Five-star Saffron Walden too strong for Thetford
PUBLISHED: 14:28 28 August 2017
Saffron Walden Town bounced back from their FA Cup exit to thrash Thetford Town at Catons Lane.
A crowd of 343 had witnessed a thrilling 4-3 defeat to Barking at midweek and there were almost 200 in for the return to league action at the weekend.
Stuart Wardley’s men showed no fear as they dominated against second-placed Thetford, with with captain Spike Bell putting in another man-of-the-match performance.
Both teams started well and looked for an opening, but despite plenty of good build-up play, there were no clear chances.
The homme defence, and fan favourite Ryan Fleming, showed experience and control and did not give Thetford a chance to get themselves into the match.
And on 17 minutes, Charlie Portway was awarded a penalty after having his shirt pulled, which denied a goalscoring opportunity, and he stepped up to bury the spot-kick into the corner of the net.
Five minutes after the penalty, Ashley Skeggs headed home Bell’s perfect cross, but the referee disallowed it as he believed there was a foul on a Thetford player.
This was soon forgotten about, as last year’s leading scorer Graeme Turner got his first goal of the season as he skilfully controlled the ball in the box, switched the ball to his left foot and calmly slotted the ball into the top corner, beating defender Matt Morton on the line.
And Walden went 3-0 up before the break as Skeggs rose well at Bell’s corner to head home.
The Bloods looked confident in the second half, moving the ball around well, but Thetford pushed more players forward in search of a reply and gave Walden a few issues.
The Bloods looked favourite to score the next goa and Tom Lakin ran on to a through ball, fending off a defender, and fired home their fourth.
It was soon 5-0 as the hosts won possession from the restart and Bell ran clear to cross for Portway and he controlled the ball and found the top corner for his second goal of the game and a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday’s clash with Coggeshall and the big FA Vase tie with Sawbridgeworth on September 9.
Saffron Walden: O’Sullivan, Bell, Ledwith, Noble, Skeggs, Fleming, Lakin (Tarman 75), Molloy (Murphy 65), Turner, Portway (Naylor 75), Emdsen. Unused sub: Wardley.