Bloods seek Vase boost after first league loss

Jack Leachman of Saffron Walden scores the second goal for his team and celebrates during Redbridge

Jack Leachman of Saffron Walden scores the second goal for his team and celebrates during Redbridge vs Saffron Walden Town, Essex Senior League Football at Oakside Stadium on 7th September 2019 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Saffron Walden Town turn their attention to the Buildbase FA Vase as they welcome FC Clacton to Catons Lane for a second round tie this weekend.

And the Bloods will be desperate to bounce back from their first Essex Senior League defeat of the season, having gone down 4-1 at Hoddesdon Town last weekend.

Jason Maher's men had stayed unbeaten for the first 10 league matches of the season but fell behind five minutes before the break as Josh Lillis opened the scoring at Lowfields.

Walden fell further behind just two minutes after the restart as Jordan Halls doubled the home side's advantage, but Charlie Cole halved the deficit from the penalty spot before the hour mark.

That took Cole's tally for the season to an outstanding 25 goals in just 13 appearances but any hpes of getting something from the game and extending their unbeaten streak were dashed, though, as Cyrus Babaie and Lillis added further goals for Hoddy to earn them the points.

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Defeat saw the Bloods fall four points behind leaders Hashtag United and they now focus on welcoming an FC Clacton side who currently sit in ninth place in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

The Seasiders won 3-1 at Swaffham Town last weekend with goals from Jack Clampin, Mekhi McKenzie and Chris Ribchester, having lost their two previous matches.

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They had won five matches in a row before that and have already knocked out Essex Senior League outfits Southend Manor (3-0) and Redbridge (4-1), as well as Risborough Rangers (2-0) in the earlier rounds of the Vase.

The winning team this weekend will bank £900 in prize money and secure their place in the third round (last 64).

FC Clacton have twice reached the last 32 of the competition, in 1975 and 2009, while the Bloods - the oldest senior football club in Essex - made it through to the last 16 in 1991.

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