Gallery: Blood and WGC in FA Cup stalemate

Action from Saffron Walden Town and Welwyn Garden City's 1-1 FA Cup draw. Picture: Jamie Pluck Action from Saffron Walden Town and Welwyn Garden City's 1-1 FA Cup draw. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Monday, September 1, 2014
11:13 AM

A crowd of 607 spectators turned out at the Meadow on Saturday for Saffron Walden Town’s 1-1 draw with Welwyn Garden City in the FA Cup preliminary round.

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The Bloods had the better of the first half, and just deserved to be ahead at the interval, but WGC showed why they are unbeaten this season in the second half, and deserved a replay on their own ground on Wednesday evening.

The game was played at a high tempo throughout, and play kept switching from end to end very quickly. Sam James shot wide in the fourth minute, and Jamie Sokhon responded two minutes later with a header wide of the post.

Floyd Croll showed a safe pair of hands to a free kick, and then Craig Calver responded for Walden with a low shot straight at the keeper.

Walden came close to a goal in the 11th minute when Calver was fouled, and from the free-kick Solkhon’s goalbound header was headed from under the bar by Liam Kenna.

The game maintained its end to end pattern but Walden found the net in the 29th minute when, following a free-kick for a foul on Calver, Louis Harper’s pile-driver of a shot was spilled to Sean Avis to score. Walden’s celebrations were cut short when the goal was disallowed by an offside flag.

Walden were gradually getting the upper hand and in the 34th minute Calver did well to get clear on the left and his low cross found Graeme Turner who scored from close range.

A minute later Walden nearly scored again when Matt Snelling made one of his characteristic bold runs and shot just over the bar from a good position. Walden finished the first half on the front foot, and were worthy of their lead at the interval.

The Bloods made a good start to the second half as Solkhon, Snelling and Turner all went close to doubling the lead.

Walden had defended well up to this point but in the 58th minute 16-year-old Reggie Ross found some space on the right and crossed low for Sean Brettell to get a foot on the ball, which Floyd Croll got an arm to, but could not stop the ball going into the net for the equalizer.

The goal raised WGC’s confidence and they began to play some good football. It was then their turn to have a goal ruled out as Joel Norris was flagged by the assistant.

Ross had a shot deflected in the 73rd minute, and five minutes later he headed the ball over the advancing Croll but Solkhon was on hand to clear the danger.

The last 15 minutes saw play swung from end to end as either team could have won it, but the game ended all square.

The replay is at WGC’s Herns Lane on Wednesday with the winner earning a tie against Thurrock in the first qualifying round.

Team: Floyd Croll, Peter Davies, Jamie Solkhon, Matt Snelling, Adam Fisher, Chris Reid, Craig Calver, Ross Laird (Joe murphy – 66 mins), Graeme Turner, Shaun Avis (James Crane – 66 mins), Louis Harper. Subs: (Not Used) Darren Bicknell, Stuart Wardley, Anthony Choat, John Griffin).

Att: 607

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