Picture gallery: Saffron Walden Town drop points at home to Team Bury

Matt Snelling and Joe Rudkin battle for possession. Matt Snelling and Joe Rudkin battle for possession.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
6:55 AM

Saffron Walden extended their unbeaten run to eight matches with a 1-1 home draw against Team Bury – but will be disappointed at not taking maximum points after having the majority of the play.

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Craig Calver heads onto the crossbar.Craig Calver heads onto the crossbar.

Team Bury put in an organised defensive display, and will be relieved to put the memory of their shock 8-0 home defeat in midweek against Swaffham Town behind them.

Walden started the game well winning two corners in the first four minutes. From the second Louis Harper’s cross fell to Jamie Solkhon who drove the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed as he was adjudged to be marginally offside.

In the 10th minute Harper found Craig Calver with space to cut inside and hit a delightful curling shot over the keeper but against the crossbar.

Team Bury won a free kick in the 14th minute, and in their first real threat on the Walden goal, Richie Partridge scored from close range, after the Walden defence failed to clear the ball despite four or five attempts to kick the ball away.

Darren Bicknell headed the ball into the side netting, and Solkhon curled a shot wide, before Matt Snelling went close to scoring in the 24th minute with a low volley which scraped the outside of the right hand post.

Calver then created room for two shots at goal, which were both saved, before a Harper free kick, five minutes before half-time struck a defender in the goalmouth.

The first half ended frustratingly for Walden, when James Crane’s cross was headed over by Solkhon from a good position, and Bicknell mis-hit his shot wide, when put clear.

At half-time Walden made a tactical substitution by taking off a defender, Cameron Watson, and bringing on Joe Rudkin, whose long throw-ins posed a different threat to the Team Bury defence.

Snelling had a shot saved before Paul Wood was called on to make a rare save from a shot by Will Brown. In the 58th minute a long throw from Rudkin was headed down by Solkhon, and the Bury keeper, Carl Pearson, made a brilliant one-handed save to push the ball away, but only as far as Craig Calver, whose close range shot hit the crossbar.

The pressure finally told five minutes later when another long throw from Rudkin fell to Snelling who equalised with a firm volley into the net.

In the 65th minute Crane almost scored from another long throw into the box, with his low shot missing the right hand post by inches, but the Walden forwards were not firing on all cylinders, and were struggling to break down a well organised defence.

The pressure intensified in the last ten minutes, but the closest the Bloods came to scoring was from another long throw by Rudkin, which Solkhon headed towards the top left hand corner, but Walters jumped to head the ball off the goal line with a magnificent clearance.

Deep into added the home supporters were given a fright when a Team Bury free kick on the left was bundled over the line at the far post, only to be disallowed for offside by the linesman, and the crowd were left to reflect that one point was probably better than none.

The hectic run to the end of the season continues tonight (Tuesday) with a vital six pointer at home to Ipswich Wanderers.

WALDEN: Paul Wood, Spike Bell, Jamie Solkhon, Matt Snelling, Cameron Watson (Joe Rudkin – 45 mins), Stuart Wardley, James Crane (Ross Laird – 77 mins), Stuart Hoskin, Craig Calver, Darren Bicknell (Joe Murphy – 77 mins), Louis Harper.

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