane take a free kick|
|ABBOTT||MID||STARMAN - Brilliant performance which was capped off with a great penalty|
|CRANE||FWD||Looked sharp and full of pace. A handfull for the defence. Great goal|
|CALVER||FWD||Worked very hard and Haverhill counted control him. Great goal from distance|
|DEWEY||DEF||Only given 10 minutes but looked good. Not much chance to prove himself|
|KITCHENER||DEF||Very strong in the air and not afraid to come forward. Great potential signing|
|NOBLE||MID||Made some good tackles, but not given much time. Fairly quite day|
|MURPHY||MID||Worked hard and looked strong. Always a threat going forward|
|How to score|
|Clean sheet (GK/DEF)|
|Clean sheet (MID)|
|Conceed more the 1 goal||Per goal|
|7 or more player rating|
Tuesday, 19 July 2016
Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Saffron Walden 2 – Mildenhall Town 1
6th Feb 2016
The last time these two sides met, Mildenhall came away with a narrow 1-0 win. I remember the match well as it rained most of the evening in the middle of August. This time it was at windy Walden! Hurricane Harry (or whoever) was doing his bit. Could the Bloods make it three wins in a row at the Meadow?
I arrived at the ground just before kick-off and presented Spike Bell with his certificate and voucher, for winning Player of the Month for January. It was a great achievement for the loyal Bloods player, who had been with Walden more than a decade. Thoroughly deserved, after some back to back brilliant performances!
Croll, P Abbot (Pabbo), Grindrod (Viking), Noble (Nobby), Fleming (Rhino), Wardley (Sticko), Calver (Captain Wig), M Abbot (Mabbo), Bell, Thomas (Zinedine), Harper. Subs: Murphy (Boss), Andrews, Soutar (GK) and new Blood: Pacey (GK)
Welcome to Walden Lee Pacey.
The First Half
The first 10 minutes was a mix of Pope complaining at the referee, and both teams trying to keep the ball! Sorry but it wasn’t the most exciting starts I have seen. It was tough out there, with the wind and both teams struggled to play at pace.
17 minutes into the match, and Super Floyd made a brilliant save. It was great link up play between Yeoman, as he crossed the ball to Cooper. Coopers’sstrike looked certain to beat any keeper, but Croll, isn’t just ‘Any Keeper’, and saved Cooper’s effort. Sticko did well to clear the rebound out of the box.
20 minutes into the match, and it was hand bags at dawn. Yeoman made a late challenge on Viking, which caused a bit of a face off. The referee had no choice but to produce the yellow card and book Yoeman. He was lucky to stay on the pitch.
Mildenhall were first to get on the score sheet, after the Viking accidently tripped the Mildenhall forward in the penalty area. It looked quite soft to me, but apparently it was an accidental trip. Yeoman took the penalty and went for power. Croll dived the right way, but it went slightly over Croll and into the back of the net.
At the time the fans were asking about the cricket score. I asked where England was playing. Nigel reacted as if I asked him what colour the sky was! I then told him I was too young to watch cricket. The fans replied with a lot of ‘oooohhhs’ and laughs. Round 1 to Scripps!
40 minutes in and the dangerous Enaro broke well from a Bloods throw. He played a through ball to Brown, who was running up the wing. Pabbo reacted quickly and slid in to clear the danger.
Our last effort came from a great run into the box by Zinedine, but the ball was scooped clear from the Mildenhall’s penalty spot.
HT Saffron Walden 0 – Mildenhall Town 1
I must admit, I really was not feeling it today. Sounds negative, but I think it was the rushing to make it for kick off and not having time to settle. I even had a beer and a portion of chips, which were badly needed.
The Second Half
So after a bit of a moan, I told myself that it was only 1-0 and we can do this. So, with my new found confidence I got behind the goal, and cheered the boys on.
2 minutes into the game and Wig won us a free kick for the Viking to take. This was after a great run by Bell. Viking delivered the ball to the back post, which only just missed Rhino. It was a great effort and what the fans wanted to see from there team. The Bloods started to ask questions of the Mildenhall defenders.
As I listened back to my recording, all I could hear was the wind. It was very tough conditions and any ball in the air was difficult to manage.
