Swaffham Town 1 – Saffron Walden 3
April 27th 2016
It was cold, it was in the middle of nowhere and I was suffering from ‘man-flu’, but there was no way I was going to miss this match after attending every competitive match so far this season. I was in such a rush to finish work and get to Norfolk that I left my wallet at home. Luckily Peter lent me a tenner.
I had never been to the ground before and found the local supporters very friendly and welcoming. To be honest I have not been to many grounds that aren’t.
Swaffham should have been full off confidence after beating Newmarket in a 5-4 thriller on Monday, with their top scorer Joseph Jackson scoring 4 goals. The Bloods however had quite a few first team regulars missing, due to work that forced Granddad Wardley to go up front.
Considering it was a long way to travel on a cold Wednesday evening, we had at least 12 to 15 of the Bloods family at the match.
Pacey, Bell, Grindrod (Viking), Snelling (Mashy), Fleming (Rhino), Moody (Fagin), Calver (c) (Wig), Noble (Nobby), Drane (Baby Face), Wardley (Sticko), Murphy (Boss). Subs: Dicker (Chaz), Andrews
The First Half
Walden started very lively and came out the blocks fast. The passing was slick and the movement flowed. The first chance at goal came from Nobby, as he tried to place the ball into the top corner from distance, but the ball wouldn’t drop and sailed over the bar.
Walden came very close to taking an early lead. Wiggy was working his magic after running onto a great ball from the midfield. He timed his cross perfectly for Mashy to head into the back of the net, but the ball was stopped on the line by the keeper. We thought it had crossed the line, but the lino wasn’t interest in the Bloods call for a goal.
A goal for the Bloods was certainly on the cards as the lads piled on the pressure. The Viking won the Bloods a corner after his cross was deflected out of play. Wig sailed the corner to the back post, which was headed out to Fagin by the Swaffham defender. Fagin swiped at the ball which found its way through the pack and into the back of the net from about 10 yards out. That’s 2 out of 2 for the new Blood. The goal was timed at 9 minutes.
12 minutes into the match, and Swaffham won a corner. The corner fell nicely for Murphy who struck the ball sweetly, but Fagin saved (what would have been a certain goal) with his face. Now that’s commitment!
Swaffham upped their game as Murphy tried to run at the Bloods defence, but Rhino calmly took the ball off Murphy, and almost created a break with a long ball for Wig to chase down.
18 minutes into the match, and Wig received the ball about 10 yards from the corner flag near the wing. He held the ball up brilliantly as he waited for support. He did a cheeky little back heel which was timed perfectly for the Vikings run. Viking tried to cross the ball but it was blocked for a Bloods throw in.
The Boss came very close to scoring from a long range effort. His strike was low and hard, but Mayes got down well and palmed the ball around the post for a corner ball. The corner did not trouble the Swaffham defence.
20 minutes into the match, and Swaffham were awarded a penalty after Rhino clashed shoulders with the Swaffham player, as he jumped to defend a cross in the box. Vincent scored from the spot by placing the ball down the middle.
30 minutes into the match, and Mashy ran with ball into the area. His cross was headed clear by Duarte for a corner ball. The ball was thrown back over the stand and smashed Hutton in the face. It would have been a priceless ‘You’ve been framed’ moment. Poor sod, but he was okay and laughed it off. The corner fell nicely for Rhino, but his shot on target hit one of our own players.
36 minutes into the match, and Swaffham tried to break with some great link up play between the pacey Vincent and hit man Jackson. Rhino stuck with Vincent and his shot was well wide.
38 minute into the match, and Walden had two back to back corners. Both of the corners were headed away by their Captain, Miller. He didn’t hold back on the power he used to head the ball clear.
There was a slight stoppage in play near the end of the half, when Jackson looked injured. Thankfully he was okay and continued on.
HT: Swaffham 1 – Saffron Walden 1
The Second Half
You could really feel the cold and the fans were starting to shiver, as we stood in the dark behind Mayes’ goal. For the first 5 minutes of the second half, both teams passed the ball around the pitch with no clear chances.
55 minutes into the second half, and Swaffham started to gain momentum, and used the slope to their advantage. They tried to test the Bloods with a few dangerous looking crosses but they were well handled by the Bloods defence.
65 minutes into the match, and Sticko was replaced by Charlie Dicker to try and inject some pace into the attack. Sticko did well up front and was hard to handle, and looked a threat from set pieces and long balls.
73 minutes into the match, and the Boss won us a corner kick. The attack started from Wiggy, who ran all the way up the wing and crossed the ball into the box. The ball went over Boss and he had to retrieve it. He tried to cross the ball back in but it was deflected for a corner. Wiggy took the corner and Rhino headed it perfectly over the keeper and into the back of the net. That goal certainly warmed us up! Nice work from the Rhino. 2-1 to the Bloods!
78 minutes into the match, and the Swaffham player went to ground in the penalty area. I was relieved when the referee waved play on.
82 minutes into the match, and Chaz was tripped in the box by Miller; just as he was about to take a shot. The referee signalled for a penalty and sent Miller off as he was the last man. Shame really as he looked like there best player. Anyway, Wig took the penalty and calmly slotted it into the corner forcing Mayes to dive the wrong way. 3-1 to the Bloods!
We completely controlled the game until the final whistle. Rhino went on a 'Vertonghen’ style run and took it around a few players but, his final ball was well defender.
FT: Swaffham 1 – Saffron Walden 3
Fans MOTM goes to Perry Moody (Fagin). Another solid performance capped off with yet another goal. Perry is proving to be a great signing for the Bloods, and is an instant hit with the fans. Well done Perry.
So, it’s just one last game of the season left for the Bloods. Think I’ll give that one a miss!.....As if!
The lads travel to Brantham and a win could potentially finish the season in 7th place; subject to Melford and Hadleigh dropping points. Whatever happens we have guaranteed 9th place. That’s a brilliant achievement. Great work to everyone who was involved on and off the pitch!
The U18s are in action tonight at the Meadow as they take on Ely. The last match for the Ressies is at home on Saturday as we say goodbye to the 2015/16 season.
Thanks for reading