Calver hits late winner as Saffron Walden Town march on in FA Vase

PUBLISHED: 15:41 06 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:44 06 November 2014

Craig Calver scored the winning goal for Saffron Walden Town. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Craig Calver scored the winning goal for Saffron Walden Town. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Craig Calver’s injury-time winner put Saffron Walden Town’s name in the hat for round two of the FA Vase and sent last year’s Thurlow Nunn First Division champions Whitton United out of the competition.

Charlie Gray’s low swerving shot put the Bloods on the front foot in the tie but Whitton’s Karl Andrak produced a stunning volley to level the game.

As the seconds ticked off the clock, the game looked destined for a midweek replay until Calver got the 323 fans in attendance on their feet with a 91st minute wonder strike. Walden’s talisman cut in from the left and beat Liam Jones from all of 30 yards to settle the tie.

There is real optimism at Catons Lane than Walden can have a good run in the competition, especially after knocking off current First Division leaders Debenham LC and the Premier Division’s Whitton.

It is a confidence born from their attacking qualities and only Jones’ resistance kept the scores level at the break. Whitton’s custodian got a strong hand to a Gray free-kick in the 11th minute and he thwarted Shaun Avis when the striker was through one-on-one.

Walden’s number one, Floyd Croll, was a spectator for much of the first half but he had to be alert to deny Dan Thrower and Tom Trevivian.

Walden broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Gray collected Ben Lawrence’s long throw and hit a low shot from 25 yards out that nestled in the bottom corner.

If Gray’s goal was good then Andrak’s was better as he controlled, turned and shot all in one movement to give Croll no chance.

The Bloods saved the best for last though as Calver scored his 12th goal of the season to produce a cup upset.

Stuart Wardley’s charges will entertain Kings Langley in the second round proper. The tie is scheduled to be played on November 22.

Thoughts of a cup run will be put on hold for now as Walden return to league action this weekend when they welcome Downham Town to Catons Lane, 3pm kick-off.

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