Saffron Walden 0 – Swaffham Town 0
10th October 2015
It was the match I had been looking forward to, since Swaffham beat the Bloods 3-0, at the Meadow last season. Swaffham finished in 2nd place last year and were one of our biggest threats for promotion. In the end, both teams were promoted in 2nd and 3rd place. I was really hoping we played well. Last year we struggled, but you can’t win them all.
I got to the ground early, to sort out the player of the month certificate. Andy Player kindly made one and printed it off for me. The player of the month for September was Wig Calver. We presented the award to Wig with a £25 voucher. I shall be doing this every month, so everyone gets the opportunity to win the honours.
I also managed to sell a few more car stickers. I hope to see lots of car stickers on the fans cars when I arrive on Tuesday! I am also going to look at printing mugs. They would make a nice stocking present for Christmas. I will also post them abroad, subject to postage costs.
That’s enough of my ‘Del Boy’ ways, and on to talking about the beautiful game. It was non-league day, so the Tweets were in full force.
After last week’s head collision, both Rocky and Mashy wanted to play. But due to Doctors and Sticky’s order, they were spectating instead. You have got to love their enthusiasm. That’s what I call a true Blood!
The line up to face Swaffham Town:
Floyd Croll was in goal. Defence: Grindrod (Viking), Lawrence (Beast), Reid and P Abbott. Midfield: Harper, Fleming, and Noble (Nobby). Forwards: Calver (Wig), Thomas and Bell. Subs: Drane, Murphy (Boss), M Abbott, Crane and Turner (G Man).
Walden had the kick off. Both teams were a little cagey to begin with. The ball was being passed around the pitch well, but with no clear breaks. The first bit of action came from a foul on the Viking, near the dugout. He was awarded a free kick from a late challenge.
Swaffham Town retaliated well, with a good break by Vincent, who got the ball to Reed. The cross came in but the Viking defended well.
Wig showed off his skills and travelled with the ball, down the wing. He crossed the ball to Harper, who controlled it, and crossed it back in the danger zone. Miller tried to clear the ball with his head, but it only reached Wig’s head, but there was not enough power in his attempt to beat Holt.
Swaffham did have a shot over the bar, but I was sending a Tweet and did not look, so I apologise to whoever had that effort.
12 minutes into the match and Swaffham’s Vincent, was causing trouble for the Bloods. He made a lovely turn with the ball, but his shot hit the bar. It was a great effort.
We stepped it up a gear and won a throw on. The crowd beckoned for the Beast to deliver one of his monster throws. The ball was thrown well, and Fleming flicked it into the 6 yard box with a backwards header. The ball was then headed out for a Walden corner.
Harper’s corner went over the Swaffham defence and found Wig. Wig volleyed the ball back, for Nobby to strike the ball at goal. Holt pulled off a great save to deny Nobby, but he won the Bloods another corner. The corner was taken by Bell, and headed out by Swaffham for another corner. Harper tried to curl his corner, but it ended up on top of the net.
Swaffham had a few good chances. The Viking was doing well, not letting Reed cross the ball. He forced the ball out for a corner, which was well defended by Reid.
Thomas broke well and won us another throw-on for the Beast to take. Unfortunately, the throw-on didn’t find a Bloods player, and it was well defended by the Swaffham centre back.
Swaffham had 3 back to back throws. They were getting closer to Croll’s goal with each throw. Swaffham managed to get a cross into the 18 yard box, but Reid headed the ball and Fleming scoped it out of danger.
Wig broke well down the line, and travelled with the ball. He crossed the ball to Thomas, who was charging into the box, but the cross was slightly in front of him, and Holt came out and collected it.
Nobby showed some great skills on the ball, and passed the ball to Wig. Wig beat the right back, but was tripped over, outside the box. As you can imagine the fans were in full voice. The free kick was taken long, but no one was there to capitalise on Harper’s effort.
As always, the fans had a slight disagreement with the referee. Thomas was tripped outside the box, which looked like a foul. Then the Swaffham defender had the ball at his feet, and Abbott put in a challenge. The defender went down, and the referee called for the foul. The referee was having a good game up until this point.
Swaffham did actually score from a header, but the flag was raised, and the goal was disallowed. Phew!
Vincent was causing the Bloods grief and managed to square the ball to China - he had a shot, but Bell got in the way and blocked it. The ball fell to Vincent again, and he tried to cross the ball, but Abbott got a slight touch on it, and Croll caught the ball well.
30 minutes into the match and Thomas showed some great skills; he got into the box and was just about to pull the trigger, but their Captain, Miller, won the ball back and cleared the danger.
The Bloods started to pile on the pressure, they sent in another cross, but Prudence defended his line well. This was much better than last year.
Nobby was looking good in the centre, and tried to pass the ball to Wig. The defender got in the way, but could only clear it for a Walden corner. The corner went over the bar.