Sticko was up to his usual tricks again and went ghosting into the box. He managed to get his head to a great cross from Bell, but his effort went over the bar. The Bloods were certainly knocking on the door.
61 minutes into the match, and Harper was replaced by Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy.
66 minutes into the match and Mildenhall won a corner. It was starting to get cold, and the wind was getting more aggressive. Cooper took the corner and went short to Asensi. Asensi tried to set Simpson. Simpson couldnot shoot so passed it to Cooper but Bell blocked Coopers’s effort and Rhino cleared the danger.
72 minutes into the match, and all that hard work paid off after Zinedine was fouled by Butcher in the box, after getting goal side chasing a through ball. The home fans were chanting ‘Off Off!’ as Zinedine was the last man and Butcher was already on a yellow – rules are rules. The referee awarded the Bloods a penalty and sent Butcher off for an early shower. Mabbo stepped up and after about the 3rd attempt of keeping the ball still on the spot, he sent Pope the wrong way and calmly slotted the ball into the right hand corner. It was 1-1 and plenty to cheer about.
82 minutes into the match, and the Viking had struck the back of the net with a brilliant goal. He made a 50 yard charge at the defence, passed the ball to Zinedine who flicked it over the defence onto the charging head of the Viking, and he flicked it into the back on the net. It was magical and a goal that Vardy would have been proud off.
Forget Hurricane Harry! We had Hurricane Grindrod! – Now that’s a headline!
Walden played the next 5 minutes with confidence and pushed for a third goal. As the minutes ticked down, Wig and Zinedine worked hard keeping the ball in the corner flag. The Mildenhall players were getting frustrated as they struggles to get the ball back. We shouted at the referee to blow the whistle with every Walden pass.
The final whistle went and we had beaten 5thplace Mildenhall. What a brilliant second half performance and the boys never gave up.
FT: Saffron Walden 2 – Mildenhall Town 1
Fans Man of the Match went to Dan Grindrod
Thetford Town 0 Saffron Walden 1
13th February 2016
Walden had worked very hard to get away from the relegation zone, and a win today would have helpedcement there place in the Premier league. Thetford however were struggling and needed the points. That had just beaten Newmarket 5-3, so confidence would have been high.
The team had a few regulars missing including the Abbot Brothers. Pabbo (Paul Abbot) was getting married, so I would like to congratulate Paul and his wife Sarah. I hope you had a great day Mr and Mrs Pabbo.
We were also missing Rhino and Viking (Fleming and Grindrod), so Sticko and Andrews formed an experienced partnership at the back.
Sticko also gave new signing Lee Pacey his debut in goal, and gave Jack Young a place on the bench.
TEAM; Lee Pacey, Spike Bell, Jamie Solkhon(Rocky), Jake Noble (Nobby), Neil Andrews, Stuart Wardley (Sticko), Craig Calver (Wig), Joe Murphy (Boss), Graeme Turner (G Man), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper. Substitutes (not used); Charlie Dicker, Jake Thompson, Jack Young.
The First Half
Walden started the match instantly trying to pin Thetford back. Bell fed G Man a great through ball as he was charging up the wing. G Man tried to get a cross in, but it was well defended for a Walden throw on. Unfortunately the throw was wasted and no chance was created
G Man had the first shot on goal, after he ran onto a lovely flick from Wig. We thought G Man was going to blast it first time with his left foot, but he decided to control the ball and shoot. The defenders block took the power out of the shot, and was then collected by Barker.
11 minutes into the match, and Pacey was called into action. Priddle had a great opportunity to open the scoring, but Pacey came off his line quickly and saved the shot at the feet of Priddle. This gave Thetford confidence to push on, but Pacey made another few good saves to deny an opening goal for the home side.
17 minutes into the match, and Harper sent Zindine on a run with a lovely ball. Zinedine did very well to stay on his feet as the Thetford defence surrounded him. He managed to get a shot in, but it went wide of the post. We laughed as the ball would have hit me in the face, had it not been for the pole in front of me which pins back the net.
Thetford delivered a nice cross into the Bloods box, but Rocky managed to get back, and scoop the ball away for a corner. Cusack took the corner, but the referee blew for a foul in the box and awarded a free kick for Pacey to take.
