Tuesday, 17 May 2016

October 2015 - A view from behind the goal

October 2015

I started to get to know more fans as the season went on. In particular I got to know James White, who is fairly new to Saffron Walden. After being inspired by Floyd’s trip to Calais, James organised an acoustic gig at the club and wrote a song to help raise money. I wanted to know more about the man behind the big smile, curly hair and somewhat interesting past, so I interviewed him and you can find it on my blog. We went to the gig and had a great evening.

Now, back to the action from October 2015 and our first match was against the impressive Godmanchester.

Godmanchester 0 – Saffron Walden 0

3rd October 2015

Godmanchester were the highest goal scoring team in the league so far. James Hall has banged in 15 goals in 10 appearances. That’s an average 1.5 goals per game. Could the Bloods tame the Goddy hit man? Goddy were on a very good run, with six wins in a row.

We got to the ground just after 2pm. Goddy were having a half price day, so entry was only £3. It was great to be greeted by lots of away fans. I had made up some car stickers of the Bloods badge, and I was selling them at £2 each. I had them in my man bag along with my camera. I sold about 20 stickers, which was a result. Nigel named me ‘Delboy’! Thank you Nigel, but I had been called worse.

With the Beast and Fleming missing, Sticksy put last week’s MOTM Solkhon in at centre back to partner Reid. Solkhon is now known as Rocky. You will find out why soon.

The starting 11 were:

Floyd Croll was in goal. Defence: Grindrod (Viking), Ried, Solkhon (Rocky) and P Abbott. Midfield: Snelling (Mashy), Harper, Noble (Nobby). Forwards: Calver (Wig), Thomas and Bell. Subs: Drane, Murphy (Boss), Wardley (Sticksy) and Soutar

The Bloods won the toss and started the match. We knew we would have to go at them hard, and try and get an early goal. Thomas was the first player to look threatening. He made a lovely run up the wing, holding off his marker. He couldn’t get a cross in, but he won the Bloods a throw-in.

Godmanchester retaliated quickly, and looked very good on the ball. They had very good discipline and passed the ball well. Diaper had a great run at goal, but Rocky put in a tidy block, which gave Goddy a corner. The corner was well defended by the Viking, and Bell cleared the danger.

Bloods turned on the heat, with another great run by Wig, to win us a corner. Bell delivered a great ball for Solkhon, but he was not close enough. The danger had not seized, as Bell found the ball back at his feet. He passed the ball to Nobby. Nobby shot, but he was just wide. It did look like it took a defection for a corner, but the referee decided it was a goal kick.

Diaper and Parr linked up well, however Wiggy was having none of it. He put in a great challenge, to win the ball and ran up the wing. He was tripped and won us another free kick. The free kick was taken by Harper, but it didn’t produce a shot on goal.

We were now starting to frustrate Goddy. I presume they were not used to this level of attack, after some great back to back wins.

Now we were on the front foot. Abbott got into the match and challenged Watson. Watson went down, and it looked like he grabbed onto Abbott’s leg. They exchanged words but the referee didn’t book them.

In the last few minutes of the half, Goddy had another few chances on goal from Hall and Yoemans, but they were not good enough to beat Croll.

HT and it was 0-0. This was definitely not in the script for Goddy. They had been playing most teams off the park. I needed a pint!

Within a minute of the second half, Harper came close to scoring a ‘worldy’. Wig ran with the ball, up the wing and passed it back to Abbott. Abbott set Harper, who smashed the ball, but it went over the bar.

Two minutes into the second half, and Mashy and Rocky went down in our own 18 yard box. They had both gone for the same ball and clashed heads. It was very worrying as they didn’t get up. It was going to take more than the magic sponge. The game was stopped, while they were treated. The fans became instantly concerned when a Doctor was requested, over the PA. The ambulance was called for both players, and the game was stopped for 15 minutes. Wig came over and said that both players had split their heads open, and would need stiches. They got to their feet, and all the fans were applauding them as they went off. So much respect from the home fans. We were not sure if the referee was going to call the game off. He decided to play on, so Mashy was replaced by the Boss and Solk’s was replaced by Sticksy. After Mash and Solks decided it would be a good idea to try and knock each other out, I gave Solk’s the nickname Rocky, as he was always taking one for the team.

