Opener ends in loss after controversial goal

PUBLISHED: 13:16 10 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:16 10 August 2015

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Norwich United, the current Thurlow Nunn Premier Division champions, had a controversial win over Saffron Walden Town on the opening day of the season.

The Bloods were beaten 2-0 by Norwich, who won the league at a canter last season, but were left feeling aggrieved by the referee after he overturned a pivotal decision.

In the second half, Matt Blake turned in Andy Eastaugh’s knock-down to give Norwich the lead, only to have his celebrations cut short by the assistant’s raised flag.

Incensed, the Norwich players surrounded the officials and managed to persuade them to over-rule the original decision and award the goal.

Walden had been the better side up until that point, with James Thomas, Sam Gregory and Solkhon going close, and should have scored before the break.

Thomas had a fierce drive saved by Duncan McAnally and Louis Harper thundered the follow-up against the crossbar.

Blake’s goal was a gut punch for Stuart Wardley’s Walden from which they couldn’t recover. Gregory went closest with a scorching shot that McAnally, diving full-stretch, tipped around the post.

Blake ended the contest in the 79th minute with a goal from a tight angle.

Saffron Walden go in search of their first win of the campaign tomorrow night against Newmarket Town at Catons Lane. Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Team

Floyd Croll, Paul Abbot, Jamie Solkhon, Matt Snelling (Shaun Avis - 81 mins), Greg Strong, Ryan Fleming, Jake Noble, Mark Abbot (Joe Murphy - 76 mins), James Thomas, Sam Gregory, Louis Harper (Spike Bell – 63 mins).

Subs: Peter Davies, Max Drane.

Attendance: 94

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