Sunday, 7 February 2016

Saffron Walden 2 - Mildenhall Town 1

Saffron Walden 2 – Mildenhall Town 1

6TH Feb 2016


The last time these two sides met, Mildenhall came away with a narrow 1-0 win. I remember the match well as it rained most of the evening in the middle of August. This time it was at windy Walden! Hurricane Harry (or whoever) was doing his bit. Could the Bloods make it three wins in a row at the Meadow?

I arrived at the ground just before kick-off and presented Spike Bell with his certificate and voucher, for winning Player of the Month for January. It was a great achievement for the loyal Bloods player, who had been with Walden more than a decade. Thoroughly deserved, after some back to back brilliant performances!

As I arrived at 14.50, I didn’t get much chance to see the usual suspects. I usually like to arrive at least 30 minutes before the match starts, so I can soak in the atmosphere and say hi to the fans, players and staff.  I’d did go and look for Fiona - so she could take a picture of me and Spike, but she was hiding in the club house so I had to settle with Carlos Bailey. Love you really Nigel, even though you aimed a lot of your banter at my expense.

The Team

Croll, P Abbot (Pabbo), Grindrod (Viking), Noble (Nobby), Fleming (Rhino), Wardley (Sticko), Calver  (Captain Wig), M Abbot (Mabbo), Bell, Thomas (Zinedine), Harper. Subs: Murphy (Boss), Andrews, Soutar (GK) and new Blood: Pacey (GK)

Welcome to Walden Lee Pacey.

The First Half

The Viking was the first player to start the ‘Come on Walden’ chants, as he ran at the defence and shot at goal but his effort was well blocked and collected by Pope.

The first 10 minutes was a mix of Pope complaining at the referee, and both teams trying to keep the ball! Sorry but it wasn’t the most exciting starts I have seen. It was tough out there, with the wind and both teams struggled to play at pace.

15 minutes into the match, and Wig won the Bloods a free kick just outside the area as he was flattened by Brown. Harper played the ball short to Zinedine who managed to turn, but his shot was not on target. Pope was not happy with his defence and shouted ‘Too Easy’ to his team mates.

17 minutes into the match, and Super Floyd made a brilliant save. It was great link up play between Yeoman, who crossed the ball to Cooper. Coopers’s strike looked certain to beat any keeper, but Croll, isn’t just ‘Any Keeper’, and saved Cooper’s effort. Sticko did well to clear the rebound out of the box.

20 minutes into the match, and it was hand bags at dawn. Yeoman made a late challenge on Viking, which caused a bit of a face off. The referee had no choice but to produce the yellow card and book Yoeman. He was lucky to stay on the pitch.

Mildenhall were first to get on the score sheet, after the Viking accidently tripped the Mildenhall forward in the penalty area. It looked quite soft to me, but apparently it was an accidental trip. Yeoman took the penalty and went for power. Croll dived the right way, but it went slightly over Croll and into the back of the net.

Mildenhall pushed for a second, when Brown delivered a dangerous cross into the box, but it was well cleared by Sticko for a Mildenhall corner. The corner was taken by the wind and went over the top of the goal and out.

Nobby received a yellow card for a foul on Butcher.

Wig won the Bloods a free kick near the corner flag. Harper crossed the ball into the 6 yard box, which was punched away by the diving Pope. Cooper then cleared the ball for a Walden throw. The throw didn’t trouble Mildenhall.

Mildenhall won a throw 10 yard from the corner flag. They went for a Beast style long throw, but Nobby jumped well and flicked the ball away from the box. Enaro picked up the loose ball and passed it to Green, who hung near the 6 yard box. Green tried to turn and hit the ball on the volley, but his shot went over the bar.

Mabbo conceded a free kick outside the box. Mildenhall tried to test Croll with a long range effort, but it was well collected by the Bloods number 1.

35 minutes into the match, and Bell stepped up and ran with the ball up the wing, and won us a throw on 10 yard from the corner flag. Unfortunately nothing came from the throw.

At the time the fans were asking about the cricket score. I asked where England was playing. Nigel reacted as if I asked him what colour the sky was! I then told him I was too young to watch cricket. The fans replied with a lot of ‘oooohhhs’ and laughs. Round 1 to Scripps!

