In-form hitman notches again but Bloods held at home
PUBLISHED: 10:29 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 19 January 2017
Stuart Wardley’s Saffron Walden Town took their unbeaten Thurlow Nunn Premier Division run to five games with an entertaining home draw with struggling Ely City.
Charlie Portway notched his eighth goal in nine games to put the Bloods ahead but Ely levelled soon after through Oliver Brooks.
Town dominated the first half with a number of chances and didn’t give Ely’s defence much time to rest.
Ryan Fleming was the first to test Ely’s keeper Harry Reynolds with a powerful header but he tipped the ball over the crossbar.
Craig Calver was causing Ely problems in the penalty area with his great footwork.
He was denied two potential penalty claims after being pushed.
Calver continued to dominate and almost produced the perfect pass for Portway.
Striker Portway ran into the area to try and convert Calver’s cross but he was just inches away from the ball.
New signing Julian Parson-Simon then cleverly curled the ball into the area for Portway but his strike was straight at Reynolds.
Daniel Grindrod came close to opening the scoring with a stunning free-kick but again Reynolds made another great diving save.
It took over half-an-hour before Walden’s defence was tested.
Ashley Walter latched onto a cross, but his strong header went over the bar.
Walden almost scored in the last few minutes of the second half.
James Crane and Calver linked up well but Reynolds pushed the ball out of the area.
Ryan Fleming had a great follow-up shot which forced another save from Reynolds.
Ely started the second half more confidently and looked threatening on the attack but Walden held the lines well and kept the visiting attack at bay.
Grindrod conjured the move of the match as he dribbled the ball around four Ely players and into the box.
He tried to square the ball but lost it just as he was about to pull the trigger.
Parson-Simon was unlucky not to get his first goal for the Bloods.
He executed a superb overhead kick which beat Reynolds but the goal was disallowed for offside.
The goal was soon to come though as Reynolds was finally beaten by in-form Portway.
Crane delivered an excellent cross and Portway struck the ball, which shaved the inside of the post, and flew in.
As it looked like Walden were going to score a second, Ely equalised.
The ball was crossed in and Oliver Brooks headed it over keeper Lee Pacey and into the net.
With just a few minutes remaining both teams looked like they could have taken all three points.
Walden desperately tried to get the ball over the line with a melee of players but it wasn’t to be.
The last excellent effort from Walden was from Spike Bell. His venomous shot from distance was brilliantly saved by Reynolds.
Town remain 11th in the table.
They travel to Thetford Town on Saturday.