Fakenham 1 – Saffron Walden 1
Happy 2016 to you all!
First of all I want to say a huge thank you to Ben ‘The Beast’ Lawrence for everything he has done over the past 2 seasons. We will miss his leadership and skills at the club - especially the long throws. The Beast has decided to leave Walden, and I wish his all the best of luck. We will miss your presence and excellent attitude around the club. Keep in touch and best wishes to you and your family. #Bloodlegend #only1beast
So, it was another long away trip for me and Jon to sunny Norfolk. Well it was spitting all the way up, and I was concerned I would be getting a call, saying the game was off.
On the way up we stopped for breakfast in Swaffham, at the Swaffham Café. It was great value for money and good grub. I would recommend it, if you happen to be at the match against Swaffham.
We arrived in plenty of time and the sun was trying to come out. The pitch looked in excellent condition, and they had cover behind both goals – which is always a bonus this time of year. I met up with the usual away fans, and wished them all Happy New Year.
We were very impressed by the loud home fans. They did not stop cheering. They also had a few horns and drums. It was great to see and we had some good banter.
Sticko was serving a one match ban so he was not in the dugout. The management had awarded U18 players Jamie Dicker and Jake Thompson with their debut first team starts. Well done lads. It shows that hard work pays off.
TEAM: Floyd Croll, Jamie Dicker (Paul Abbot (Pabbo) – 55 mins.), Jamie Solkhon (Rocky), Marc Abbot (Mabbo), Stuart Hoskins, Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Craig Calver (Wig), Jake Thompson, (James Crane (Road Runner/RR) – 55 mins.), Joe Murphy (Boss) (Neil Andrews – 80 mins.), Spike Bell, Louis Harper.
The First Half
Fakenham had the better start to the match, and were award an early free kick which was taken by Dye. The free kick was headed clear, by Rhino for a Fakenham throw on. The throw on did not trouble the Bloods defence.
Dicker was called into action early, as he blocked a cross; which resulted in a Fakenham corner. The corner was headed out, but only to the Fakenham midfield. The player went for a worldy, but it sailed over the bar.
Our first chance on goal came from a free kick outside the area. Wig was tripped over, as he ran at the defence. Harper's free kick was cleared by the defence.
The Boss came very close to opening the scoring in the 7th minute, when he his flicked header hit the unmarked post. A fraction to the right, and it would have been 1-0 to the bloods. Now I initially thought it came off Jake Thompson’s head, but Paul’s report confirmed I was wrong. Whoever it was can you please let me know please? #wengermoment
15 minutes into the game, and apart from hitting the bar nothing really happened. Fakenham had the better possession, but did not trouble Croll.
Thompson looked strong in his midfield role, and won the ball back in Fakenham’s own half. He passed the ball to Mabbo; who sent in a dangerous cross, but the cross was headed off for a Walden corner. Harper took the corner, but Flemo was penalised for a foul, and the referee gave a free kick to Fakenham.
Wig started to frustrate the Fakenham defence, and was tripped again; just outside the box. The referee awarded a free kick. Harper decided to take a shot; and came close, but Rix made a great save for a corner ball. The corner was easily caught by Rix.
Fakenham were awarded a free kick; for Brooks to take. It was a very good delivery, but Hoskins cleared the ball well.
30 minutes in, and it was looking very bleak. I even sat down for a bit with Carol to reflect on the game. Sorry lads, but it can’t always be good news.
The Boss put in a cracking cross, which was headed out by Day. The Bloods started to look better on the ball.
Harper delivered a lovely through ball for Bell to run onto, but it was well ushered out by Fakenham
39 minutes into the match, and Fakenham had a corner ball, but the ball ended up on the roof of Croll’s net.
42 minutes into the match, and Wiggy came close with a shot across Rix. The shot beat Rix, but was wide of the post.
In the last minute Wig went down in the box, but was not given a penalty.
HT – Fakenham 0 – Walden 0
The Second Half
The Bloods started the game well, and started to look like the better team. Wig won the Bloods another free kick outside the box; for Harper to take. Harper played the ball short to Wig; who turned and went for the cross. The shot was deflected by the defender, and the Bloods called for handball. The handball was not given, so we settled for the corner. The corner found Rocky in space, who headed at Rix. The ball deflected off Rix and Franks managed to clear the ball, for another Walden corner. The corner went over the box, and Harper collected the ball. He crossed the ball back into the box, and Thompson managed to get his head to the ball, but it went wide of the post.
As we cheered on the Bloods, two young lads walked past us banging on toy drums, singing ‘Barmy Army’. They couldn’t have been much older than five. All these instruments were giving me an idea!...Watch this space!
50 minutes into the match, and Wig managed to get in another shot, but it was straight at Rix. He did very well to stay on his feet.
55 minutes into the match, and Dicker and Thompson made way for Pabbo and Road Runner (RR). Well done lads on your performance. You both did well.
Fakenham came close with a long range smash by Brooks, but it went over the bar.
60 minute into the match, and we were pushing further up the field, and looked dangerous on the break. RR had injected some pace to the front three. He was working hard to get the Bloods off the mark.
68 minutes into the match, and Youngs hit the bar, with a header from a corner. The Boss jumped at the rebound and cleared the ball away.
72 minutes in, and Bell charged into the box, and squared the ball to Wig. Wig’s shot forced a great save from Rix.
Dye made a strong charge throw the middle of the pitch, but Harper put in a great challenge to win the ball back.
77 minutes into the match and Day was yellow carded, for lashing out his arm at Wig! As you can imagine we were not happy about it, and neither were the Walden bench. Especially when you look at the Red card that was given to JT two weeks ago!
80 minutes into the match, and The Boss was replaced by Andrews. Another solid performance from the Boss!
Fakenham had won a corner, after Pabbo put in a block. It was a very strange corner, as the ball went over everyone and out for a Walden throw…..Different!
The much-needed first goal was scored by Walden from a sweet move in the 86th minute. A superb diagonal pass from Andrews, gave Wig some space on the left, and his accurate shot found the far corner of the net.
As we looked to have wrapped up the 3 points, disaster struck for the Bloods in the 94th minute. Rix punted the ball up the pitch in one last desperate attack, and the ball found its way through to Harris who knocked the ball over the diving Croll and agonizingly into the far corner of the net.
It ended 1-1, and we were gutted. I was lost for words, and I didn’t quite know what to think. This has happened on a few occasions where we have either lost or ended up dropping 2 points. The game did look like it was shaping up to be nil nil, and a point away is a good result.
My MOTM goes to Wig Calver. Not just for his goal, but he put in a lot of effort and on another day could have had a hat trick. Wig wore the captains arm band with pride.
Thanks for reading
Next match is FC Clacton Away – Subject to the weather.