In my opinion, I thought Vincent was Swaffham’s best player of the half. He received the ball, in some space, and had a shot on target, but Croll saved it well. His save resulted in a corner to Swaffham. The corner was taken and Fleming cleared the danger, just before Miller could get his shot in. It resulted in another Swaffham corner, but Fleming cleared the ball. Miller tried to head the ball back into the 6 yard box, but it was an easy catch for Croll.
We started to open the Swaffham midfield up, with some great counter attacking play. Fleming passed the ball to Thomas, who then passed it to Bell. Bell kicked the ball long for Wig. Wig again beat the right back, and shot, but Prudence put in another good block.
The HT whistle went, and it was Walden 0 – Swaffham 0
Walden started the half quite relaxed. They were passing the ball well and keeping possession. It looked like a Sticko was trying a different approach. The lads showed great discipline.
Swaffham did have the first chance of the 2nd half. The ball was crossed into the box, and Vincent tried to put pressure on the Beast. But the Beast calmly headed the ball back to Croll.
Soon after the Swaffham effort, the Beast hit a long ball, which found Wig. Wig ran with the ball, and was tripped outside the area. Harper took the free kick, but it was well defended by Swaffham. This gave Vincent a chance to break, but Abbott raced back with him, and managed to get the ball back to Croll.
Fleming was looking determined to score. He showed his strength by charging into the area with the ball. He crossed the ball to Wig, but Wig’s header went wide.
Sorry, but I just have to mention for Mrs. Nash: ‘Two hard boiled eggs in a hanky!’ The fans who were standing with us will know what she means.
Swaffham had a good opportunity with a corner, which Vincent took. The corner was well defended by Reid. Reid passed it to Nobby who tried to make a break. He was tackled by a Swaffham player, but won the ball back, and then passed it to Bell. Bell delivered a cross, but no one was home.
Vincent had another free kick, which he whipped into the 6 yard box. The cross was deadly but Prudence was caught off side.
10 minutes into the 2nd half and Nobby was replaced by Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy. Nobby had a great 55 minutes and made some lovely passes. He came very close to scoring.
At this point Abbie kindly went to make Jon and me a cup of tea. I really appreciated it, as I didn’t want to miss any of the action.
Vincent was looking very dangerous, and forced another good save from Croll. The ball came back to Skolorzynski, who crossed it to Reed. Reed had a great shot, but Croll saved it yet again. Abbott tried to clear the danger, but the ball was blocked by Vincent. Vincent shot, but it went wide.
Bell was replaced by Turner. It was another good game Spike, well done.
Walden were under a bit of pressure, until Abbott played a great ball to Wig. Wig beat his man and squared it to G Man, but his shot went over the bar.
Wig had another good effort, by beating two of the defenders, but his shot was straight at Holt.
Thomas was back to his old tricks and played G Man into some space. G Man passed the left back, and got his cross in. But it was well defended.
We won another throw-on, and we called for the Beast. The Beast’s throw could have gone anywhere. Fleming tried to head it to Thomas, but it was swept away.
Swaffham’s Russell, went for a long shot but was well blocked by the Viking for a corner. The corner was taken by Vincent. The ball was tipped over the bar by Croll, awarding Swaffham with another corner. This time it was well cleared by Reid.
Swaffham started to turn up the heat, and we were defending well. Swaffham had the upper hand. The ball was crossed in by Vincent, but the Viking cleared the danger in the 6 yard box.
Rawlings was yellow carded for a late challenge on Fleming. We were awarded a free kick. At the same time, Road Runner was introduced to the match and replaced Harper. Keep up the good work Louis. A 25 yard wonder goal is brewing.
Fleming was tripped just outside the box, and was not awarded a free kick. As you can guess, Mrs Nash’s flannel was well and truly out. The referee was given some constructive criticism from the fans. Fleming looked hurt after the tackle, but managed to shake it off.
Soon after, justice was served. Wig was awarded a free kick just outside the area. Reid went for a shot but it went high and wide.
It could have gone either way, with both teams working hard to win all 3 points. Wig was getting frustrated and ended up getting yellow carded. He then had a great shot blocked by Prudence.
The Viking showed some lovely skills near his own corner flag. He kept on the ball, while the Swaffham attacker tried to get a challenge in. He then lobbed the ball to Wig, and Miller got in a tackle, but he only managed to clear it to Fleming. Fleming passed the ball back to Wig. Russell challenged Wig, but ended up fouling him. Wig took the free kick, but it rattled against the woodwork. There was no stopping that shot, had the ball been a few inches lower.
In the end the match finished 0-0. On reflection, I would say it was a fair result. Well done lads. Another point and, unbeaten in 4 league matches. Keep it up!
The fans MOTM goes to Ryan Fleming. He had a great game and looked sharp. He linked up well with the front 3, and tracked back well to support the back 4. Well done Ryan!
The Bloods’ next home match is on Tuesday night at the Meadow. We are playing Halstead Town in the cup. Hope to see you there.
Thanks for reading