Coby on top of his Game to seal Walden Reserves triumph

PUBLISHED: 17:03 04 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:03 04 February 2016

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Coby Game's second-half strike helped Walden squeeze past Newmarket and move closer to the Thurlow Nunn Reserve League summit with a second straight triumph.

A largely uneventful and evenly contested first half, played in bright sunshine and on a sticky surface, saw both defences on top with Jamie Dicker, James Richardson, Jack Garrett and Ryan Dewey rarely troubled in the Bloods’ backline.

In truth there was very little created by either side from open play. The nearest anyone came to opening the scoring was as a result of the huge throws of Danny Manser from either flank that found the head of the imposing Jake Thompson and regularly caused the visitors’ defence to make last-ditch clearances.

One such clearance fell to Game but his fierce shot was blocked.

At the opposite end, with one exception of a smart save down to his right, Jason Harvey was very much a spectator and much more troubled by the strong sunlight shining directly into his eyes than any other serious attempts at his goal.

After a pondering first half, the game shot into life in the opening stages of the second period.

Ben Morrell crossed for Manser to guide the ball wide of the goal from five yards but then the goal did finally come.

The ball broke out from the visitors’ box to the 18-yard line and was met by Game who calmly steered his shot into the bottom corner.

This was the call for Walden to up their game and they dictated much of the proceedings from this point on.

Morrell began to seriously trouble the away defence with his energy, pace and direct running and soon a good cross-field pass from Manser set him free only to see his well-struck shot flash past the right-hand upright.

Skipper Peter Davies then set him free with a great pass, but again Morrell flashed his shot just wide.

A controversial refereeing decision in the 72nd minute saw the visitors survive what looked to be a certain penalty when Game was upended unceremoniously in the box. All in the ground were amazed at the call to play on.

Newmarket tried to hit back with efforts of their own on several occasions, however they were nearly punished by quick counter-attacking from Walden.

Long balls out of defence released Jake Powter on strong runs at the heart of the visitors’ defence which left him in one-on-one situations, but the keeper blocked the first with his legs and then spread himself to force the second shot just over the bar.

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