Football: Saffron Walden Town crash out of cup at hands of Whitton United
PUBLISHED: 11:40 19 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:40 19 March 2014
Luck appears to have deserted Saffron Walden as they crashed out of the knock-out cup at the hands of Whitton on Tuesday night.
The highly competitive and entertaining semi-final clash – which the Bloods probably deserved to win – ended in an agonising defeat.
They started well and took a deserved 18th minute lead when Matt Snelling raced onto a through ball and scored a fine goal with a well taken shot.
Five minutes later an unfortunate bounce in the corner of the Walden penalty area saw Stuart Wardley obstruct a Whitton player as he tried to get the ball under control. The referee awarded the visitor’s a penalty which Tom Beadlaugh converted.
In the 33rd minute a second penalty was awarded to Whitton when Jamie Solkhon was adjudged to have committed a foul tackle right on the edge of the penalty area, despite getting a touch on the ball. Justice was done when Liam Bevis missed the target with the spot kick.
Play was equally competitive in the second half, but the better chances were falling to Walden. In the 55th minute Louis Harper cut inside and drove the ball into the goal area, but the ball was deflected just wide of the post for a corner.
Ten minutes later a deep free kick by Stuart Harley was headed by Solkhon to Snelling who hit an acrobatic volley from 20 yards inches wide of the post with the keeper well beaten.
In the 68th minute Heathcote netted for Whitton, but was rules well off-side, and Walden responded a minute later with Craig Calver showing great skill to round a defender on the left and as he cut in on goal he laid the ball back to Snelling, whose effort was scrambled clear.
Solkhon then had a far post header saved, and the keeper then saved with his legs from Louis Harper, before Harper volleyed over the bar moments later from a Calver cross.
Prospective champions Whitton only need one chance and duly got it in the 81st minute when a low cross from the right found its way through to Chris Williams who scored from close range to give the Ipswich side a crucial lead.
This signaled a bombardment on the Whitton goal in the last ten minutes, as the Bloods fought tigerishly for an equaliser.
Solkhon came closest in the 84th minute with a header which Jones brilliantly tipped against the post, and away for a corner. Spike Bell, Solkhon and James Crane all went close with efforts on goal, but the Whitton defence held out to reach their second final this season.
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