Monday, 25 January 2016

Saffron Walden 3 - Ipswich Wanderers 0

Saffron Walden 3 – Ipswich Wanderers 0
23rd January 2016

‘Wardley’s Walden find Wanderers Wanting’ will be the headline to this week’s blog. Following last week’s 4-1 win, the Bloods continued their great form.  Walden’s first season in the Premier League has not been easy. Half way through the season, we can clearly see the difference in level of quality between step six and step five. After a shaky six months, the boys have now found their form. If Ruud Gullit had been watching, he would have used his famous expression - ‘Sexy Football!’

Head coach Andrews, and player manager Wardley have changed the lads into a well-rounded solid team, and if they continue this mentality they will be very hard to beat.

I arrived at the club early, and helped Martin with a few jobs before the rest of the fans arrived. We did not expect to play, because Ipswich had an away game in the FA Vase. Their game was cancelled, so our game went ahead.

I gave Mrs Nash her drum, and was given serious grief for the size of it. I think they were expecting something a little bit bigger. It’s the thought that counts.

The Team

TEAM: Floyd Croll, Spike Bell, Dan Grindrod (Viking), Jake Noble (Nobby), Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Stuart Wardley (Sicko), Craig Calver (Wig), Marc Abbot (Mabbo), Graeme Turner (G Man) (Joe Murphy (Boss) – 78 mins.), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper (Charlie Dicker – 82 mins.). Substitute (not used): Neil Andrews.

The First Half

Ipswich started the game well, and saw an early effort strike the side netting. This was a wakeup call for the Bloods, who could have found themselves one down in the first 2 minutes.

Walden responded brilliantly, when G Man dribbled his way through the defence but was pulled back by Hitching. The referee played the advance but G Man was challenged by the physical Goldfinch. The referee blew the whistle and gave a free kick; where G Man was originally fouled. The back four took their time to get back by ten yards, and the referee was not letting them get away with it. Wig stood over the ball, and produced a beautiful strike into the top of the corner leaving Bradbrook with no chance of saving it. 1-0 to the Bloods!

Wig continued to frustrate Ipswich and managed to beat Tredray twice, before pinging in a dangerous cross. G Man climbed well, but his header went over the bar.

It was all Walden, and Rhino fancied his chances with a long range header, but it was well saved by Bradbrook.

8 minutes into the match, and Wig’s silky skills won the Bloods and free kick as Tredray was booked. Harper floated the ball into the back post; which was punched up in the air by Bradbrook and eventually cleared by Goldfinch.

Bell, Harper and Zinedine linked up well on the wing, and started to split the Ipswich defence. Thomas’ final threw ball was timed perfectly for Bell to run onto. Bell’s cross was cleared for a Bloods corner.  Viking took the corner, but it didn’t drop for anyone to get a clear shot on goal. The ball went back to Rhino, who’s shot from distance forced a save out of Bradbrook.

15 minutes into the match, and Ipswich won a corner. Severy took the corner, but Croll managed to punch the ball away from danger. Ipswich tried to get the ball back into the box, but the Viking cleared the danger.

20 minutes into the match, and Zinedine’s brilliant diagonal pass found Wig’s drive up the wing. Wig squared the ball to Mabbo; who shot and struck the inside of the bar. The ball bounced back to G Man, but his shot was brilliant defended for a corner ball.

25 minutes into the match, and Walden had a narrow escape. Had it not been for Bells goal line clearance, Ipswich would have made it one all. Phew, thanks Bellsy!

Ipswich started to put pressure on Walden, with back to back corners but they were well defended by Nobby and Sticksy.

Deacon came very close to an equaliser, when he took the ball round Croll, but his final shot was brilliantly cleared off the line by the Viking.

The lad’s passing was excellent, and were not giving the ball away. In previous matches we have lost the ball, and been at risk of the other team breaking. But this was not the case today. The movement going forward flowed, and each player looked confident on and off the ball.

35 minutes into the half, and Wig won the Bloods a free kick outside the 18 yard box. Harper floated the ball in, and Hitching’s headed clearance only went as far as Nobby. Nobby stuck the ball first time, but it went wide.

I was very impressed by the on-going battle between G Man and Goldfinch. Both players are strong, and tried to muscle each other off the ball. G Man had the height advantage, but Goldfinch was built like a tank.

Croll was first called into action from a dipping long range effort by Deacon. Deacon’s strike was firm, but Croll held onto the ball.

Bradbrook was given banter from the fans, because his label was sticking out of his shorts. He took the banter well and played along with it. Always good to see!

