Picture gallery: Hockey: Saffron Walden put eight past Upminster
PUBLISHED: 12:55 05 February 2014
The next two games could define Saffron Walden's season after this latest win kept them firmly on track for promotion.
Walden strolled to a comfortable 8-1 victory over lowly Upminster on Saturday, to remain one point behind leaders Old Southendians and five in front of third-place Havering.
They face both within the next fortnight, starting at Old Southendians this coming Saturday.
Captain Matt Wells played down the contest as a title-decider, but admitted that taking six points over both games would put Walden within grasp of promotion to the premier division.
“The next two games will be critical. If we can win both games, then I’d be very disappointed if we didn’t go on to finish top,” Wells told the Reporter, adding that Walden should be travelling with a full strength side.
“Old Southendians are playing well and keep grinding out results. So it’s going to be a good game and one we’re confident going in to.
“If you want to improve and play the best team you’ve got to earn it, and these are the games you need to embrace and enjoy.”
Walden certainly enjoyed their run-out on Saturday, and were always in control against Upminster.
The visitors came to defend and tried to keep things tight, but Walden remained patient, waited for the openings, and picked off their opponents.
Wells grabbed a hat-trick and Tom Kemp a brace, while there were also strikes for Ben Wells, Josh Charge and David Boyd.
“It wasn’t the best performance and we didn’t play particularly great hockey. But it is good to get such as a result,” said Wells.
“What was pleasing was the fact we took our time. Last year that was our problem. We had one result when we lost to the team who come second – if we’d have won we would have swapped places. They sat back and we didn’t deal with it.
“It is something we’ve worked on and we’re now a lot more comfortable with our defenders keeping the ball and transferring play forward. We’re keeping the ball much better and waiting for the right chances, rather than trying to go for it all the time.”