G Man was looking more and more dangerous as he frustrated Thetford’s left back. He beat his man in the box, and went for a low cross, but the defender slid in and deflected the ball for a Bloods corner. Harper’s corner was headed out of the area, but only as far as Bell, Bell tried to float the ball into Rocky’s run at the back post, but Barker got to the ball first.
G Man and Bell continued to dominate the right hand side of the pitch, by linking up very well. G Man won another corner for the Bloods. Harper’s corner went over the defence, and found Wig. Wig used his quick feet and crossed the ball back into the 6 yard box, but it was cleared for another Walden corner. Harper must have worked up a sweat by running for one corner to the other. You could tell that Thetford were getting concerned, as Barker was demanding his players to listen to his instructions. This time the referee called for a foul on the Thetford player, and the danger was momentarily over.
37 minutes into the match/blog, and I am announced a ‘Rant Alert!’ Bell timed a brilliant ball which met Wigs run perfectly, but the linesman called it for off side. It was clearly on side. The frustrating thing was that the lino didn’t make a decision until he was influenced by the call from the Thetford defence. I know everyone does it, but the lino clearly didn’t know what to do. I watched MOTD2 on Sunday night and Mark Chapman was talking about how official’s decisions, can be made on a player’s reaction. How ironic!
HT: Thetford 0 – Saffron Walden 0
The Second Half
Walden started the 2nd half with confidence, and looked confident with each pass. The long ball was used a lot in the first half, so the tactics had changed.
49 minutes into the match, and Walden were awarded a penalty after Foster’s hand prevented a goal scoring opportunity. The Boss took the penalty, but Barker guessed the right way and made a good save. Zinedine latched onto the rebound, which forced an even better save from Barker. G Man tried to steer a high ball into the net but his effort went over the bar.
The Boss was not shaken after his miss and brought the ball out of the Walden box. He timed his pass perfect for Wig, but Wig was penalised for a block on the Thetford’s right back.
Bells perseverance and work rate was inspiring, as he charged at the Thetford defence and won the ball back. He crossed the ball to Wig who tried to weave his way through, but his shot was straight at Barker.
71 minutes into the match, and G Man put ball through Barker’s legs and into the back of the net. This was down to some brilliant footwork from Zinedine. Zinedine was fouled but, managed to slip the ball to G Man who calmly struck the ball to make in 1-0 to Walden.
Immediately after the goal, Rocky was heading back to his own half and had a sudden attack of Tourette’s at a Thetford player, and was sent off by the referee after he consulted his linesman. That was a crazy sending off. This happened every few minutes on the pitch, but there we go. You could tell the referee was being assessed. Pearson took the free kick but it was straight at Pacey. Walden had to change formation and Zinedine covered the left back position.
The lads didn’t show any panic from being down to 10 men. We continued to push for a second to try and kill the game off. Wig travelled with the ball into the box, and tried to curl the ball into Barker’s top left corner, but it was too high and didn’t force a save.
Theford pushed for an equaliser with a great opportunity from a break, but G Man got back, slid in and blocked the cross, which awarded Thetford a corner. The corner was played short and then pinged into the box, but G Man headed the ball away.
The mighty Bloods held on until the final whistle to bring back all 3 points. It was a great battle and I really enjoyed it. The lads dug in and played like a team.
Fans Man of the Match went to Graeme Turner
Saffron Walden 3 – Gorleston 2
20th Feb 2016
I was really looking forward to the match and welcoming the Green Army to the Meadow. We played Gorleston, just before Christmas and lost 3-0 with two sending offs. The staff and supporters are great at Gorleston and were very welcoming, so I hope they felt as welcome as us fans felt when we visited them.
Once in the ground I bought a programme and saw that they had the all-time Bloods tops scorers and appearance stats. It’s worth a read as some of the stats almost go back to WW1. Alf Ramsey was at the top of the list for goals scored, with 192. It was interesting to listen to some of the fans remembering watching the Bloods legends play for the club, and sharing their memories. I sometimes think when I retire I hope to be telling stories of the Beast’s long throw and Super Floyds double save against Hadleigh or that amazing match we had in the Vase against Stanway last year, and how could I forget the Vikings 40 yard screamer.
