Bloods back from long festive break

PUBLISHED: 17:00 02 January 2019

Matt Frew during his time as captain of Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Matt Frew during his time as captain of Romford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Saffron Walden Town are set to return from a three-week break from action as they make their first appearance of 2019 in the Essex Senior League this weekend.

The Bloods are due to travel to east London to take on Walthamstow on Saturday and then play host to Redbridge at Catons Lane on Tuesday, having not played since their December 15 derby defeat to Stansted.

The Airportmen moved to the top of the table after their 5-3 win that day, as Spike Bell marked his 400th appearance for Saffron Walden with a goal.

But their trip to Stanway Rovers three days before Christmas was postponed due to the death of a relative of one of the home side’s players.

And Jason Maher’s men can expect a tough test against a Stow side who have been beaten just three times in 20 league matches so far this season.

Maher has made an important addition to his squad during the lengthy festive break, with the signing of Matt Frew, who joins the ranks from Stansted and previously led former club Barkingside to the title.

“Very pleased to welcome vastly experienced defender @M_Frew1981 to @SWTFootbal Club,” tweeted Maher.

“Someone myself @sportmademe (assistant manager Mark Hawkes) believe will bring good experience, leadership and a winning mentality to the group and has also got promotion from this league with @BarkingsideFC.”

Although the Bloods only played three times last month, those fixtures yielded no fewer than 23 goals, as they followed their 8-1 loss to National League South outfit Billericay in the Essex Senior Cup with a 5-1 win over Ilford, before their loss to Stansted.

Charlie Portway currently tops their goalscoring charts with 20, scored in just 18 appearances, while Lewis Francis is just one behind and Dan Trendall has 15 to his name.

The reserves, meanwhile, are set to host their Redbridge rivals in the league, having lost 1-0 to Tiptree Jobserve in the Peter Butcher Memorial Trophy last weekend.

Liam Whitehead’s 59th minute goal was enough to earn the hosts a place in the next round and send the young Bloods to a fourth successive defeat and their fifth loss in six matches since a 5-1 win at Redbridge in mid-November.

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