Saffron Walden 3 – Whitton United 2
27th February 2016
After losing 3 – 0 to Clacton, the Bloods didn’t take long to shake of their defeat and get back to winning ways. The Bloods have changed there form and have not lost at home during 2016. The Meadow is becoming a fortress.
Zinedine and The Boss were in back in the starting line-up after missing Tuesday night’s defeat. We were still missing The Viking and Bell though injury and sickness. Solks was serving a match ban for his red card against Thetford, which gave young Charlie Dicker his first start for the first team and an opportunity to shine.
Now, it wouldn’t be a Bloods match if we didn’t make it hard on ourselves. The game could have easily been 5-1, had it not been for half a dozen excellent saves from Whitton’s goalkeeper Ross Welton.
Before the match, the U11s young Bloods had a photo taken with the first team. The U11s enjoyed a great coaching session with Sticko and Mashy before the match.
TEAM: Lee Pacey, Charlie Dicker, Paul Abbot (Pabbo), Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Stuart Wardley (Sticko), Craig Calver (Wig), Joe Murphy (Boss) (Jake Noble (Nobby) – 70 mins.), Graeme Turner (G Man), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper. Substitutes (not used) Neil Andrews, Jack Garrett.
The First Half
2 minutes into the match, and Whitton United had the first chance on goal after they were awarded a free kick outside the area Andrews sailed the ball into the box, which found Hubert. But Huberts’s headed effort went wide.
5 minutes into the match, and Rhino hobbled to the bench, which concerned the Bloods fans. Luckily after a quick spray of deep heat he was back on the pitch in no time.
Pabbo won the Bloods their first corner of the match, when he ran onto a brilliant flicked pass by Zinedine. The defence managed to block the shot and the ball went out of play. Harper took the corner which was headed out, but only as far as Sticko. Sticko headed the ball back into the box. Rhino headed the ball into the path of Zinedine, but Zinedine’s clean strike was pushed onto the post by Welton and Smith-Edwards cleared the ball for a Walden throw. The throw didn’t trouble the Whitton defence.
10 minutes into the match, and Whitton scored. A hopeful cross into the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Pacey, but a lucky rebound set Percy to follow up, and score from 6 yards out. Visions of the Clacton match started to haunt me.
We reacted well and added more pressure. Wig was up to his old tricks as he turned with the ball passing Percy, but his cross was straight into the side netting.
15 minutes into the match, and Wig successfully turned his marker again, but this time his cross found G Man near the back post. G Man controlled the ball and went for a shot, but it was straight at Welton.
It was G Mans turn to beat the left back, and put in a great cross. Zinedine got his head to it, but it was well caught by Welton.
Dicker made a lovely ball over the top of the defence for G Man to run onto. G Man crossed the ball into the box, which found Zinedine. Zinedine couldn’t get a clear shot so he played it out to Wig who was in space. Wig went for the shot, but the defender cleared the ball for a Walden corner.
The first goal for Walden was on the cards and the pressure finally paid off in the 21st minute. Wig made a great run down the left, and squared the ball for Zinedine to head home from only a few yards out.
Soon after the restart, Mauardo tried to beat Pacey from long range, but his shot was pushed over the bar from Pacey. The corner didn’t trouble the Bloods.
The Boss came very close to putting the Bloods into the lead, after he connected well from G Man’s killer squared ball. Boss’ shot was slightly wide and didn’t need a save from Welton.
Dicker was growing in confidence as the match went on. He held the ball up in his own half and didn’t panic as he was surrounded by green shirts. He calmly held the ball, until pass could be made and sent the ball to Sticko to build up another attack.
Rhino was looking as strong as ever in defence. Doyle went on a break and went gunning for Pacey’s goal, but Rhino stood up well and took the ball off him.
The pressure was mounting and the crowd were singing ‘we’re gonna score in a minute’! Nigel Baily had his very own solo effort at singing into my Dictaphone……delete!
Pacey made a good save as Percy squared the ball for Cole. Pacey had to dive across the goal mouth to save the follow up after the ball was squared to Cole.
The save of the half came from Welton. He brilliantly denied Zinedine from getting his second. G Man crossed the ball to Zinedine and he went for a powerful volley, but Welton was refusing to be beaten and palmed the ball away for a corner.
The corner ball produced another great save from Welton. Rhino came very close to lobbing him with a dipping header, but he skilfully tipped the ball over the bar for another Bloods corner. The corner was headed wide by Zinedine.
Pacey almost found himself in the same situation as before, when he tipped the ball up onto the bar. This time Pabbo was there to mop up the danger.
Just before the half time whistle, Dicker did very well to slow Quinton down and just got enough of the ball to stop Quinton’s charge. The ball came loose and Rhino cleared the danger.