Just before half time, Sticko came close to getting on the score sheet, when he connected with Nobby’s backwards header. Sticko put his foot through the ball, but it went over the bar.

HT: Saffron Walden 1 – Ipswich Wanderers 0

The Second Half

From the minute Ipswich re started the match, Walden were hot on their heels. Bell made an impressive run up the wing, shielding off his opponent. He passed the ball to Wig in the area. Wig slipped slightly but managed to set Harper, but his shot was not clean enough to trouble Bradbrook.

50 minutes into the match, and Ipswich were awarded a free kick. Jennings effort was blocked by the Bloods wall, and deflected for a corner. The corner was taken by Severy, but Fleming strong header cleared the ball away. The referee saw a foul in the build-up and awarded the Bloods a free kick.

Ipswich was not given much time to rest, as Zinedine tested Bradbrook at his near post. This was a result from a quick Viking throw to Wig; who then lobbed the ball over the defender to find Zinedine’s run. Zinedine’s effort was well saved by Bradbrook for a corner. The corner was well defended by Hitching.

It didn’t take long for Walden’s constant pressure to beat Bradbrook again. Unfortunately for Ipswich it came from an own goal on the 58th aminute. Viking delivered a brilliant corner, and Stuart headed the ball passed Bradbrook, leaving him no chance…..Hey, they all count and full credit to G Man for putting him under pressure! It was now 2-0 to the Bloods.

Just as we finished celebrating the second goal, Bell made it 3-0. Walden cut open the Ipswich defence with a flick-on by Wig to Bell, who calmly slotted the ball past Bradbrook. It was a result of excellent link up play. 3-0 to the Bloods!

After the goal, Martin Johnson got straight onto Twitter and won my tweet of the day. And I quote ‘Total football at Catons Lane as @spikebell7 glorious move makes it 3-0’

63 minutes into the match, and G Man took at knock. The anxious Bloods family waited with bated breath, and cheered for G Man to get up. After a few minutes of the magic sponge, the inform striker continued on.

65 minutes into the match, and Ipswich won a corner. The corner was delivered by Severy, but Bell headed the ball clear. The ball found Mabbo; who turned and delivered a great long ball to Wig, but Wig was caught off side.

The Bloods wouldn’t settle for just 3 goals and continued to push for more. Wigs diagonal pass found Zinedine, but his shot was well saved.

Bradbrook was determined not to be passed again. He jumped well to catch Harpers cross, which was bound for Sticko’s head. As Neil Andrews would say… ‘He was caught ghosting’! That means, he basically slipped passed the defence without being noticed.

71 minutes into the match, and Myhill tried to test Croll with a dipping long range effort, but it was not good enough to worry the Floydster, who took the ball well.

72 minutes into the match, and G Man was replaced by Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy. Great play G Man, well done! Keep up the confidence.

Sticko was putting in a solid performance at the back, and put everything he had into his headed clearances. The Bloods family joked, and said he would be sore in the morning.

Soon after, Jennings came close with an effort, but could only manage to hit the side netting.

78 minutes into the match, and a brilliant Bloods move saw the Boss, put his body on the line and strike the underside of the crossbar, from a wicked cross from Wig.

Three minutes later Jennings hit the top of the Walden crossbar from 30 yards out.

This moment of Ipswich pressure did not faze Walden, as they continued to attack the ball. Wig made some space in the 18 yard box; and tried to float the ball into the top corner, but it was wide.

Mackenzie came close again when his effort hit the bar. A slight let off for the Bloods!

82 minutes into the match, and Harper was replaced by Dicker. Another strong performance from Harper! Well done.

The last 5 minutes saw more potential opportunities. Wig was through on goal, and looked like he was fouled, but the referee awarded Ipswich with the free kick. It’s a shame because Dicker was free on the penalty spot to potentially open up his first team account.

FT Saffron Walden 3 – Ipswich Wanderers 0

I agree with Paul Daw’s report. The Bloods produced their best football of the season. It was a joy to watch and every single player gave it 100%. All I can say is thank you and bring on Stanway.

This week’s MOTM goes to Spike Bell. Bell played extremely well, and ran all over the pitch. His hard work and skills rewarded him with another goal. Great play Spike and well done.

Walden’s next match is away to Stanway on the 30th Jan. I hope to see as many fans as possible. Maybe not quite the 450 we had last time we visited! Play like we did against Ipswich, and they won’t know what’s hit them!

I believe the reserves have a match on Tuesday night, away to Long Melford. I shall be there and will award MOTM. I always enjoy a visit to the Stoneylands. Good luck lads. The reserves also won 4-2 on Saturday away at Walsham-Le- Willows.

Thanks for reading

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