Before the match we had a minutes silence to remember Ryan Harman who sadly passed away. I didn’t know Ryan but in my match blog I gave his friends and family and his Green Army my deepest sympathy for their loss. Grass roots teams are families and become huge parts of our lives on and off the pitch. RIP Ryan.
Lee Pacey, Spike Bell, Paul Abbot (Pabbo), Joe Murphy (Boss), Jamie Solkhon (Rocky), Stuart Wadley (Sticko), Craig Calver (Wig), Marc Abbot (Mabbo), Graeme Turner (G Man), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper. Subs: Charlie Dicker, Neil Andrews and Floyd Croll (Superman)
The First Half
Walden won the toss and started the match. As we walked around to the South Stand Lower, I had to run onto the pitch and remove the temporary goal posts. If you have not seen them before, they would make an awesome javelin. So with my H&S hat on I made sure they were out of harm’s way.
We started the game well with good passing and determination, but it was Gorleston’s Ingram who had the first attempt at goal. Ingram made himself some space and went for a shot outside the area, but luckily for Pacey the shot went slightly wide. It would have needed a great save had it been on target.
Ingram was looking the most threatening player on the pitch for Gorleston. He travelled well with the ball, but was met by a strong tackle by Harper who won the ball back.
Thompson and Middleton worked well on the break. Thompson split from Middleton as he ran up the wing with the ball. Middleton sent it a lovely cross, but Thompson could only steer the ball over the bar. It was good football.
12 minutes into the game, and Mabbo showed some lovely footwork. He tried to progress with the ball but was fouled and won the Bloods a free kick. Harper’sfree kick was floated into the box but it was headed clear.
18 minutes into the game, and Bell showed true grit and determination by closing down the defence and forcing the defender to kick the ball off for a Bloods throw. The ball was thrown to Wig, who beat his defender. Wig passed the ball to G Man and called to be set for a shot. G Man set Wig well, but his shot was well blocked. It was cracking link up play.
21 minutes into the match, and Brown scored a great goal. He had been looking lively from the start of the match. He weaved his way into the Bloods box, and his shot went over Pacey and into the back of the net. 0-1 to Gorleston!
It didn’t take long for the Bloods to level the score. Wig turned the right back on the line and struck the ball low and hard into the box. The Boss came charging in and flicked the ball into the back of the net. It was a lovely goal and thoroughly deserved. 1-1.
36 minute into the match, and Zinedine put the Bloods into the lead. The constant pressure had paid off. Wig played the ball into the path of Zinedine. Zinedine stayed strong and shielded off the defender. He then calmly slotted the ball passed Macrae and into the back of the net. A great goal for Zinedine, and another assist by Wig! 2-1 to the Bloods!
Near the end of the half Zinedine came close to making it 3-1. Mabbo did very well to win the ball back in the centre of the pitch. He timed his through ball to Zinedine perfectly. Zinedine did well to control the ball, but the defender did enough to not allow Zinedine to put his foot through his strike, and the ball was comfortably saved by Macrae.
HT: Saffron Walden 2 – Gorleston 1
Gorleston and Walden came out from the half time break with the same objective. And that was to get the ball and score. The referee was getting a little ‘whistle happy’ and produced a yellow card for Middleton, after a late challenge on Harper.
Thompson was given a yellow card for a challenge on Mabbo. You could see in their faces that they were getting frustrated and needed the ball back. Harper floated the free kick into the crowd of players. The boss managed to climb well and get a header in, but it was well caught by Macrae.
Gorleston handed the Bloods a warning shot, after a diagonal ball split the defence apart and found Ingram in space. Ingram went for the shoot but it sailed over the bar.
Macrae made two great back to back saves, after Zinedine’s effort caused a few ‘ooohs and aaahhs’. Macrae palmed the ball away, but only as far as the Boss whose shot was again well saved by Macrae.
71 minutes into the game, and the dynamic duo of Wig and Zinedine paid off again. Zinedine made a lovely passing move to set Wig. Wig didn’t hesitate and slotted the ball past Macrae’s left handed dive and into the net. After the goal the referee produced more yellow cards. I have no idea why, but he must have heard something he didn’t like.
The Boss was growing in confidence and almost pulled off a Dele Alli style goal. He flicked the ball up and over, and as he was about to strike at goal, Brown managed to get across Boss and kick the ball out for a throw on.