HT: Saffron Walden 1 – Whitton Utd 1
We started the second half match with determination and grit. Mabbo won the Bloods a free kick just outside the area. Harper played it along the ground to Wig. Wig lofted the ball over the defence to G Man. G Man controlled the ball, but couldn’t shoot so he set Harper up for a long range effort. Harper went to blast the ball first time but it went wide.
3 minutes into the match, and we won a corner. Harper crossed a curling ball into the goal, which forced Welton to again tip the ball over the bar.
The lads did not let Welton rest for a minute by piling on constant pressure. Wig tested him again with a shot, but it was well handled.
50 minutes into the match, and G Man skilfully beat the Whitton defender just inside the box. His cross was low and hard, but it was well blocked by Welton and scooped away.
55 minutes into the game, and G Man came very close to scoring with his head. He jumped well and headed Harpers free kick at goal. Welton was well beaten but fortunately for him the post got in the way.
Shortly after, we could have been 2-1 down. Pacey found himself in a one on one situation, but made 3 back to back saves. The ball did eventually fall kindly to the Whitton striker, to smash the ball into the back of the net. However Dicker threw himself across the goal to block the shot. It was definitely the block of the game. Had that gone in we could have been looking at a draw or even a loss.
This helped Whitton believe they could get a result. Cole ran at goal and came close to shooting, but Rhino put in a strong challenge to take the ball off the Whitton forward.
61 minutes into the match, and Zinedine delivered a lovely pass into the box for Wig. Wig controlled the ball well and curled it around the diving Welton and into the back of the net. It was going to take a lot to beat Welton today, but Wig had the answer.
68 minutes into the match, and Zinedine headed home a free kick from Louis Harper to make it 3-1. Now, on Paul’s report it states that Zineine scored. However if you look at Martin Bowles video, you can see that Vaughan was the last person to touch the ball. It did look like an OG however Zinedine’s header was on target. I shall leave you to decide.
70 minutes into the match, and Boss was substituted for Nobby. It was great to have the Boss Man back in the squad. Well played Joe.
Dicker was involved in a late challenged which could have potentially hurt him. The whole crowd shouted at the pitch in protest. Especially the Dicker family! Had that been my Mum watching me, she would have gone mad LOL. As my Nan used to say; she would have been out there with her pinny and roller. Mrs Nash’s flannel had finally come out.
Percy was determined to score, and tried to weave the ball passed Rhino, but Rhino was in excellent form and took the ball away from Percy leaving Pabbo to calmly clear the danger and try to start another Walden attack.
75 minutes into the game, and Whitton had scored from yet another rebound off the crossbar. The ball fell kindly to Quinton, who didn’t hesitate and struck the ball firmly passed Pacey and into the back of the net. The Bloods now had a nervous 15 minutes left to go.
78 minutes into the game, and Harper was awarded a free kick outside the area after he was pulled back. Sticko was up to his tricks and went ghosting into the box. The ball was aimed at Sticko, who got his head to it. He managed to head the ball up and over to Zinedine, but his headed effort was well caught by Welton.
85 minutes into the match, and Wig was yellow carded for a foul on Quinton. I didn’t see much in it. Wig was running up the line trying to shield the ball from Quinton. Quinton went down near the wing and stayed down for a long time. Both set of fans looked concerned as the physio and manager both ran onto the pitch. After about 5 minute Quinton got up, but headed straight down the tunnel. We were all glad he was okay.
Zinedine almost made it 4-2, which would have killed the game off. G Man’s perfectly timed long ball found Zinedine in the box, but the defender stuck to him well and did enough to put him off his strike which went over the bar.
The match finally finished, and the Bloods fans cheered in joy. The lads had deserved the win as they were the better team on the day. Had it not been for Welton, the match could have been very one sided.
I asked for the fans opinion on MOTM over a few beers after the match. A lot of the lads played well, but I have decided to give the honours goes to starting debutant Charlie Dicker. Charlie’s confidence grew as the game went on, and he saved the day with his flying block across the goal line. Well done Charlie and keep working hard.
The Reserves did well and won 2-1 away to Lowestoft. Both goals were scored by Dan Manser. Great result lads! Well done
You do not have to wait until next Saturday to watch some great football. The U18s are playing away against Haverhill Rovers in the TN youth cup. Unfortunately I am working away so cannot go otherwise I would have been there.
Next week the Reserves are at home against Lowestoft while the first team travel to the coast to play Kirkley & Pakefield, and will be at home to high flying Godmanchester Rovers on Tuesday 8th March.
Thanks for reading
Up the Bloods
Catch all the highlights on Peter’s video. See below the link. Thanks Mr Croath