Four red cards but Saffron Walden Town hang on for vital three points against The Bloaters

PUBLISHED: 14:11 20 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:34 21 December 2016

James Crane is shown a red card. Picture: Dominic Davey

James Crane is shown a red card. Picture: Dominic Davey

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Eight-man Saffron Walden Town squeezed past 10-man Great Yarmouth Town 1-0 in an action-packed Thurlow Nunn Premier Division clash at Catons Lane on Saturday to ensure a happy Christmas for the Bloods.

Following Charlie Portway’s 75th-minute toe-poke, Walden had James Crane, Joe Murphy and Richard Chadwick sent-off late in the second half while Mitch Forbes was dismissed for the visitors.

Walden’s first chance fell to Ryan Auger who tested keeper Elvijs Putnins from range early on.

Marc Abbott won the ball off a Yarmouth defender, squared to Auger but his powerful 20-yard shot was well saved.

In the 17th minute Portway ran onto Crane’s cross and hit a low shot against the post.

Crane had the last decent effort of the half.

Portway headed the ball down to Crane in the box who spun and tried to float it into the net but his effort drifted wide.

Yarmouth came out after half-time a different side, attacking Walden with intent.

They had a great opportunity from a free-kick but it was tipped over the bar by keeper Lee Pacey.

Moments later, Yarmouth were denied again as Perry Moody blocked the ball on the line.

In the heat of the moment both sides made some rash challenges which resulted in an argument between the teams but Walden’s Craig Calver and Yarmouth’s Anderson did well to defuse the situation and calm the players down.

With 15 minutes to go Walden finally broke the deadlock.

Portway took advantage of Ryan Fleming’s headed flick and poked the ball past Putnins and into the net.

At the other end, Yarmouth’s best effort of the match, a low goal-bound shot, was brilliantly saved by Pacey.

With 10 minutes left, Walden were reduced to 10 men after Crane was given a second yellow card for a foul.

Walden made several changes to defend their lead but with seconds remaining Chadwick was also sent-off for an early shower following a late challenge.

This caused another argument between the two teams and as a result Murphy and Yarmouth’s Forbes were dismissed but the Bloods hung on for the victory.

The three points keep Walden 15th and within touching distance of mid-table with several games in hand on most teams directly above them.

Stuart Wardley’s outfit travel to 13th-placed Haverhill Borough on Boxing Day. Kick-off is 11am.

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