Saffron Walden 1 Vs Halstead Town 0
Thurlow Nunn League Cup
13th October 2015. The Meadow
This evening we would entertain Halstead Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Cup. Halstead have been playing well in league 1, and are currently in 4th place, with their eyes set on promotion. We currently occupy 16th place in the Premier League, so in theory we are 8 places above them, if you combine the 2 leagues together.
I remember the last night we met. It was at Halstead and we ended up drawing 2-2. I believe we were 2-0 down and got it back to 2-2. From memory it was the same day Spurs beat Arsenal 2-1 in the league.
I arrived at the ground at 7pm and sold a few more car stickers. I had a catch up with my old mate Mrs. Nash, and got the team sheet from Paul.
It was time for kick off and we headed to the usual end, but Walden lost the toss and we had to start the first half kicking towards Catons Lane. Luckily we only got half way around before we had to turn around.
The Beast was being rested for Saturday’s match against Ipswich Wanderers, which will be a huge match for both teams. We were also missing Spike Bell. The good news was that Rocky was back in the starting 11, and Mashy was on the bench.
The line up to face Halstead Town:
Soutar was in goal. Defence: Solkhon (Rocky), Fleming, Reid and P Abbott. Midfield: Harper, M Abbot, Murphy (The Boss), Drane Forwards: Calver (Wig), and Thomas. Subs: Snelling (Mashy), Crane (Road Runner), Noble (Nobby) and Grindrod (The Viking)
Thomas won the Bloods an early free kick, just outside the area. The free kick was taken by Harper but it was well defended by Halstead.
Wig was the first player to come close to breaking the deadlock. Thomas won the ball from the Halsted defender in the 18 yard box. He passed to Wig, who was in space. Wig tried to float the ball in to the top left hand corner, but his attempt went high and wide.
Fleming took control of the ball, and carried it to the centre of the pitch. He played it out to Harper. Harper crossed a lovely ball to Wig. Wig beat the right back and put in a deadly cross, but it was just too high for Thomas to get a clean shot on goal.
Thomas was causing the defence havoc. The Bloods won the ball back, and sent Thomas on a break. He skinned the left back and crossed it, low and hard into the penalty area, but Halstead’s Stonealen got back to clear the ball.
Wig showed off some great skill and found Paul Abbot in space. Paul crossed the ball into the 6 yard box, but two of our players went for the same ball and the ball went out for a goal kick. Now remember lads, what happened last time two players went for the same ball? They ended up in A&E!
Halstead started to get back into the game, and won a free kick. Hutchins crossed the ball into the area, but Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy headed the ball out of the danger zone. The ball went to a Halstead player, who sneakily tried to lob the ball over Fleming for Green to run onto. As Soutar came out to collect the ball, he was fouled by Green.
Our goal came from an excellent bit of team work. Wig was sent on a break, and dribbled the ball into the 18 yard area. He held the ball up, while he waited for Thomas to reach the penalty spot. His cross was perfect, and Thomas scored. That’s number 3 for Thomas!
Thomas and Wig’s link up play was working excellent. Thomas picked up the ball from outside the area. Wig called for the pass and Thomas released the ball. Wig showed some skills by beating his defender, but his shot went over the bar.
32 in and the Bloods looked great; the passing was excellent. Harper was linking up well with the front two. He reminded me of Bobby Charlton! I am obviously far too young to remember Charlton’s glory days, but thanks to the internet, I have seen plenty of replays.
Pleace had an attempt on goal but it was well saved by Soutar. Soon after Pleace’s shot, Hutchins had a go, but it went straight to Soutar.
Near the end of the half, Wig went down in the penalty box, but was not awarded the penalty. He was booked, for what the referee said was a dive. At the same time Hurkett was booked for complaining to the referee.
HT: Saffron Walden 1 – Halstead Town 0.
During the match and at half time, I was introduced to Dan Kenneth Reinll from Gjovik, Norway. He was on a trip to Walden and wanted something to do in the evening, so he decided to visit the Meadow and watch the match. He was very impressed by the club, and felt it had a really nice family atmosphere. It was great to meet Dan. (Pic Below)
We started off the half very well, with a series of back to back corners. We thought we had gone 2 nil up, when Ringe palmed the ball into his own net. The goal was disallowed as the referee said Ringe was fouled.
Drane was looking sharp on the ball, and played the ball out wide to Wig. Wig played the ball around the defender and crossed the ball to Thomas. Thomas tried to finish, but the three defenders around him did enough to put him off and the shot went wide.
5 minutes into the match and Halstead tried to break, but Fleming put in a great challenge which gave Halstead a throw-on. Stonealan threw the ball to Hurkett, who went for a shot but it went wide of the post.
Fleming come forward with the ball, and sent Wig on one of his runs, down the wing. Wig squared the ball to Harper, and in ‘Bobby Charlton’ style, turned the defender but his shot was saved by Ringe.
55 minutes into the match and Halsted made a substitution. Warren replaced Hurkett.
Walden’s passing was exciting to watch. The midfield passed with confidence, and looked comfortable in possession. After the great build up play, Wig got into the box and whipped the ball to The Boss, who was charging in. His shot was well defended near the post, for a corner ball.
65 minutes into the match and Mark Abbot was replaced by Mashy. It was great to see Mark back in action, after almost a month out with an injury.
I think the link up play between Wig and Thomas was the best I have seen all season. Thomas dribbled the ball toward the goal, and looked like he was tripped, but the referee played the advantage. He stayed on his feet and crossed the ball to Wig, but the cross was just too high. Wig ran to collect the ball and was again tripped, but no foul. He shot back up and went for a shot, but it was well saved by Ringe.
Wig was determined to score and collected the ball well from Reid’s free kick. He turned his man and went for a floating shot, but he was just wide.
Halstead tried to catch the Bloods on the break, but Paul Abbot tackled the striker and won the ball back.
75 minutes in a Harper was replaced by Crane (Road Runner). Great play again from Harper. He is getting closer to scoring his first goal of the season.
Halstead’s Chesney went for a long range effort, but his shot went well wide.
Road Runner made an instant impact to the match. He took on, and beat the left back. He delivered a long ball to Rocky. Rocky floated the ball into the area for Thomas, but it was well defended for a corner. Wig took the corner, which could have gone anywhere. It fell to Fleming, who shot, but it was blocked. Halstead struggled to clear the danger. The ball ended up back to Road Runner. RR crossed the ball, but it just didn’t reach Thomas for a header.
We were looking favourite, to score again, and piled on the pressure. Fleming had a cheeky throw-on to Wig, who gingerly walked into a threatening position. He crossed the ball in, but it was well defended.
Paul Abbot conceded a free kick outside the box. The free kick was taken well by Warren. He floated the ball into the six yard box, but the cool Fleming, kicked the ball over Soutar’s bar for a corner. The corner came in, but the Boss cleared the ball.
85 minutes into the match at Rocky was replaced by Dan ‘The Viking’ Grindrod. Well done Solks for bouncing back so quickly after a nasty cut.
Crane won the Bloods a corner, which was taken by Wig. The corner was headed well by Fleming, but Stonealen cleared the ball of the line, by the right hand post.
We continued to push for that second goal, but the game finished Saffron Walden 1 – Halstead Town 0. It was an excellent game of football. If we play like that against Ipswich, the fans are in for a treat.
The fans man of the match was a unanimous decision. The MOTM was James Thomas. He showed some great skill and capped it off with the winning goal. Well to James
Our next first team match is on Saturday, and is away to Ipswich Wanderers. If you can’t make it, but still was to cheer on the Bloods, the reserves are playing at home, against Brantham Athletic Reserves.
Thanks for reading