Saffron Walden maintained their fine form and recorded their biggest ever home win in the Eastern Counties League as they hit Downham for eight on Saturday.

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Once again Walden scored a goal in the first minute, but did even better than the previous week by adding another goal in the 3rd minute, with hat-trick man Craig Calver having a hand in both goals.

In the first attack Spike Bell crossed to Calver, who chested the ball back to Shaun Avis, who hooked the ball into the net from close range.

Two minutes later Calver chested forward a good through ball, and calmly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper for his first goal.

The rampant Bloods had five more attempts on goal before Avis laid the ball off to Calver in the 17th minute, and the Walden number 9 jinked inside a defender before chipping the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 3-0.

Scoring chances continued to follow, and within another 10 minutes Calver completed a superb hat-trick, receiving the ball from Matt Snelling before side-stepping a defender and curling a 20 yard shot inside the far post.

In the 33rd minute, following a surging run by Bell, Snelling chipped the ball over the keeper, and although the ball was blocked on the line, he reacted quick enough to fire the loose ball into the net.

The Bloods were on fire as chances continued to arrive at regular intervals, and six minutes before half-time Calver turned provider as Jamie Solkhon drove his pas into the net for the sixth goal.

Walden continued to press forward after the interval, and in the 52nd minute the ball was in the net again when Solkhon’s effort was blocked and Cameron Watson forced the ball over the line, only for the goal to be denied by a linesman flag for an infringement.

A full compliment of substitutes from both teams disrupted the flow of the game for a while, but Walden did eventually score a seventh goal in the 77th minute when Snelling ran at the keeper, and squared the ball to Avis who gratefully accepted the chance.

Five minutes from time Paul Wood had to make his first save from a 35-yard shot from Andy Wilmott, but within a minute Calver crossed to James Crane who side-footed the ball into the goal from eight yards to complete an emphatic victory.

The win pushed Walden up to fifth place in the table, and forthcoming matches against the top three sides either side of Christmas will determine whether promotion this season is still a realistic possibility.

WALDEN: Paul Wood, Spike Bell, Jamie Solkhon, Matt Snelling, Stuart Hoskins, Cameron Watson, Jake Noble (Charlie Gray - 62 mins.), Joe Rudkin (James Crane – 68 mins.), Craig Calver, Shaun Avis, Joe Murphy (Ross Laird – 62 mins.)

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