Luck deserts Walden in Woodbridge draw

PUBLISHED: 15:14 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 15:15 04 March 2015

Peter Davies. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Peter Davies. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden Town failed to convert chances into goals in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Woodbridge Town at Catons Lane.

Shaun Avis’ 23rd minute goal was scant reward for the Bloods’ performance as they failed to take advantage of a Long Melford slip-up and increase their lead atop the Thurlow Nunn First Division on Saturday.

Walden lead the league by two points and have a game in hand over Long Melford with 10 games remaining.

The gap could have been four points, though, had Walden’s industry been rewarded with goals.

After an even opening period, Avis netted his fourth goal in six games. Graeme Turner was credited with the assist after playing a slide-rule pass to Avis who sneaked the ball under the goalkeeper.

Avis’ goals, and that of top-scorer Craig Calver, are going to be vitally important to Walden in the run-in but their luck was out for the remainder of this game. Avis had a shot stopped on the goalline and Calver saw a curling effort strike the inside of the post early in the second half.

One of Walden’s main strengths this season has been the ability to get goals from any source but it wasn’t just the strikers whose luck was out. Spike Bell, who scored the winner against Stowmarket three weeks ago, had a shot cleared off the line while Turner and Charlie Gray’s accuracy deserted them at the vital moment.

For all their possession in the first half, 1-0 is never a safe scoreline and Woodbridge punished Walden’s lack of cutting edge in front of goal by pulling level in the 61st minute.

An innocuous long ball bounced kindly for Sam Cole who was able to prod the ball past Floyd Croll as he raced out to close down the front man.

What followed can only be described as a siege as Walden pressed for a winner, but the Woodbridge defenses held.

The post was still shaking from Gray’s free-kick when three more shots were dug out from under the bar. Dean Garnham, the visiting goalkeeper, played his part with an inspired 15 minute spell to frustrate Walden.

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