Sunday, 17 January 2016

Saffron Walden 4 - Fakenham Town 1

Saffron Walden 4 – Fakenham Town 1


It’s been a long 9 months since we had a home win at the Meadow, but the ‘curse’ has finally been lifted. I am only joking lads. You know we all love you!

I got to the ground and was greeted by a concerned looking Chairman. The pitch was looking a little frozen in places, and the referee was in two minds whether to call the game off. So after hearing that I grabbed a folk, and helped spike the ground to get the pitch ready from action! I was joined by Ade, Martin, Mst. Johnson and the mighty Paul Abrahams!

I certainly had done my 15 minutes of cardio, as I was baking hot after. As a result the referee delayed the game by 15 minutes, but gave us the all clear and the match was on. Phew!

Before the match I awarded Jake Noble with his certificate and voucher for Player of December. Abbie Mackay took the picture, but didn’t get my good side, so I am not happy LOL. Joking Abs, I don’t have a good side! Thank you for your help.

The Team

1.       Floyd Croll

2.       Paul Abbot (Pabbo)

3.       Dan Grindrod (Viking)

4.       Jake Noble (Nobby)

5.       James Solkhon (Rocky)

6.       Stuart Wardley (Sticko)

7.       Craig Calver © (Wig)

8.       Marc  Abbott (Mabbo)

9.       Graeme Turner (G Man)

10.   Spike Bell

11.   Louis Harper


12.   Stuart Hoskins   14.Neil Andrews    15. Joe Murphy (Boss)   16. Charlie Dicker    17. Sam Soutar (GK)

Before I start I apologise that the timings will be slightly off, due to the delay in starting the game

The First Half

We lost the toss, so we started the match kicking towards Catons Lane. We started the game very well, with some great early pressure. Bell and G Man came out the blocks like a greyhound from a trap. I asked for the boys to show some fire in their bellies, and they did not disappoint.  Their communication looked spot on, which rattled Fakenham’s defence.

After a decent spell from the Bloods, Fakenham did have an opportunity on the break. Harris whipped in a ball which went across the box, but there was no one at the back post to get a shot on goal.

Sticko floated a lovely ball over the top of the defence, for G Man to run onto. G Man held to ball up well, and forced the defender to concede a goal kick. Viking took the corner, but we couldn’t get a shot on goal. Straight after the corner, there seemed to be a little bit of ‘hand bags at dawn’, but the lads soon calmed down.

5 minutes into the match, and Fakenham won a corner. The corner was played short to Williams. Williams crossed the ball in and the Bloods struggles to clear the ball, until Rocky dived in and headed the ball clear.

10 minutes in and G Man was making the defence nervous. He was timing his run perfectly and using his strength and pace. The defence panicked with his clearance, and punted the ball out for a throw on. We did call for the Beast as a sign of respect to our former captain.

Fakenham had another chance on the break. Garner controlled the ball in the 18 yard box, from a long ball, but the Viking charged in and cleared the danger.

Harper came extremely close with a great long range effort, but it was brilliantly saved by Rix. It was one of those moments, where the fans cheer before the ball crosses the line.

After 27 minutes, the pressure had paid off.  Harper passed to Wig; just inside the 18 yard box. Wig found some space and struck at goal. The ball took a slight deflection and ended up in the back of the net. 1-0 to the Bloods!

Not long after we finished celebrating Wigs goal, Fakenham had equalised. Williams floated in a free kick, which was well headed in by Kyle Plumb. 1-1! I did ask Rix to confirm who scored, but he wasn’t sure. At the time I didn’t care as it was a soft goal, and the lads should have done better.

The lads did not let their heads drop for a minute. Bell charged up the wing, fending off his marker. Bell was too strong for the Fakenham lad and won us a corner. Viking found Bell in space, but he was closed down.

33 minutes into the match and G Man ran at the defence. He tried to square it to Wig, but Akers got to the ball first, and cleared the ball free.

Our second goal was scored by G Man, and what a beaut! Rix decided to come off his line, and try and head the ball clear. He couldn’t catch the ball as he was out of his area. The header fell to G Man, and G lobbed the ball from 25 yards into the back of the net. 2-1 to the Bloods! The goal was on the 39th minute. Nigel B was on the tweets, and he tweeted the following:  Goooooooooallll! And what a finish! @Gstar_88 with a cheeky sneaky dinky lob from outside the box….. Now that has to be a contender for - Bloods tweet of the season.

Garner, was given a yellow card for a late challenge on Wig, which looked painful.

It was getting to the end of the first half, and the fans were really impressed by the sheer grit and determination the players were showing. Every player’s contribution was spot on.