There was a moment of worry as Goddy ‘did’ find the back of the net, but the keeper called for a foul on Croll. Phew!! The cross came in, and was headed into the net, but Croll was knocked over.

Pressure continued and Nobby cleared the ball well, the ball came back in and Croll punched the ball away. The ball fell to Bell, who cleared it from danger.

It was starting to get tense. Sticksy got hold of the ball in the Goddy penalty error, and it looked like he was pushed over, but no penalty was awarded.

More pressure from Goddy and the lads were working extremely hard. Surely we could come away with a point.

At the time there was a hot air balloon, which landed in the field next to the ground. We thought it was Mrs. Nash and Malcolm coming to cheer the lads on.

The whistle went and we cheered. We had got ourselves a well-earned point. We thought that not many teams would go to Goddy and come away with a point. We were all buzzing after the match, which felt as good as a win.

I would also like give credit to, and thank the Goddy staff for taking good care of Rocky and Mashy.

Fans ‘Man of the Match’ went to Spike Bell.


Saffron Walden 0 – Swaffham Town 0

The Meadow

10th October 2015

It was the match I had been looking forward to since Swaffham beat the Bloods 3-0 at the Meadow last season. Swaffham finished in 2ndplace last year and were one of our biggest threats for promotion. In the end, both teams were promoted in 2nd and 3rd place. I was really hoping we would play well. Last year we struggled, but you can’t win them all.

I got to the ground early, to sort out the player of the month certificate. Andy Player kindly made one and printed it off for me. The player of the month for September was Wig Calver. We presented the award to Wig with a £25 voucher.

After last week’s head collision, both Rocky and Mashy wanted to play. But due to Doctors and Sticky’s order, they were spectating instead. You have got to love their enthusiasm. That’s what I call a true Blood!

The line up to face Swaffham Town:

Floyd Croll was in goal. Defence: Grindrod (Viking), Lawrence (Beast), Reid and P Abbott. Midfield: Harper, Fleming, and Noble (Nobby). Forwards: Calver (Wig), Thomas and Bell. Subs: Drane, Murphy (Boss), M Abbott, Crane and Turner (G Man).

Walden had the kick off. Both teams were a little cagey to begin with. The ball was being passed around the pitch well, but with no clear breaks. The first bit of action came from a foul on the Viking, near the dugout. He was awarded a free kick from a late challenge.

12 minutes into the match and Swaffham’s Vincent, was causing trouble for the Bloods. He made a lovely turn with the ball, but his shot hit the bar. It was a great effort.

We stepped it up a gear and won a throw on. The crowd beckoned for the Beast to deliver one of his ‘monster’ throws. The ball was thrown well, and Fleming flicked it into the 6 yard box with a backwards header. The ball was then headed out for a Walden corner.

Harper’s corner went over the Swaffham defence and found Wig. Wig volleyed the ball back, for Nobby to strike the ball at goal. Holt pulled off a great save to deny Nobby, but he won the Bloods another corner. The corner was taken by Bell, and headed out by Swaffham for yet another corner. Harper tried to curl his corner, but it ended up on top of the net.

As always, the fans had a slight disagreement with the referee. Thomas was tripped outside the box, which looked like a foul. Then the Swaffham defender had the ball at his feet, and Abbott put in a challenge. The defender went down, and the referee called for the foul. The referee was having a good game up until this point.

Swaffham did actually score from a header, but the flag was raised, and the goal was disallowed. Phew! Sound familiar?

Vincent was causing the Bloods grief and managed to square the ball to China, who had a shot but Bell got in the way and blocked it. The ball fell to Vincent again, and he tried to cross the ball but Abbott got a slight touch on it, and Croll caught the ball well.

We started to open the Swaffham midfield up, with some great counter attacking play. Fleming passed the ball to Thomas, who then passed it to Bell. Bell kicked the ball long for Wig. Wig again beat the right back, and shot but Prudence put in another good block.

