Top Six for Wardley’s Winners
Walden earned another valuable three points against fourth place Brantham Athletic. The Bloods are now in the top six in the Thurlow Nunn League. Wardley’s men have won 7 games out their last 8 and are becoming the team to beat.
Walden’s first opportunity at scoring came from a free kick. Charlie Gray crossed the ball into the box, and found Connor Molloy’s surging leap. Molloy headed the ball at the goal, but the goalkeeper Robinson tipped the ball over the bar.
Brantham’s Sam Newson, had an excellent opportunity with a stunning long range effort, but his dipping strike rattled the crossbar, and was cleared out of danger.
In a very even first quarter of the match, Brantham got the opener. The ball was crossed in from a free kick which was headed into the back of the net by Oliver Mann, who was lurking at the far post.
Dan Grindrod and Neil O’Sullivan were called into action as top scorer Newson had two efforts blocked. The first was brilliant blocked by Grindrod’s sliding challenge, and O’Sullivan bravely saved the second shot, at the near post.
Walden continued to work hard, and got their reward just before the half time. Trendall was fouled on the line as he tried to keep the ball in play. The referee awarded a free kick, and the ball was crossed in to the box. Brantham failed to clear the danger, and Ashley Skeggs ran onto the loose ball and poked it into the back of the net from five yards out. At half time the score was level.
Walden had Storm Brian behind them for the second half, which was making it difficult to play. Within two minute of the second half, Dan Trendall ran onto a through ball and struck the ball, but his effort hit the post.
The Bloods were determined to get the win and were playing some great football. They seemed calm, composed and communicated well. Both full backs; Bell and Grindrod started to get more forward as the half went on, giving the Brantham defence issues.
The pressure paid off as Walden took the lead, with 20 minutes to go. Trendall was fouled outside the area, and the referee gave a free kick from 25 yard out. The ball was played into the six yard box, and Ryan Fleming jumped up and headed the ball into the goal. This caused a debate from the Brantham players, as they believed Robinson was fouled, but the referee had a clear view of the situation.
Just minutes remaining Brantham were awarded a penalty, as Fleming accidently tripped the attacker. The penalty was hit with power, but the ball flew high and wide of the goal.
The match ended Saffron Walden Town FC 2 – Brantham Athletic 1.
MOTM went to Neil O’Sullivan