Saffron Walden 4 – FC Clacton 0
It was total football at Catons Lane, as the mighty Bloods thrashed FC Clacton 4-0. Last time the two sides met in Clacton, it was the Clacton fans celebrating a 3-0 win. This time it was different and the boys played with style. The Clacton’s penultimate Tweet, after Zinedine made it 4-0 was: ‘Can we go home now?’
The lads played like a team, with every pass and movement. Each player trusted one another to get the job done. They played like a band of brothers on a mission.
The game was delayed by 30 minutes, because the FC Clacton kit van had broken down. I went into the club house and spoke to the FC Clacton lads who were looking fed up as the Walden lads warmed up. The kit eventually arrived at 3pm and we kicked off at 3.30pm.
If I am honest, before the match I was feeling low. This was mainly due to three of our key players leaving over the last few months and G Man and Harper were not available. Don’t get me wrong we all need a break now and again.
I soon cheered up when I saw that Mashy and Drane were back fit, and we had signed a new player. Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Perry Moody. Moody; who we already have a nickname for, came from Haverhill Rovers and can play right back or centre back. With his long hair and the surname Moody, he is now known as Fagin…..see what I did there? Ron Moody?….Fagin?….Oliver? Well I thought it was clever. Anyway, sorry Perry and I hope this doesn’t offend you, but in my blog I make the rules! Sticko also gave the captains arm band to Paul Abbot for the match.
Pacey, Moody (Fagin), P Abbot (Captain Pabbo), Snelling (Mashy), Wardley (Sticko), Fleming (Rhino), Noble (Nobby), M Abbot (Mabbo), Murphy (Boss) Thomas (Zinedine), Bell
Subs: Drane, Dicker (Chaz), Morris.
The First Half
You’ve all heard the saying ‘blink and you’ll miss it’. That exactly what happened! Straight from the kick off, the Bloods went at FC Clacton with one task and that was to win. Mashy had the ball in space about 30 yards and decided to have a go. The ball took an awful bounce and went straight over the keeper and into the back of the net. I have no idea how quick it was but it was under 1 minute. I hadn’t even got behind the goal yet. Welcome back Mash! We have missed you. Mash summed it up after the match and said to me, if you don’t shoot, you don’t score.
8 minutes into the match, and we were full of confidence. We had won a free kick, which was played into the box but scooped clear by Coyle.
The Bloods didn’t give the defence a minute’s rest, when Zinedine pounced on a bad clearance from Fowler. Zinedine played the ball diagonally into the path of Bell. Bell went for a shot, but it was well saved by Fowler for a Walden corner. Bell took the corner, which fell for Sticko. Sticko tried to set Mash but he could not get a clear shot, so he decided to shift the ball to his left foot, but the defence did their job and blocked Mashy’s effort.
12 minutes into the match, and Bell charged with the ball down the wing. He squared the ball to Zinedine who tried to correct his balance but he was tackled well by Chapman.
17 minutes into the match, and FC Clacton started to play better football. There passing looked positive and managed to send Coyle on a run up the wing, but Bell did well to usher the ball out of play for a Bloods goal kick.
Bell and Zinedine linked up well and could read each other’s movements. Bell passed the ball diagonally across to meet Zinedines run, splitting the defence in half. Zinedine crossed the ball over the Fowler for Bell, but Wales (Billy) did very well and cleared the ball a few feet from the goal mouth. Fowler congratulated Billy for his clearance, which prompted the Bloods fans to clap Billy for his heroics!
Fagin showed how calm he could be under pressure and became an instant hit with the fans. The ball was delivered into the box from Clacton, and instead of punting the ball up the field he calmly chested it back to Pacey.
25 minutes into the match, Mashy ran his socks off to get onto a forward ball, into the box from Zinedine. He tried to square the ball, but it was well blocked by Kirkby for a Bloods corner. Bell took the corner, and it dropped sweetly for Rhino to head home from a few feet out. It was a great bit of ghosting from Rhino, which Sticko would have been proud of.
Going 2-0 up encouraged Fagin to join the attack and support Bell on the wing. Fagin crossed the ball perfectly for the Boss, but he was just off side.
30 minutes into the match, and FC Clacton won a free kick just outside the box. Coyle tried to whip the ball across the 6 yard box; hoping someone would get a touch. However, the ball sped past the players and off for a goal kick.