The half time whistle went, and it was Walden 0 – Swaffham 0

Swaffham did have the first chance of the second half. The ball was crossed into the box and Vincent tried to put pressure on the Beast. But the Beast calmly headed the ball back to Croll.

Fleming was looking determined to score. He showed his strength by charging into the area with the ball. He crossed the ball to Wig, but Wig’s header went wide.

Sorry, but I just have to mention for Mrs. Nash: ‘Two hard boiled eggs in a hanky!’ The fans who were standing with us will know what she means.

Vincent was looking very dangerous, and forced another good save from Croll. The ball came back to Skolorzynski, who crossed it to Reed. Reed had a great shot, but Croll saved it yet again. Abbott tried to clear the danger, but the ball was blocked by Vincent. Vincent shot but it went wide.

Walden were under a bit of pressure, until Abbott played a great ball to Wig. Wig beat his man and squared it to G Man, but his shot went over the bar.

Swaffham started to turn up the heat, and we were defending well. Swaffham had the upper hand. The ball was crossed in by Vincent, but the Viking cleared the danger in the six yard box.

It could have gone either way, with both teams working hard to win all three points. Wig was getting frustrated and ended up getting yellow carded. He then had a great shot blocked by Prudence.

The Viking showed some lovely skills near his own corner flag. He kept onto the ball, while the Swaffham attacker tried to get a challenge in. He then lobbed the ball to Wig and Miller got in a tackle, but he only managed to clear it to Fleming. Fleming passed the ball back to Wig. Russell challenged Wig, but ended up fouling him. Wig took the free kick but it rattled against the woodwork. There was no stopping that shot, had the ball been a few inches lower.

In the end the match finished 0-0. On reflection, I would say it was a fair result. It was another point and we were unbeaten in 4 league matches.

Fans ‘Man of the Match’ went to Ryan Fleming.

Saffron Walden 1 Vs Halstead Town 0 - Thurlow Nunn League Cup

13th October 2015.

The Meadow

I remember the last time the two teams met. It was at Halstead and we ended up drawing 2-2. We were 2-0 down and got it back to 2-2. From memory it was the same day Spurs beat Arsenal 2-1 in the league.

I arrived at the ground at 7pm and sold a few more car stickers. I had a catch up with my old mate Mrs. Nash, and got the team sheet from Paul.

It was time for kick off and we headed to the usual end, but Walden lost the toss and we had to start the first half kicking towards Catons Lane. Luckily we only got half way around before we had to turn around.

The Beast was being rested for Saturday’s match against Ipswich Wanderers, which was shaping up be a huge match for both teams. We were also missing Spike Bell. The good news was that Rocky was back in the starting 11 and Mashy was on the bench.

The line up to face Halstead Town:

Soutar was in goal. Defence: Solkhon (Rocky), Fleming, Reid and P Abbott. Midfield: Harper, M Abbot, Murphy (The Boss), Drane Forwards: Calver (Wig), and Thomas. Subs: Snelling (Mashy), Crane (Road Runner), Noble (Nobby) and Grindrod (The Viking)

Wig was the first player to come close to breaking the deadlock. Thomas won the ball from the Halsted defender in the 18 yard box. He passed to Wig, who was in space. Wig tried to float the ball in to the top left hand corner but his attempt went high and wide.

Wig showed off some great skill and found Paul Abbot in space. Paul crossed the ball into the six yard box, but two of our players went for the same ball and the ball went out for a goal kick. I remember what happened last time two players went for the same ball? They ended up in A&E!

Our goal came from an excellent bit of team work. Wig was sent on a break, and dribbled the ball into the 18 yard area. He held the ball up, while he waited for Thomas to reach the penalty spot. His cross was perfect and Thomas scored. That was number three for Thomas!

32 into the match, and the Bloods passing was excellent. Harper was linking up well with the front two. He reminded me of Bobby Charlton! I am obviously far too young to remember Charlton’s glory days, but thanks to the internet, I have seen plenty of replays.

Pleace had an attempt on goal but it was well saved by Soutar. Soon after Pleace’s shot, Hutchins had a go, but it went straight to Soutar.