82 minutes into the match, and Gorleston had scored. They had won a fortunate corner when Pacey dived on the ball, but was then knocked over the line following a strong challenge. The resulting corner was only partially cleared, and Ingram smashed the back of the net from close range.
After Gorleston closed the gap, Walden did not retreat and put 11 men behind the ball. Instead they pushed for a 4th, which would finish the game once off and for all. Wig played really well winning the Bloods a corner. The corner was flicked out to Mabbo, who went for a driving shot but it was well blocked. The ball fell to the Boss, but his shot went wide.
89 minutes into the match, and we thought disaster had struck. The Gorleston player found the back of the net, but was caught off side. Phew! We really deserved all 3 points and I was praying for the whistle to be blown.
The referee was on Fergie time, and we shouted and whistled for him to blow that whistle. It was very tense, and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife.
Finally with my heart in my mouth and Mrs Nash clutching onto her flannel, the whistle had gone and we had won all 3 points. The win had got us up to 10thplace. We were having a great 2016.
Fans Man of the Match went to Joe Murphy
During the time, Floyd Croll has decided to leave the club. I was truly gutted as I feel he was a huge asset to the Bloods, but as a fan I completely understand his reasons. He is a great keeper and a lovely person and I wish him well. If any managers or chairman are reading this, I suggest you get on the phone and get Super Floyd’s signature. He will be an asset to any team.
FC Clacton 3 – Saffron Walden 0
23rd February 2016
It was a chilly February evening in Clacton. We waited until after 4pm until we could set off as the match would be played subject to passing a pitch inspection. With my long johns on, Peter and I set off and made it to Clacton with over an hour to spare. I had a chat with a few of the players to see how everyone was. Lee Pacey told me that he had scored twice against Clacton, which is surprising for a goalkeeper. A keeper will get the odd one in a season, but not usually 2 against the same opposition.
We were missing a few of the key regulars due to injury, work or illness. As I went through the team with Sticko he told me we had no Spike, no Boss, no Viking and no Zinedine. But the good news was we had Nobby and Rhino back in the starting 11.
You may just look at the score and thought we played badly, but the score was no reflection on the way the boys played. I thought we had a very good came considering all the people we were missing. I shall talk you through it.
TEAM: Lee Pacey, Paul Abbot (Pabbo), Jamie Solkhon (Rocky), Jake Noble (Nobby), Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Stuart Wardley (Sticko) (Charlie Dicker – 78 mins.), Craig Calver (Wig), Neil Andrews, Graeme Turner (G Man), Marc Abbot (Mabbo), Louis Harper (Jack Morris –84 mins.).
The First Half
Within minutes of kick off, Wig was causing havoc and won an early corner for the Bloods. Harper took the corner, which went over the defence and straight to Wig. Wig weaved his way into the box and floated in a cross. The ball was headed up in the air by Rhino. Clacton did manage to clear it, but only as far as Wig, who won a free kick not far from the 18 yard box line. Wig took the free kick but the wall did its job.
15 minutes into the match, and Clampin and Kirkby had a great opportunity on the break. Clampin fed a great through ball for Kirkby, but his shot went straight into the side netting.
The boys were flowing and it didn’t look like a cold Tuesday night replay. The lads were up for this and dominating.
18 minutes into the match, and Wig continued to taunt the defence, leaving Fowler very frustrated with his defence. No one could touch him! He managed a shot on goal which forced a save from Fowler. The save was one for the cameras! At this point I was amazed we were not winning.
22 minutes into the match, and Clacton scored which was completely out of the blue. A diagonal ball bounced very high and Pacey came off his line to try and clear the ball. Clampin managed to get a leg to the ball and his high lob dropped under the bar and into the net. I was standing with my hands on my head in shock. Granted it was a great goal and well taken.
Clacton soon livened up after going into the lead and started to produce better football. They won a corner which was punched clear by Pacey. They tried to follow up with a shot but it went high and wide.
There pressure paid off and they soon found themselves 2-0 up. Newland went for a header from the edge of the penalty area, which dropped into the corner of the goal. The 12 Bloods fans could only look at each other in disbelieve.