35 minutes into the match, and Zinedine won a free kick near the corner flag. Bell delivered the ball into the box and Sticko got his head to the ball. The header beat Fowler, but hit the bar and bounced back into the pack of players. The Boss struck the ball, but it was brilliantly defended off the line by Clacton.
40 minutes into the match, and Zinedine won another corner for the Bloods. Bell delivered the cross long to Mabbo. Mabbo controlled the ball and tried to find Rhino at the back post for his brace, but it was well defended.
43 minutes into the match and Andrade went for a long range effort, but the effort went over the bar and into the car park.
HT: Bloods 2 – FC Clacton 0
It was all smiles from the Bloods family at half time, but we knew from experience that the game was not won yet. Rhino was substituted for Charlie Dicker at half time. Don’t worry he’s not injured! He just had prior commitments and could only play the first half. A great 45 minutes from the Rhino.
They had to shuffle the pack a little bit. Fagin went to centre back, Spike went to right back and Chaz was placed on the right wing. It looked like a 4-5-1 formation with Zinedine up front on his own
Chaz made an instant impression on the wing. I believe this position suits him the best, giving him an opportunity to come forward and link up with the midfield. Chaz and Mashy linked up well with a lovely one-two into the box. Mash tried to find the Boss and the near post but Clacton headed clear.
FC Clacton had a good chance at getting back into the game, when they delivered a dangerous cross into the box. Pacey could only punch the ball up in the air for the players to fight for a free ball. Up steps the calm and collected Fagin, who calmly cleared the ball away.
55 minutes into the match, and Clacton begun to up their game. They won a corner after the Bloods headed away a free kick. The corner was taken well and found a Clacton player on the corner of the 6 yard box. His effort rattled the post and the Bloods managed to get the ball clear.
FC Clacton won another free kick, which was taken by Coyle but the Boss jumped up well and headed the ball out of the box.
63 minutes into the match, and Clacton one another free kick just outside the 18 yard box. The ball was smashed low and hard at the wall, and found its way through, but Fagin cleared the ball preventing a potential tap in.
65 minutes into the match, and Mashy was replaced by Max Drane. A brilliant hour of football from fan favourite, Mashy Snelling! It was great to see Drane back in a Walden shirt fighting fit again.
Chaz ran well up the wing, and won the Bloods a free kick. He was pulled back by the famous Billy. The free kick wasn’t the best, and easily headed out by Clacton.
75 minutes into the match, and Zinedine was the victim of very hard and dangerous challenge from Townrow. Townrow slid in late after Zinedine squared the ball in the box, and clashed with his leg. Mrs Nash’s flannel was out and the fans wanted Townrow sent off. We settled with a penalty and a yellow card. The penalty was brilliantly executed by Mabbo to make it 3-0. You don’t save those!
79 minutes into the match, and Bell was replaced by U18s star Jack Morris. Bell had another great game. I was discussing with the fans, where they think Bell’s best position is, and we all agreed it was on the right supporting the forwards. He looked dangerous running up the channels and can deliver a mean cross, as well as score when given the opportunity!
FC Clacton’s best player, Condon was extremely quiet compared to the last time we played. He did go for an ambition ‘worldy’ but it wasn’t his day and went wide.
With just 4 minutes to go, Zinedine calmly slotted the ball past Fowler to make it 4-0. Morris ran at the defence, and could have shot, but he decided to slip the ball into the path of Zinedine and the rest is history. Goal timed at 84 minutes.
89 minutes into the match, and Wales (Billy), ran up the wing taking on Chaz. Chaz stuck to him like glue and did enough to put Wales off his strike, which went into the side netting.
FT: Saffron Walden 4 – FC Clacton 0
There were a few contenders for MOTM, but the MOTM goes to Matt ‘Mashy’ Snelling. It’s so good to have the dynamic Mashy back where he belongs, in a red shirt causing havoc. Well done Mash and please, please stay fit.
Our next match is against top of the table Norwich United who are 7 points clear at the top of the table. They have won 24 out of 28 games, with 2 draws and 2 losses. If the lads play like they did today, I believe the league is in for a treat. The match is at home on the 19th March.
Thanks for reading