Near the end of the half Wig went down in the penalty box, but was not awarded the penalty. He was booked, for what the referee said was a dive. At the same time Hurkett was booked for complaining to the referee.

During the match and at half time, I was introduced to Dan Kenneth Reinll from Gjovik, Norway. He was on a trip to Walden and wanted something to do in the evening, so he decided to visit the Meadow and watch the match. He was very impressed by the club, and felt it had a really nice family atmosphere. It was great to meet Dan.

We started off the second half very well, with a series of back to back corners. We thought we had gone two nil up, when Ringe palmed the ball into his own net. The goal was disallowed as the referee said Ringe was fouled.

Walden’s passing was exciting to watch. The midfield passed with confidence, and looked comfortable in possession. After the great build up play, Wig got into the box and whipped the ball to The Boss, who was charging in. His shot was well defended near the post, for a corner ball.

The link up play between Wig and Thomas was the best I have seen all season. Thomas dribbled the ball toward the goal, and looked like he was tripped, but the referee played the advantage. He stayed on his feet and crossed the ball to Wig, but the cross was just too high. Wig ran to collect the ball and was again tripped, but no foul. He shot back up, went for a shot, but it was well saved by Ringe.

Road Runner was introduced to the match and made an instant impact. He took on and beat the left back. He delivered a long ball to Rocky. Rocky floated the ball into the area for Thomas, but it was well defended for a corner. Wig took the corner, which could have gone anywhere. It fell to Fleming, who shot, but it was blocked. Halstead struggled to clear the danger. The ball ended up back to Road Runner. RR crossed the ball, but it just didn’t reach Thomas for a header.

We continued to push for that second goal, but the game finished Saffron Walden 1 – Halstead Town 0. It was an excellent game of football. If we play like that against Ipswich, the fans are in for a treat.

Fans ‘Man of the Match’ went to James Thomas.

Ipswich Wanderers 1 – Saffron Walden 0

Saturday 17th October.

Ipswich Wanderers had just beaten their rivals Whitton 5-0 in the cup, so they were full of confidence going into the match against the Bloods. However, the Bloods were undefeated in 4 league matches, and are producing a team that were very hard to beat.

The match officials followed all suited and booted, and I complimented on how smart they all looked. They looked at me like I had 3 heads. Note to self; don’t bother trying next time. They are very serious people, with a very serious job! Communicating with us riff raff is not allowed by the FA!

With Floyd Croll suspended, and Sam Soutar in the US; we had Scott Traveller in goal. Scott played a few games for the Bloods last year, and is an experience goal keeping coach. He can also kick a ball further than most keepers I have seen in non-league football.

The starting 11 were:

Scott Traveller was in goal. Defence: Solkhon (Rocky), Lawrence (Beast), Wardly (Sticksy) and P Abbott. Midfield: Snelling (Mashy), Harper, Noble and Drane. Forwards: Calver (Wig) and Thomas. Subs: Vant, M Abbot, Bell, Grindrod (Viking) and Murphy (Boss).

Ipswich started the game off, and gave the Bloods some early pressure, but no save was needed. Traveller showed off his kicking power early. His kick went over the top of the midfield, and tried to find Wig, but it was well defended by Hitching.

18 minutes into the match and Holland had scored for Ipswich. The ball was crossed in and Paul Abbot tried to clear, but his clearance went back into the box, for Holland to head home.

Mashy almost capitalised from a bad clearance by Bradbrook. Bradbrook miss kicked the ball, and Wig intercepted it. He whipped the ball into the box for Mashy, but Mashy’s effort went slightly high and wide. It would have been very difficult to save.

Jennings was causing the back four a few issues and whipped in a cross, but it was well taken by Traveller. Jennings then tried to skin Rocky, but Rocky managed to kick the ball at Jennings to award the Bloods a throw on.

Our shot of the half came from Nobby. We took a quick throw and Wig whipped in a cross. Nobby caught the ball well, but it was very well saved by Bradbrook for a Bloods corner. The corner was well defended by Goldfinch for a Bloods throw. The Beast’s throw went over the defence and just missed Wig’s right foot by a few inches.