40 minutes in and the dangerous Enaro broke well from a Bloods throw. He played a through ball to Brown, who was running up the wing. Pabbo reacted quickly and slid in to clear the danger.

Our last effort came from a great run into the box by Zinedine, but the ball was scooped clear from the Mildenhall’s penalty spot.

HT Saffron Walden 0 – Mildenhall Town 1

I must admit, I really was not feeling it today. Sounds negative, but I think it was the rushing to make it for kick off and not having time to settle. I even had a beer and a portion of chips, which were badly needed.

The Second Half

So after a bit of a moan, I told myself that it was only 1-0 and we can do this. So, with my new found confidence I got behind the goal, and cheered the boys on.

2 minutes into the game and Wig won us a free kick for the Viking to take. This was after a great run by Bell. Viking delivered the ball to the back post, which only just missed Rhino. It was a great effort and what the fans wanted to see from there team. The Bloods started to ask questions of the Mildenhall defenders.

As I listen back to my recording, all I can hear is the wind. It was very tough conditions and any ball in the air was difficult to manage.

Mildenell won a corner, but it was well defended by Sticko. Sticko found Zinedine run, but it was slightly too far inform of him and Pope smashed the ball clear.

Wig won a throw on which was played quickly to the Viking. Viking tried to set Zinedine with a cross, but it was too powerful to control and went off for a goal kick.

Sticko was up to his usual tricks again and went ghosting into the box. He managed to get his head to a great cross from Bell, but his effort went over the bar. The Bloods were certainly knocking on the door.

61 minutes into the match, and Harper was replaced by Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy. Well done again Harper.

66 minutes into the match and Mildenhall won a corner. It was starting to get cold, and the wind was getting more aggressive. Cooper took the corner and went short to Asensi. Asensi tried to set Simpson. Simpson could shoot so passed it to Cooper but Bell blocked Coopers’s effort and Rhino cleared the danger.

Enaro had a decent effort on target but Croll got down well and kept hold of the ball.

Zinedine made a great break, and passed the ball to Mabbo. Mabbo threaded the ball to Bell, who was charging up the wing and won the Bloods a throw on. The throw was delivered into the box and it looked like Zinedine was shoved, but no penalty given. The Bloods had to settle with another throw on. The boys worked extremely hard to get back into the match.

72 minutes into the match, and all that hard work paid off after Zinedine was fouled by Butcher in the box, after getting goal side chasing a through ball. The home fans were chanting ‘Off Off!’ as Zinedine was the last man and Butcher was already on a yellow – rules are rules. The referee awarded the Bloods a penalty and sent Butcher off for an early shower. Mabbo stepped up and after about the 3rd attempt of keeping the ball still on the spot, he sent Pope the wrong way and calmly slotted the ball into the right hand corner. It was 1-1 and plenty to cheer about.

82 minutes into the match, and the Viking had struck the back of the net with a brilliant goal. He made a 50 yard charge at the defence, passed the ball to Zinedine who flicked it over the defence onto the charging head of the Viking, and he flicked it into the back on the net. It was magical and a goal that Vardy would have been proud off.

Forget Hurricane Harry - now meet Hurricane Grindrod! – Now that’s a headline!

85 minutes into the match and Mildenhall had a free kick. The Walden fans held their breath as they watch the striker’s effort go well wide.

Walden played the next 5 minutes with confidence and pushed for a third goal. As the minutes ticked down, Wig and Zinedine worked hard keeping the ball in the corner flag. The Mildenhall players were getting frustrated as they struggles to get the ball back. We shouted at the referee to blow the whistle with every Walden pass.

The final whistle went and we had beaten 5th place Mildenhall. What a brilliant second half performance and the boys never gave up.

FT: Saffron Walden 2 – Mildenhall Town 1

MOTM was very close in the end, but after speaking to the fans the majority agreed with me and this week’s MOTM goes to Dan ‘The Viking’ Grindrod. Well done Dan. Great work throughout and was rewarded with the match winner.

Next week Walden play Thetford down, who are fighting for survival. It will be a difficult match but I am sure the lads can get all 3 points.

Thanks for reading


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