Monday, February 4, 2013
ONCE again Saffron Walden Town were unable to break down their ‘bogey’ side Whitton United at Catons Lane on Saturday.
Despite spending the vast majority of the game in the Whitton half of the pitch, the Bloods had to settle for a goalless draw, in a game they should have picked up all three points.
Things could have been so much different if Walden’s best chance of the game had been taken in the sixth minute. From a corner won by Dan Grindrod, Louis Harper’s cross was punched away by the diminutive Whitton keeper, Liam Jones. Walden’s leading goalscorer, Stuart Wardley, who started the game in midfield, seemed certain to score but his close range shot struck a defender on the goal line, and the ball was scrambled away to safety.
Harper then had two shots saved by Jones before Matt Snelling was harshly penalised after making a good tackle 10 yards outside the penalty area in the 13th minute. Kevin Inglis‘s free kick was deflected into the air, and landed on the crossbar. From the corner the ball was cleared to Inglis, who shot high and wide.
Walden returned to the attack with Charlie Davies and James Crane both shooting wide, and then the Whitton keeper saved at the feet of Davies. All within a three minute spell on the half hour.
The Bloods continued to press with Jones saving from Snelling in the 39th minute, and a minute later a nice passing move resulted in Crane’s cross being nicked of the head of Nathan Cox. Three minutes before the interval Cox headed a Dan Dea’th cross just wide, when well placed, and moments later Snelling’s powerful drive was held by the busy Whitton keeper.
Kicking towards a good crowd in the newly-completed Catons Lane shelter in the second half, Wardley headed a 48th minute free kic, which forced a save from Jones.
Another well-taken free kick in the 54th minute saw Alex Riches flick the ball over the keeper, but once again a defender prevented a goal with another goal line clearance.
Crane and Snelling both shot off target when well placed, and Dan Grindrod also shot wide with a good effort from 25 yards.
Two questionable off-side decisions frustrated Walden, the first denying Wardley a run on goal, and then shortly afterwards a splendid 30 yard lobbed shot from Dea’th was pushed onto the bar by the keeper, only for a corner not to be given.
Six minutes from time a Crane shot was well saved by man-of-the-match Jones in the Whitton goal, and the Bloods had to settle for just one point.
Frustratingly, Jason Harvey, did not have a save to make in the Walden goal.
On Saturday Saffron Walden will hope to get back to winning ways away to Team Bury at Ram Meadow.
SAFFRON WALDEN TEAM: Jason Harvey, Dan Dea’th, Dan Grindrod, Chris Reid, Alex Riches, Stuart Wardley, Louis Harper, Matt Snelling, Nathan Cox (Darren Wardley, 45), James Crane, Charlie Davies