The Beast put in a fantastic challenge on Jennings. Jennings ran at the goal and was one on one with Traveller. The Beast stretched out his leg, and kicked the ball against Jennings for a goal kick. If he had clipped Jennings, he would have been taking an early shower. Nice work for our captain.

In the last minute of the first half Wig had a shot well saved by Bradbrook. He tried to place it in the keeper’s bottom left hand corner, but Bradbrook got down well and saved the ball.

Ipswich tried to get an early second goal in the second half, but the Beast was working very hard to protect his keeper.

Paul Abbott also put in a great block, to deny a shooting opportunity. The ball did get crossed back into the Bloods box, but the header was wide.

We started to get back into the game. Wig sent a long ball, which was well taken by Thomas. Thomas managed to turn, but his shot didn’t trouble Bradbrook.

Wig and Thomas linked up well. Wig played Thomas into space near the touchline. It looked like the defender had kicked the ball off for a corner, but the referee gave a goal kick? We were literally 5 yards from the incident.

Wig was causing havoc on the wing, and floated a cross into the box. The ball found harper, but his header was not hard enough to trouble Bradbrook.

Thomas unfortunately missed a golden opportunity to level the match. The attack started from the back. Rocky was under pressure, but calmly headed the ball back to Traveller. Traveller cleared the ball to Wig. Wig beat the defender and squared the ball to Thomas. Thomas hit the ball first time from about 8 yards at, but the ball went over the bar. He was very unlucky not to score. However it did show some excellent counter attacking football. This was definitely a Mrs Nash flannel moment!

We had about 5 minutes injury time and had one last great effort. The effort came from our keeper Traveller. The Bloods won a free kick near the dugout. Traveller went for it, and forced a save from Bradbrook. Had that gone in, it would have been goal of the year!

The Ipswich fans were in good voice and singing ‘We are the Wonderers’ by using the song ‘You are my Sunshine’ It’s always good to hear fans get behind their team, even if it is at Walden’s expense.

So, the game finished Ipswich Wanderers 1 – Saffron Walden 0. With all the chances we had, we definitely deserved a point. Just needed to find that finish!

The fans ‘Man of the Match’ went to Mashy.

Saffron Walden 1 – Stanway Rovers 2

24th October 2015

The Meadow

It was the 125th Birthday for Saffron Walden Town FC. So much history has been made at ‘The Meadow’. The club had got together, and had banner made, and an arch of red and black balloons. The Party Box in Saffron Walden provided the decoration, and SGA Technology sponsored the match.

It was also Mrs Nash and Malcolm’s 28th wedding anniversary. I bought her a flannel for the special occasion, with the Walden badge stitched on. She was very pleased with her present

I was really looking forward to this match. To me it felt like we needed to get revenge. Stanway knocked us out of the FA Vase last year. We had an epic run, and all had dreams of Wembley. I will never forget that match. The Bloods fans packed the ground, and were in full voice.

Wig was serving a 1 match suspension, and Mashy was out with an injury. We are still missing Greg Strong and Sam Gregory

The match started a little cagy. Each player was passing the ball well, and didn’t want to make a mistake. It was a different tactic, as we usually go for the kill from the kick off. It was good to see the lads keeping possession.

In true fashion, the crowd was giving the away keeper some stick. His first five goal kicks ended up in the stand. Nick Punter, if you’re reading this. You took it well, and didn’t bite once. Nice one! It was amusing how Punter’s kicking got so much better after the fans banter.

10 minutes in and the Beast did very well, to put off Shaw from having a clean effort on goal. He tracked back well and Shaw’s effort went wide.

Shortly after, Stanway’s number 7 Newson had a good attempt, but it went wide and didn’t force a save from Croll.

Stanway had their own long throw specialist, or as we like to call; The Beast. He sent in a very dangerous long throw, but Croll came off his line, and caught the ball.

Bell was given an unexpected opportunity to lob Punter. Punter decided to rush off his line to clear a forward ball, but he was out of his area and had no choice but to header the ball clear. The ball fell to Bell, but his lob went wide. It was very quick thinking from Bell.

