Sunday, 3 April 2016

Felixstowe and Walton 0 - Saffron Walden 1

Felixstowe and Walton 0 – Saffron Walden 1

2nd April 2016

Throughout our journey to the seaside, Peter and I were discussing which has been favourite game of the season. We have had some great games, but the effort and work the Bloods put in against F&W was incredible. I have never heard Sticko that vocal! He did not stop instructing and encouraging his team throughout the 90 minutes. Or should I say 100 minutes! It was definitely ‘Fergie time’ at the Seasiders, which is always exhausting for the fans when you’re holding on to all 3 points.

The Team

Pacey, Bell, P Abbott (Pabbo), Snelling (Mashy), Fleming (Rhino), Moody (Fagin), Calver (Wig), M Abbott (Mabbo), Turner (G Man), Thomas (Zinedine), Noble (Nobby). Subs: Harper, Drane, Scott, Morris and Wardley (Sticko)


The First Half

The first 10 minutes saw most of the possession go to F&W. They controlled the ball well and had two good opportunities to go 1-0 up. The first was from an early free kick, when Bennett tried a cheeky short ball for Powell but his pass was too strong and ran out of play. The second effort was from a corner, after Rhino made an important block to stop Andrews from whipping in a cross. The corner did not trouble to Bloods.

Our first flash of attack came from Zinedine. Wig played a great ball over the F&W right back for Zinedine to run onto. Zinedine got the better of him but was called offside. It must have been extremely close, and a little suspect. The lino waited for the call from the defence before raising his flag…..sound familiar?

10 minutes into the match, and Zinedine won a free kick after being bundled over. Mabbo sailed the ball into the back post but Sheppard headed the ball away, but only as far as Wig. Wig tried to curl the ball into the top corner, but it went wide.

12 minutes into the match, and F&W won a corner. Bennett took the corner, but it was well defended by Pabbo.

We started to get a grip on the game, but Zinedine was unlucky to be caught off side, as he ran onto a lovely ball by Mabbo. Wig was not happy with the decision and complained to the ref. Wig complimented Zinedine on a great run. It’s always hard to see an offside when you are standing behind the goal.

The Bloods gained confidence and started to battle harder. Mashy did really well to win the ball back and earn us a throw in. Pabbo took the throw-in and the ball found its way to Wig. Wig went for a shot but it was well blocked.

18 minutes into the match, and Mashy and Zinedine’s chemistry coming forward was excellent. They made a lovely one-two into the box and took their time before striking at goal. Eventually Zinedine took the shot but it was well blocked.

20 minutes into the match, and F&W won a free kick, after Pabbo pulled down the talented F&W winger. Bennett whipped the ball into the box, but Rhino got to the ball first. He headed the ball up in the air and Pacey calmly caught the ball.

22 minutes into the match, and Pacey pulled off a great save, which would have rattled the back of the net. Matthews squared the ball for Andrews, whose point blank first time effort was brilliantly saved by Pacey. This resulted in a corner for F&W. Bennett took the corner but it did not trouble the Bloods defence.

Mabbo showed some brilliant control with the ball. He skilfully controlled a long ball from the defence, flicked it up, and lobbed it over the top of the defence for Zinedine to run onto. Zinedine then pass sent Wig on a run, but he was tripped just as he was about to pull the trigger. We were awarded a free kick. Unfortunately the free kick went straight out of play.

25 minutes into the match, and F&W came close with a header from a corner ball. The header went over the bar.

26 minutes into the match, and there was a worrying moment when Sheppard clashed heads with Zinedine. Both physios came onto the pitch to treat the players. Luckily both players were fine and continued.

30 minutes into the match, and Zinedine won a free kick. Mabbo went for the back post, but it was punched clear by Crump.

Rhino and Pabbo showed the fans some brilliant composure while they were under attack. They controlled the ball near the Bloods corner flag, but didn’t just hoof the ball into row Z. They played it out of trouble and almost sent Wig on the attack.

34 minutes into the match, and G Man came very close to giving the Bloods the lead. Pabbo’s long ball found G Man into the box. G Man tried to flick it over Crump, but it was just too high and went over the bar. I ran to retrieve the ball and made a complete prat out of myself. I thought I’d try throwing the ball back to Crump, but instead I hit one of the advertising boards.

37 minutes into the match, and F&W started putting on the pressure. Nobby stood up well and blocked the shot, for a corner to F&W. The corner was taken by Bennett. He crossed the ball into the box, but Bell cleared the ball with a powerful header.

F&W started to put pressure on the Bloods and won two corners in quick succession. Both corners were headed clear by Rhino.

45 minutes into the match, and Wig won a free kick on the ‘D’ of the 18 yard box. Wig tried to beat the keeper at the far post, but he dragged his shot and his effort went wide.

HT: Felixstowe and Walton 0 – Saffron Walden 0

The Second Half

Now this half was more like the Bloods you all know and love. The half time team talk must have been inspiring as the lads came out fighting. G Man used his strength and ran between the two centre backs, after controlling a great ball from Mabbo. The defenders surrounded him as he tried to give himself some space to shoot, but Barber did his job and put in a block. The loose ball was scooped clear by Crump.