35 minutes into the match, and Walden’s heads didn’t drop. Wig made an incredible 60 yard sprint, taking the ball past 3 players. He crossed the ball into the path of G Man who shot first time, but it went slightly over the bar.
41 minutes into the match, and Clacton’s hitmanCondon made it 3-0. The goal started from a long ball from Fowler. Condon won the ball and ran through the Bloods defence. His shot was taken perfectly and smashed the back of Pacey’s net.
HT – FC Clacton 3 – Walden 0
The Second Half
As soon as the whistle went, Walden did not hesitate and came out of the blocks fighting.
I found myself apologising for not having much to talk about, but there really was not much to discuss in the opening 10 minutes of the 2nd half. Clacton had won another free kick which Coyle took after his miraculous recovery from the earlier challenge from G Man. Only messing Coyle! You had a very good game. Anyway, the free kick was delivered into the box, but Nobby headed the ball clear.
There was a moment of ‘Ref Ranting’ after Mabbo won the ball back in the Clacton half and slipped a well-timed through ball for G, but the lino flagged for offside. It was clearly onside as G Man ran passed the defender. Mrs Nash would have been in full voice and armed with her flannel. I have to credit Clacton as they did not appeal for the offside and played to the whistle.
Very much like the first half, we dominated the play until Clacton won a penalty for a hand ball. The ball bounced up and hit Sticko on the arm. Condon took the spot kick, but Pacey guessed the right way and pushed the ball clear for a Clacton corner. Clacton came close with a great header, but Pacey made a decent save to deny Clacton from rubbing more salt in the wound.
76 minutes into the match, and there were a few moments of ‘handbags at dawn’ after Clampin clashed with Mabbo. Both of the players were booked for arguing after the foul.
G Man had a great effort at goal. He controlled Pabbo’sthrow and turned well in the 6 yard box, but his shot was slightly off target and went over the bar.
The Clacton fans started to sing, as they felt a win was easily in their grasp. They have a stand called The Bus Shelter which was filled with supporters, singing and cheering on their lads.
78 minutes into the match and Sticko was replaced by Charlie Dicker.
Clacton did push for a 4th, but Rhino put in a lovely tackle to win the ball back. He then aimed a long ball to meet Harper’s run, but it was slightly too long and the ball was collected.
Soon after, there was another great ‘Booby Moore’ style box tackle from Pabbo which denied Clacton a goal scoring opportunity.
Dicker was looking sharp and timed a long ball perfectly for G Man to run onto. G Man charged up the wing and into the 18 yard box, but his delivery was straight into the path of Fowler.
84 minutes into the match and Harper made way to give Jack Morris his first team debut. Jack Morris made some good turns and was making the right back work for every ball.
Walden did continue to work hard and tried and score to give the travelling fans something to cheer about, but it just was not our day.
The final whistle went and the lads left the pitch and went straight into the changing rooms. G Man stayed back to thank the chilly fans for coming. The Clacton staff and fans were very friendly and I told goalkeeper Fowler that I was impressed by the way he directed his back four. He thanked me and wished us all a save journey home.
Fans Man of the Match went to Wig Calver
Saffron Walden 3 – Whitton United 2
27th February 2016
After losing 3 – 0 to Clacton, the Bloods didn’t take long to shake of their defeat and get back to winning ways. The Bloods have changed there form and have not lost at home during 2016. The Meadow was becoming a fortress.
Zinedine and The Boss were in back in the starting line-up after missing Tuesday night’s defeat. We were still missing The Viking and Bell though injury and sickness. Solks was serving a match ban for his red card against Thetford, which gave young Charlie Dicker his first start for the first team and an opportunity to shine.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Bloods match if we didn’t make it hard on ourselves. The game could have easily been 5-2, had it not been for half a dozen excellent saves from Whitton’s goalkeeper Ross Welton.
TEAM: Lee Pacey, Charlie Dicker, Paul Abbot (Pabbo), Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Stuart Wardley (Sticko), Craig Calver (Wig), Joe Murphy (Boss) (Jake Noble (Nobby) – 70 mins.), Graeme Turner (G Man), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper. Substitutes (not used) Neil Andrews, Jack Garrett.
The First Half
2 minutes into the match, and Whitton United had the first chance on goal after they were awarded a free kick outside the area Andrews sailed the ball into the box, which found Hubert. But Huberts’s headed effort went wide.