33 minutes into the match and we drew first blood. G Man latched onto Rocky’s through ball, controlled it with his chest, and smashed it passed Punter. Lovely goal G!

Stanway tried to get straight back into the match with a series of threatening crosses, but Croll and his defence held their line well. Croll punched the ball clear, which G Man collected at the half way line. He passed the ball, for Thomas to run on to. Thomas ran all the way down the wing and into the box, but his cross was well defended by Cawley.

Bell produced the best skill of the half, when he fell to the ground with the ball at his feet. He managed to shield the ball in a crab-like position, got up and beat two of the Stanway players. He even managed to put in a cross, but Punter caught the ball.

Stanway came out for the second half all guns blazing, and had an early penalty shout. The referee told the player to get up, and he was booked for diving.

Newson had a very good shooting opportunity, but Reid tracked back and put in a block, preventing the shot. Reid cleared the ball for a Stanway throw.

At this point of the second half, Malc Nash gave me a lovely phrase for the Blog, but it was rude I can’t possibly repeat it. It was very funny though! You’re going to have to ask him.

G Man had a great opportunity to make it 2-0. G Man latched onto Thomas’ through ball and turned the defender, but he lost his footing, and his shot didn’t have enough power to trouble Punter.

The club invited some of the local Walden youth teams, to watch the match for free. They sang some great songs about Croll, about how Punter wished he was as good as him.

Stanway got quite physical, and Cawley was yellow carded for a challenge on Thomas. There was a little bit of afters. It could have been a red card. I have seen them given before.

Jamie Shaw came very close to equalising for Stanway. His strike rattled against the cross bar. Beast ran back to stop Stanway from pouncing on the loose ball.

Now this is where it gets confusing. Neale was booked for a challenge, but Stanway was awarded the free kick. The ball was quickly played to Shaw, who squared it to Slatter for a tap in. As you can imagine; the flannel was out! I still do not know why Stanway was given the free kick? I hope someone can explain it to me on Saturday. It was now 1-1.

82 minutes in to the match, and the fans were getting frustrated with the referee. He awarded another free kick to Stanway after Bell was booked?!! Now this was getting silly! To make matters worse, Stanway scored from it. A diagonal cross was delivered into the box, for substitute Meadows to header it into the back of the net. What was it with Walden and bad decisions?!

Unfortunately it was not our day! The referee blew the whistle and that was it. It was a difficult match, which didn’t help by some dodgy decisions. I feel we didn’t create enough chances, and only had a few shots on goal.

As always we congratulated Punter for his win, and for being a good sport. I look forward to playing them again at their ground.

The fans Man of the Match went to Graeme Turner

With regret, the club announced a change to the coaching team. First team coach Jason Maher had been asked to step down from the role after two seasons. The Bloods sat 19th in the league after 11 games, following this defeat.

There was a nice statement from the Chairman about Jason on the website:

‘Jason has made a big contribution to the club since season 2013-14, working with Colin Wallington and Stuart Wardley in his first season, with Stuart in the successful promotion campaign in 2014-15, and again this season. He has worked tirelessly on a number of fronts and the Board wants to put on record our gratitude and recognition for the contribution Jason has made.’

Thank you Jason for all you did for the club.

Haverhill Rovers 1 – Saffron Walden 0

The New Croft

31st October 2015

The New Croft is one of my favourite places to visit. You can’t beat a local derby. Both teams and fans are always up for the match. Not just for the points, but also the bragging rights. With a healthy crowd of 218 and over half of the fans cheering on the Bloods, it was going to be a great atmosphere.

The Bloods fans had a coach, which I had named the ‘Bloods Boogie Bus’. Malcolm Nash was the tour guide.

It had been a difficult week for the Bloods and a win was badly needed. Unfortunately for the Bloods, this wasn’t the case. For the fans that didn’t make the trip, I can assure you the lads gave their all. I am sorry if I sound like a bad loser, but we definitely deserved a point. But I will not take the credit away from a very tight Rovers defence. They didn’t give the Bloods many opportunities to pull the trigger.

