League suspended but not before managerial milestone for Bloods boss Jason Maher

Jason Maher took charge of his 100th game as Saffron Walden Town manager. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Jason Maher took charge of his 100th game as Saffron Walden Town manager. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Jason Maher celebrated his 100th game in charge of Saffron Walden Town but it may be the last one for a while after the Essex Senior League suspended the season, at least temporarily.

With large swathes of the county being moved into tier three coronavirus restrictions, the league have at the moment postponed fixtures up until Christmas.

In a brief statement they said: “As we are entering tier three we have decided to uphold our previous decision and suspend playing football until the next government review.

“Games will be suspended from December 16 to December 23 across both divisions.”

Clubs in tier three areas are allowed fans, up to 15 per cent of their capacity, but they not allowed to travel in or out of tier three areas.

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The ESL are holding a management meeting on Thursday to “discuss continuation of fixtures” and a further decision is expected after then.

A previous statement made in November had said: “The league will be suspended should the region enter a mix of tier two or three at the next government review on December 16 as it’s not financially viable for clubs.”

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That was made though before the announcements that fans would be allowed to attend matches.

Walden were due to play Hashtag United on Tuesday night but that was postponed according to the league’s Twitter because of “COVID-related issues”.

They did manage to get a game under their belt on Saturday, a 1-1 draw at home to Ilford, and it was an important milestone for the Bloods’ boss.

Speaking on Twitter before the match he said: “[It] will represent my 100th game in charge of Saffron Walden Town.

“I’m immensely proud to have achieved this and can’t thank my team, the players and the fans for everything since I took over.

“In that time I’ve made lots of mistakes, made memories for life and made friendships that will last a lifetime.

“Every week I’ve worked as hard a possible to learn and develop and be the best I can be and I wouldn’t change this period for anything.”

He almost celebrated it with a win too after Suaibo Balde put them ahead in the first half at Catons Lane, but a late equaliser meant the spoils were shared.

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