5 minute into the match, and Pabbo pulled off a brilliant goal line save, using his face! Yes, he literally got his boat race in the way of a clear strike on goal. He was lucky to not break his nose. Well done Pabbo.

Zinedine made a 60 yard run up the wing and took it past two defenders. He did a sweet Cruyff turn, but his final cross was blocked for a corner. Bell took the corner but Crump caught the ball.

13 minutes into the second half, and Paul ‘The Face’ Abbott put in a brilliant block to deny Schaar a great effort on goal, from 8 yard out.

19 minutes into the match, and Zinedine was working his socks off on the left hand wing. He ran with the ball and waited for a Bloods cavalry to arrive. He held the ball up well, but just couldn’t find that final ball. The defence doubled up on him and restricted his movement.

20 minutes into the match, and G Man won the Bloods a corner after his energetic run with the ball was kicked out of play.

21 minutes into the match, and F&W won a free kick. Barber sailed the ball into the box. The Bloods stood up well, and Rhino got the final touch as both sides scrapped for the ball. Rhino cleared the ball out to Zinedine. Zinedine tried to run but was fouled and was awarded a free kick.

F&W received the first yellow card and he tripped Mabbo while he was controlling the ball in his own half. Pacey took the free kick from the 18 yard box.

G Man went on another run up the wing, and produced a near perfect cross for Zinedine. Zinedine was charging into the box, but the ball was brilliant headed up and over Zinedine by Sheppard for a throw in. Pabbo took the throw and threw it to Wig. Wig turned his defender but his final ball was deflected for a corner. Mabbo was having issues with the corner flag. The flag was broken at the bottom and fixed with tape. It kept bending into Mabbo’s path. There was quite a bit of banter from the fans and players. The cross was blocked and went straight back to Mabbo. His second attempt was almost met by Rhino, but F&W did well to clear the ball out of the box.

73 minutes into the match, and the Bloods pressure had finally paid off. The build-up play started from a Pabbo throw-in. Mash controlled the ball and played a through ball for Zinedine. Zinedine ran into the box, and delivered the perfect diagonal pass for Wig to tap in at the far post. It was a great piece of link up play. 0-1 to the Bloods.

75 minutes into the match and Mabbo was replaced by Louis Harper. It was another solid performance by Mabbo. Well done mate.

Shortly after the goal, F&W worked very hard to equalise as soon as possible, but Rhino and Fagin did a brilliant job in commanding the back four.

78 minutes into the match, and Walden continued to play there way, and didn’t try and put 11 men behind the ball. This was encouraging for the small group of away fans. It showed confidence from the lads. It started to rain and was getting cold. I was left standing there in the rain and wind, hoping and praying for all three points.

Bell did really well at forcing the F&W players, back and made them make a mistake. He won the ball back and crossed it into the box, but no one was home.

82 minutes into the match, and the lads were working extremely hard. They looked determined to win all three points. Powell ran up the wing and into the box, but Pabbo put in a block to deny F&W a chance for an equaliser.

84 minutes into the match, and I could hardly breathe as F&W won a free kick. Bennett crossed the ball, but thankfully the header went wide of the post.

86 minutes into the match, and great pressure from Wig forced an over hit back pass, which put Cramp into a difficult position. Crump had to save the ball at full stretch, to concede an indirect free in the penalty box. The free kick was tapped sideways to Harper, whose fiercely driven low shot, just missed the far post.

90 minute into the match, and the lads really dug in deep. F&W worked really hard to try and spoil the day. They had a last minute corner which was headed wide for a goal kick. My heart was pumping like mad.

90 minutes into the match, and Max Drane replaced Mashy Snelling. It really has made a difference having Mashy back fit. Well done again Mashy.

It felt like the match would never end. Especially after they won a free kick! I was really nervous and shouting at the referee. The free kick was handled well by Rhino and cleared for a throw-in. Sticko was asking the ref how long we had left….or something close to that! The ball was crossed into the box, but Pabbo was having a brilliant game and didn’t let the ball pass him.

The final whistle went and the Bloods had deserved all three points. What a game. Mrs Nash would have been climbing the goal posts if she had of been there. Forget the flannel, this match needed a towel!

As we left the ground the F&W manager congratulated us, and said that we had deserved it. It was a sign of great sportsmanship.

So for MOTM! The MOTM goes to Paul Abbott. Pabbo had one of his best games so far. He worked extremely hard and put his face on the line to earn us all 3 points. Well done Pabbo and thank you. You definitely deserve a few beers over the weekend.

Overall it was a brilliant team effort. We have never beaten F&W before and this match showed a turning point in our play. I really think we could challenge next year as long as we keep all the players fit and proud to wear the badge every week.

The Ressies had an excellent result at home after they beat Brightlingsea Reserves 3-1. Goals scored by Morrell, Game and Young. It has brought them up to 7th place. I asked Fiona who was MOTM and she gave it to Peter Davies. Well done Pete.

Next the first team play Long Melford at home on the 9th April. Melford have had a great season and are 7th in the league.

The Ressies are in action on Tuesday night at home and they face Hadleigh Utd Reserves. Good luck lads.

Thanks for reading

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