Floyd Croll was in goal. Defence: Solkhon (Rocky), Lawrence (Beast), Reid and P Abbott. Midfield: M Abbott, Murphy (The Boss), Drane. Forwards: Wig, Turner (G Man) and Thomas. Subs: Bell, Harper, Grindrod (Viking) and Wardley (Sticksy)

10 minutes into the match, and Rocky started to come further forward. He made a skilful run up the wing, and was tripped for a Walden free kick. Mark Abbott’s free kick was good, and found Rocky at the back post. Rocky headed it back into the six yard box, for the Beast to take down. The ball worked its way to Thomas who went for a long range effort but it went over the bar.

Our best move of the first half came from Mark Abbott, who skilfully flicked the ball to G Man. G Man controlled the ball well and found Wig’s run. Wig played the ball onto his right foot, but his shot was saved by Archer for a Walden corner. The corner was taken by Mark Abbott but it was well defended by Rovers.

I had just realise I had recorded about five minutes of general chat, and not realised. It was nice to hear people laughing and joking. Half way through the random chat, Mrs Nash shouted ‘Come on Floyd, he’s off his line’. He decided not to shoot and replay his Wigan days. So, after five minutes into general chit chat, I finally realised that I had been recording. I won’t repeat what I said, when I realised.

30 minute into the first half, and G Man almost found himself in exactly the same position, from when he scored against Stanway. The ball was flicked over the Rovers defence for G Man run on to, but Farrant just beat G Man to the ball.

What I had noticed, was the great attacking play by the Boss. He was up for it, and was always in the box for any set piece. He also showed some great skill and won the Bloods another corner.

We were playing better than last week. Drane showed some great skills and managed to release Wig. Wig crossed the ball over the box for G Man. The Rovers left back put in a good challenge, but could only see the ball out for a Bloods throw in the Beasts territory. The Beasts effort was well defended.

Rovers came very close to a potential tap in by Weaver, but the cross was too fast and Weaver could not reach it.

HT: Haverhill Rovers 0 – Saffron Walden 0. Walden were playing the better football

We started the second half well, with two back to back throws for the Beast. We worked hard but just couldn’t get a shot in.

Rovers looked threatening coming from the back. Moody put in a great cross, but it was well cleared by the Beast for a Rovers throw.

Rovers had a golden opportunity to go 1-0 up. The ball was crossed in the six yard box, but Bakers effort went over the bar.

Thomas was causing havoc down the right hand wing. The Boss delivered a lovely ball for Thomas to run onto. He dribbled the ball all the way down the wing and into the box, but his cross only found the Rovers centre back.

The pressure continued from Rovers. They had a free kick, which Boss defended well. They followed the attack up with a corner ball, but it was well defended by Paul Abbott for another Rovers corner.

Rovers were awarded a penalty for what looked like a push. In true Wenger style; ‘I did not see the ball’, so I am not sure. A lot of people disagreed with the ref’s decision. Now the flannel was official out! But it didn’t matter because our number one, Floyd Croll saved the ball with his face. We jumped up and down and congratulated Croll for his heroics. The ball went out for a Rovers corner, which was taken well, but Bakers header was wide.

G Man had the best opportunity of the half. Thomas showed off some brilliant footwork. He was now known as Zinedine. He played a great threw ball for G Man, but his shot was well saved by Archer.

Disaster struck in the 88th minute, when Bell was given a straight red for a late challenge on Kemp. Kemp got straight up and shoved Bell, but was only given a yellow card. Didn’t seem very fair to me but there we go!

If Bell getting sent off wasn’t bad enough for the Bloods, Rovers nicked the win in injury time. The goal came from a corner and was headed in by debutant Scott Kemp.

So we lost 1-0. The boys worked hard, and as always we would go again next week

Fans ‘Man of the Match’ went to Paul Abbott


Player of the month – James Thomas

Best game of the month – Godmanchester

Worst game of the month – Haverhill Rovers away

Goal of the month – Graeme Turner vs Stanway

Away fans of the month – Ipswich Wanderers

Away ground of the month – Haverhill Rovers

Thanks for reading

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