Reserves Storm into Cup Semi-Final
Blood Reserves produced another fine performance against league leaders Witham Town Reserves to move into the Semi - Finals of the League Cup
The reserves welcomed Witham Town reserves to Catons Lane in the 2nd round of the League Cup, a fixture which proved to be tough and there for the taking for both sides.
The first real chance of the game came in the 5th minute, after a Witham Town player almost found the target, but struck it just wide of Jason HARVEY’s goal.
Walden’s first real chance of the game came after 15 minutes. Midfielder Liam MOIR found David KIBBLEWHITE in the box, but saw his attempt dealt with by the Witham keeper.
After a fairly open first twenty minutes, with fast, fluid football from both teams, Saffron Walden’s Pedro DA SILVA opened the scoring, in the 23rd minute, finishing a lovely attacking spell from the hosts with a beautifully struck shot from just outside the box into the bottom left corner, catching the goalkeeper out and leaving most of the players and crowd in shock.
Throughout the game Walden found themselves having to defend quick counter attacks from the Witham forwards on many occasions. On this instance, Keith Dicker almost found his side pinned back, but for a shot just put wide by a Witham striker in the 28th minute.
However, chances were still coming for Walden and they could have doubled their lead in the 39th minute after Charlie Smith’s cross from the right hand side couldn’t quite be converted by striker David KIBBLEWHITE, who two minutes later forced a save out of the opposition keeper with a solid strike.
HT: Saffron Walden Town Reserves 1 Witham Town Reserves 0
The second half started with most of the chances going Witham’s way with some dangerous runs through the defence and a shot that was driven over the bar after a scramble in the box from a corner. Just minutes later, another scramble in the box forced a block off the line from a defender to keep Keith Dicker’s boys ahead.
It wasn’t until the sixty minute mark when Walden’s first proper chance of the second half came; a well worked attack with a shot from Charlie Dicker blocked and then crossed back into him as he controlled it well on his chest, but couldn’t keep his head down and fizzed it just over the crossbar.
Minutes later, another chance came for Walden after Kibblewhite put in a perfectly timed low-driven cross into Oliver Borley at the near post, but mistimed the shot and the keeper easily caught it.
Jason HARVEY and his defence were put to the test once again at 68 minutes, when the ball was driven across goal from the left hand side without finding a touch until an attacker on the right side of the box looked sure to put it away, only to be denied by a great save by the captain between the sticks.
It was a game with strong tackles and a lot of aggression, with a total of eight yellow cards shared between the teams. It appeared to have boiled over in the 72nd minute when some pushes were exchanged between two opposing players and it started to kick off a bit. However, the referee did well to calm them all down and no bookings were made over the incident.
At 80 minutes, the Bloods finally doubled their lead after a lovely through-ball from Kibblewhite on the left side of the box found the surging run of Flynn Tarman who placed the ball past the keeper into the bottom left corner.
However, Witham weren’t beaten yet and still looked to cause problems for the Walden defence which had been solid thus far. In the 85th minute, the Witham striker Max Wilson finished a quick counter attacking move with clean shot past Harvey, and the last five minutes were quite nervy for Walden. However, the equaliser wasn’t to be and the Bloods held their victory as they proceed to the next stage of the competition.
Team: Harvey (C.), Tarman, Strong, Lock, Moody, Da Silva, Smith, Moir, Borley, Kibblewhite, C Dicker
Subs: J Dicker, Garrett (58), Morris (80), Pluck (46), Sansom
Report by James Moloney