Football: Saffron Walden Town seal impressive win over Haverhill Borough
PUBLISHED: 17:03 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:17 22 January 2014
Saffron Walden's fine form continued as they carved out an impressive win away at fellow high-fliers Haverhill Borough, on Saturday.
The match was closer than the scoreline suggests but the three points is a handy boost to the Bloods, pushing them above Borough into fourth place in the table, albeit the sides around them have games in hand.
League newcomers Borough had the better of a half and were unlucky to go in at half-time a goal down.
Stuart Wardley for Walden and Ross Elkins for Borough both had headers saved in the early exchanges, but the clearest scoring chance fell to the host’s Harry Halls in the 14th minute. He held off the challenge of Jamie Solkhon, but shot wide of the far post with only the keeper to beat.
Walden’s leading scorer Craig Calver was more clinical a minute later when he won a race for a high bouncing ball and hit a first-time lob over the advancing Anthony Choat to open the scoring.
Haverhill hit back with some attacks played with real pace, and Paul Wood did well to block a shot from Callum Harrison in a one-on-one in the 25th minute.
Six minutes later Walden had another lucky escape when Callum Harrison attacked at pace, and his goalbound shot was kicked against his own crossbar by Solkhon, and the ball was cleared to safety. In the 35th minute Paul Hunt shot wildly over the Walden crossbar.
The Bloods had a let off witnin two minutes of the second half re-start when Borough thought they had equalised from a corner, only for the effort to be disallowed for a foul on Wood.
Gradually the Bloods started to impose themselves on the game. In the 51st minute Jack Higgs curled a free kick just wide after Craig Calver had been brought down on the edge of the box. On the hour Calver shot just wide of the far post, and then had a shot saved, as Walden’s attacks started to carry more venom.
A free kick on the left in the 65th minute was glanced on by Wardley to Solkhon who scored from close range, to increase Walden’s advantage.
Six minutes later another free kick led to Matt Snelling hit a firm shot which the keeper could only parry, and Jack Higgs followed up to fire a low shot into the goal, despite the efforts of a defender to block the shot.
Borough’s task was made even harder when they were reduced to 10 men in the 70th minute when Ryan Geoghan was sent off for a dangerous tackle.
Higgs nearly scored again in the 73rd minute with a superb volley against the crossbar from Louis Harper’s cross. Three minutes later the game was held up for half an hour when Borough’s Harry O’Connor injured his neck in a collision, and had to be stretchered from the pitch by paramedics. It was later confirmed that the injury was not as bad as first feared, the defender suffering a bad sprain, rather than break.
Five minutes after the resumption of play Harper collected the ball from the left and scored with a fine low drive into the net from 20 yards to make it 4-0.
The testing run of matches continues for Walden on Saturday when Ipswich Wanderers – one place behind in the table – visit The Meadow in another vital promotion contest.