Defender atones for early error to help Saffron Walden Town secure third straight Catons Lane win
PUBLISHED: 17:12 10 February 2016 | UPDATED: 17:12 10 February 2016
Dan Grindrod turned from villain to hero in Saffron Walden Town's come-from-behind triumph over Mildenhall Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division at Catons Lane on Saturday.
Vying for a third successive home league win, Grindrod gave away a penalty in the first half before notching the winner late in the second period.
Defences were on top in the first half as scoring chances were hard to come by but Mildenhall got the important break in the 23rd minute when they were awarded a penalty.
Grindrod’s tackle on David Cooper on the edge of the penalty area was first adjudged to be a free-kick, and then after consultation with the linesman, was ruled to be just inside the penalty area.
Cooper stepped up to score from the spot to give Mildenhall a narrow one-goal lead at the break.
The debate at the interval was whether a one-goal lead would be enough, when playing against the fierce wind in the second half.
Play continued to be difficult for both sides, but the equaliser came in the 72nd minute as the game suddenly turned in Walden’s favour.
James Thomas was fouled in the box after getting goal-side chasing a through-ball, which resulted in a penalty for Walden and a sending-off for Luke Butcher, who made the tackle.
Marc Abbot was the man on the spot to fire home the equaliser from the spot and seven minutes later the Bloods pressed home their advantage with a fine winner from Grindrod.
The Walden full-back surged forward on a 50-yard run into the Mildenhall box and played a return pass with James Thomas before heading the ball over Josh Pope and into the net.
The closing stages were fiercely contested, but Walden held on for their first-ever win against Mildenhall.
This Saturday, Walden face an important clash at relegation rivals Thetford Town.