Bloods look to bounce back after bowing out of FA Vase

PUBLISHED: 16:08 13 September 2017

Jonathan Scripps is the new chairman at Saffron Walden Town

Jonathan Scripps is the new chairman at Saffron Walden Town

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Saffron Walden Town host Kirkley and Pakefield on Saturday, having seen their hopes of a run in the FA Vase shattered by local rivals Sawbridgeworth Town at Catons Lane.

The visitors began well and created two early chances, but Walden defended well and went close themselves.

Sawbridgeworth opened the scoring with a brilliant goal from talented forward Lewis Francis, who took the ball in space and smashed it past Martin Guest.

Three minutes later it was nearly 2-0 but captain Spike Bell’s sliding block sent the ball behind for a corner.

Bloods tried to rally, but they could not test visiting keeper Matt Ponter and went 2-0 down on the half-hour makr when Ryan Fleming blocked a shot at a corner and the ball fell to Francis, whose first-time shot fond the corner of the net.

The hosts had to replace Guest, who had broken his hand, with player-manager Stuart Wardley during the half-time break, with Connor Molley and James Crane coming on for Jamie Dicker and Joe Murphy on 55 minutes.

Wardley made an excellent save to tip a shot over the bar, before Tom Lakin produced a run into the box and was tripped, giving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.

Charlie Portway fired home the penalty to give Bloods hope and they continued to push for an equaliser, only to see Molloy sent off for a late tackle.

Wardley’s men kept working hard in the hope of forcing extra time, but the Robins held on to book their place in the next round.

Saffron will look to bounce back this weekend, while the club’s under-18s are due to take on Ely City tonight (Thursday).

Meanwhile, the club have also announced that Jonathan Scripps has been elected as the new chairman following Brian Wilson’s recent resignation.

Andy Player succeeds Scripps as club secretary, with Michelle Garrett the new treasurer.

Scripps said: “A dream has come true for me. I an one proud and honoured man and I will do everything I can for the club that I have loved since a boy.

“Thank you to all the support and belief the board have shown in me. I know I have a lot to prove and a lot of hard work, but I can’t wait to continue working with the board, players, staff, volunteers and fans. Up the Bloods!”

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