5 minutes into the match, and Rhino hobbled to the bench, which concerned the Bloods fans. Luckily after a quick spray of deep heat he was back on the pitch in no time
10 minutes into the match, and Whitton scored. A hopeful cross into the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Pacey, but a lucky rebound set Percy to follow up, and score from 6 yards out. Visions of the Clacton match started to haunt me.
We reacted well and added more pressure. Wig was up to his old tricks as he turned with the ball passing Percy, but his cross was straight into the side netting.
The first goal for Walden was on the cards and the pressure finally paid off in the 21st minute. Wig made a great run down the left, and squared the ball for Zinedine to head home from only a few yards out.
Soon after the restart, Mauardo tried to beat Pacey from long range, but his shot was pushed over the bar from Pacey. The corner didn’t trouble the Bloods.
The Boss came very close to putting the Bloods into the lead, after he connected well from G Man’s killer squared ball. Boss’ shot was slightly wide and didn’t need a save from Welton.
Dicker was growing in confidence as the match went on. He held the ball up in his own half and didn’t panic as he was surrounded by green shirts. He calmly held the ball, until a pass could be made and sent the ball to Sticko to build up another attack.
The pressure was mounting and the crowd were singing ‘we’re gonna score in a minute’! Nigel Baily had his very own solo effort at singing into my Dictaphone……delete!
The save of the half came from Welton. He brilliantly denied Zinedine from getting his second. G Man crossed the ball to Zinedine and he went for a powerful volley, but Welton was refusing to be beaten and palmed the ball away for a corner.
HT: Saffron Walden 1 – Whitton Utd 1
We started the second half match with determination and grit. Mabbo won the Bloods a free kick just outside the area. Harper played it along the ground to Wig. Wig lofted the ball over the defence to G Man. G Man controlled the ball, but couldn’t shoot so he set Harper up for a long range effort. Harper went to blast the ball first time but it went wide.
55 minutes into the game, and G Man came very close to scoring with his head. He jumped well and headed Harpers free kick at goal. Welton was well beaten but fortunately for him the post got in the way.
Shortly after, we could have been 2-1 down. Pacey found himself in a one on one situation, but he made three back to back saves. The ball did eventually fall kindly to the Whitton striker, to smash the ball into the back of the net, however Dicker threw himself across the goal to block the shot. It was definitely the block of the game. Had that gone in we could have been looking at a draw or even a loss.
61 minutes into the match, and Zinedine delivered a lovely pass into the box for Wig. Wig controlled the ball well and curled it around the diving Welton and into the back of the net. It was going to take a lot to beat Welton today, but Wig had the answer.
68 minutes into the match, and Zinedine headed home a free kick from Louis Harper to make it 3-1. Now, on Paul’s report it states that Zineine scored. However if you look at Martin Bowles video, you can see that Vaughan was the last person to touch the ball. It did look like an OG however Zinedine’s header was on target
Dicker was involved in a late challenged which could have potentially hurt him. The whole crowd shouted at the pitch in protest. Especially the Dicker family! Had that been my Mum watching me, she would have gonemad LOL. As my Nan used to say ‘Hurt my family, hurt me!’ - Mrs Nash’s flannel had finally come out.
75 minutes into the game, and Whitton had scored from yet another rebound off the crossbar. The ball fell kindly to Quinton, who didn’t hesitate and struck the ball firmly passed Pacey and into the back of the net. The Bloods now had a nervous 15 minutes left to go.
Zinedine almost made it 4-2, which would have killed the game off. G Man’s perfectly timed long ball found Zinedine in the box, but the defender stuck to him well and did enough to put him off his strike which went over the bar.
The match finally finished, and the Bloods fans cheered in joy. The lads had deserved the win as they were the better team on the day. Had it not been for Welton, the match could have been very one sided.
The fans Man of the Match went to Charlie Dicker
4 wins and 1 loss! Now that was more like it.
Player of the month – Graeme Turner
Best game of the month – Mildenhall at home
Worst game of the month – Clacton away
Goal of the month – Dan Grindrod against Mildenhall
Away fans of the month – FC Clacton
Away ground of the month – Thetford
Thanks for reading