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1st Team - Match centre

Stowmarket Town
Saffron Walden Town
Full time
C Portway (25', 44'), J Murphy (88')
Sat 17 Feb 15:00 - Thurlow Nunn Eastern Counties - Premier Division

'Magic Murphy' Moment earns Walden all three points.

Stowmarket Town FC 2 - SWTFC 3 17th February 2018

It was the first meeting between these two sides in just over three years, with Walden having gained promotion to the Premier Division two years earlier, but it was Stowmarket who made all the early running, with Mayhew breaking the deadlock after just four minutes.

After Captain Ollie Brown was awarded a penalty, Mayhew buried the spot kick into the corner, beyond the reach of his former Bury Town team mate Neil O’Sullivan, for his 43rd goal of the season.

Stowmarket came close to a second when a slip in defence presented Garrett with a chance to race through on goal, but the winger spurned the opportunity and dragged his effort wide of the target.

Despite conceding an early goal, Walden were beginning to settle into the contest and were back on level terms on 27 minutes, as Charlie Portway fired home the rebound from a shot from new Blood Lewis Francis, which had come back off the post.

The goal seemed to spur Stowmarket back into action as they created more chances to regain their advantage. Anton Clarke’s cross reached Mayhew at the far post and his attempted lob went over O’Sullivan and over the crossbar, before Clarke stung the hands of the Walden goalkeeper with a shot after being played through on the left side.

But just as it looked like the hosts were going to move back in front before the interval, it was Walden who struck on the stroke of half time, as Lewis Francis swung a cross in for the clinical Portway to head home past goalkeeper Craig Brand to give his side the lead.

After the break the home side found it difficult to break through a resolute Walden defence, until the 64th minute when substitute Angelo Harrop’s free kick found Ottley-Gooch and his header was tipped over the bar by O’Sullivan.

Ottley-Gooch headed over from the resultant corner and Mayhew saw an effort slither the wrong side of the post, before Stowmarket’s bright spell was rewarded with an equaliser on 73 minutes, as Ottley-Gooch converted from Dave Cowley’s corner to make it 2-2.

It set up an exciting finale as a resurgent Stowmarket pushed for a winner, while the visitors also threatened to strike again when Murphy almost caught out Brand, who had raced out of his goal, but his lob went inches wide of the top corner.

With five minutes to go, substitute David Kempson’s header was tipped away by O’Sullivan, before Walden struck two minutes later with the winner as Joe Murphy steered the ball past Brand to secure all the points for the Bloods.

MOTM: Charlie Portway

Walden now face Fakenham Town at Caton's Lane on Saturday. The match is being dedicated to the late Paul Daw, who was part of the Bloods for over 50 years

Reported by Alex Moss, Stowmarket Town FC
Title by Stuart Vant (C.)

Key moments

Goal Charlie Portway scores for Saffron Walden Town
Goal Charlie Portway scores for Saffron Walden Town
Goal Joe Murphy scores for Saffron Walden Town


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88:00 Goal 0 - 3
Joe Murphy scores for Saffron Walden Town
End of period 1
44:00 Goal 0 - 2
Charlie Portway scores for Saffron Walden Town
25:00 Goal 0 - 1
Charlie Portway scores for Saffron Walden Town
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Stowmarket Town
  • Saffron Walden Town
  • 0
  • Charlie Portway Goal 25:00'
  • Charlie Portway Goal 44:00'
  • Joe Murphy Goal 88:00'

Team selection

O'Sullivan, Neil O'Sullivan, Neil
Bell, Spike Bell, Spike
Fleming, Ryan Fleming, Ryan
Moody, Perry Moody, Perry
Emsden, Oliver Emsden, Oliver
Murphy, Joe Murphy, Joe
Skeggs, Ashley Skeggs, Ashley
Crane, James Crane, James
Simon-Parson, Julian Simon-Parson, Julian
Portway, Charlie Portway, Charlie
Francis, Lewis Francis, Lewis

League round up

Other Premier Division results

FC Clacton
Hadleigh United
Ipswich Wanderers
Coggeshall Town
Long Melford
Newmarket Town
Walsham le Willows
Godmanchester Rovers


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League table

# Team Pl Pts
9. Newmarket Town 46 73
10. Kirkley & Pakefield 45 68
11. Saffron Walden Town 46 67
12. Thetford Town 46 66
13. Wroxham 46 66
14. Ely City 46 63
15. Great Yarmouth Town 46 59


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