HT: Walden 2 – Fakenham 1


Second Half

After having a couple of cheeky sandwiches in the boardroom; as payment for my hard graft before the match, we were eager for the second half to start.

We started the second half well, with our first chance coming from Bell. Wig passed the ball to Bell; who had his back to the goal near the penalty spot. He managed to turn and shoot, but it was straight at Rix.

Fakenham were not out of the game and Williams had a decent chance on goal. His shot was scuffed and comfortably collected by Croll.

50 minutes in, and Fakenham had a corner. The ball was floated into the box, and it could have been a golden opportunity for the visitors to equalise. Jon Waters described it as a Melee. I must admit, I had to look that up… Anyway we managed to get the ball away from the danger zone.

G Man continued his hard work from the first half, and dribbled the ball up the wing. He managed to get a great cross in for Wig, who headed the ball across the 6 yard line, but Gilchrist cleared the danger.

Fakenham continued to push, when Harris was threaded a great through ball. Rocky slid in and successfully cleared the danger. This Fakenham pressure started to silence the Bloods fans.

We stepped it up a gear, and the Viking found Bell, with an excellent diagonal long ball. Bell beat the defender and crossed the ball, but it was just too high for Wigs head.

Fakenham did try to come back at the Bloods, but Nobby showed why he was player of the month- with a well-timed hard tackle to win the ball back.

61 minutes in, and the fans really wanted that third goal to finish off Fakenham. The temperature had dropped and the fans were getting chilly….Well, Mrs. Nash was moaning she was cold and the flannel was about to make an appearance.

66 minutes into the match and Bell put the Bloods 3-1 up. He rose well to meet Wigs cross, and floated the ball into the back the net with his head. 3-1 to the Bloods! Come on! That certainly warmed us up.

Harper showed some excellent foot work by the corner flag, and played the ball to Wig. Wig was fouled and awarded a free kick.

G Man was having the perfect day, and brilliantly scored his second. He controlled Harpers cross and played the ball onto his foot, to calmly slot the ball past Rix. It was a lovely effort for G Man. 4-1 to the Bloods and there was no coming back for Fakenham.

5 minutes later, and G Man came close to his hat trick, but his effort went a few yard wide of the post.

78 minutes in, and Nobby was replaced by Joe ‘Boss’ Murphy. Nobby put in a solid performance for his team.

Boss, made an instant impression by living up to his knick name! Rix tied to clear the ball, but Boss didn’t hold back with a powerful header to win the ball.

Bell came very close to scoring a brace, as Wig crossed the ball into the box. Bell didn’t get the connection he needed to make it 5-1. But 10 out of 10 for effort

The Viking was replaced by Stuart Hosking. Hoskins went to centre back, and Rocky went to the left back position. Great work Viking. Great to see you back in the team.

Bell won the Bloods a corner, and we could visualise G Man scoring his hat trick. Sadly it was not the case, but his closest chance was yet to come.

84 minutes in, and Bell was replaced by U18’s Charlie Dicker. Spike, what can I say apart from excellent?! Thanks for putting in such a brilliant shift.

The Boss controlling the midfield, and showed great composure! He came very close to scoring, but his effort went wide

Dicker didn’t look out of place on the wing, and was not afraid to take on the left back. He has great potential, and with hard work I can see him being a future regular for the first team.

As Wig and G Man were pushing for another goal, they collided with Rix. It was completely accidental, but full respect to Rix, for getting up and not making a big deal about it.

Fakenham had a late corner, but it was well cleared by Sticko.

G Man came so close to the fairy tale ending. He took hold of the ball, and managed to lob Rix, but Akers flew in and scooped the ball off the line.

The game finished Walden 4 – Fakenham 1. Our group of fans had a whip round, so we could treat the lads to a well-earned drink after the match.

I am amazed if anyone disagrees with me for MOTM. My MOTM goes to Graeme (G Man) Turner. G Man was superb and so unlucky not to get his hat trick. He clapped the fans at the final whistle as a show of appreciation. Well done G Man. That performance will take some beating.

So we had finally won at home, and we won in style. Thanks lads for the effort and let’s keep it up.

I am not 100% sure when the next first team match will be. It should be at home against Ipswich, but due to their FA Vase match being postponed, we may have to wait until we visit Stanway on the 30th. Who can forget the last time we were all at Stanway?! What an amazing following from the Bloods family. Keep your eye on Twitter for details of upcoming games.

Thanks for reading
Since writing the Blog I have heard that James Road Runner Crane has decided to leave the Bloods and is now playing his football at West Wratting. Thank you from for all your hard work over the past few years. You will be missed at the club. Good luck and Wratting and we look forward to hearing about your success. 

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