Derby loss dents Bloods’ promotion bid

PUBLISHED: 09:51 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 09:51 09 April 2015

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A controversial penalty decision in a 1-0 loss to Haverhill Borough on Easter Monday has dented Saffron Walden Town’s race for promotion.

With the game at Catons Lane delicately poised, the referee handed the initiative to Haverhill by awarding the visitors a penalty after the ball struck the back of Graeme Turner’s arm.

Walden protested that Turner was too close to avoid the ball but it didn’t sway the referee.

Aaron Forshaw stepped up and tucked away the penalty, the only goal of the game.

It was a heartbreaking result for the Bloods who dropped out of the promotion places for the first time in months.

The game started well for Stuart Wardley’s side as Matt Snelling teed up Shaun Avis but the striker hooked his shot agonisingly wide. It took almost 30 minutes for the first shot on target and it came form Jamie Solkhon, but his header was cleared off the line.

He had another chance cleared off line shortly after the restart and then a minute later, Calver forced Charlie Turner, Haverhill’s goalkeeper, into a diving save.

Walden’s custodian, Floyd Croll, had a much quieter afternoon but had to be alert to deny Ryan Weaver.

Then came the turning point in the game as Forshaw calmly converted from the spot.

It was a dagger to Walden, who poured forward in an effort to salvage something from the game.

Turner got down low to stop an Avis header and then flicked the ball away from danger with the striker lurking.

As the clock ticked down, and Walden’s fate slipped out of their hands, the hosts’ attacks became more frantic. Each time, though, Turner was on hand to frustrate them and earn Haverhill three points.

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