Platten pops up to rob Saffron Walden Town of opening-day Premier Division victory

PUBLISHED: 15:50 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 15:50 02 August 2016

James Crane takes on the full-back. Picture: Jamie Pluck

James Crane takes on the full-back. Picture: Jamie Pluck


Saffron Walden Town were denied three points on the opening day of the new Thurlow Nunn Premier Division season as Jake Platten’s last-gasp effort rescued a point for Swaffham Town at Catons Lane on Saturday.

James Crane had put Walden ahead with 16 minutes of the game remaining but with the referee’s final whistle imminent, Platten popped up to snatch a point, and a 1-1 draw, for the visitors.

This was a game the Bloods could, and should, have won 6-0 but their failure to get a second goal ultimately proved costly as Swaffham scored an unexpected equaliser with the last touch of the game in the fifth minute of added-time.

Walden did have the ball in the net after only eight minutes when, after a swift attack, Matt Snelling’s shot was pushed away with one hand by Aaron Watson towards the far post. Crane reacted quickest and ran forward 10 yards out to score but it was disallowed for offside.

Ryan Fleming and Max Drane then went inches wide with efforts and in the 33rd minute Watson again made a fine finger-tipped save to push a Crane shot around the post.

Lee Pacey was virtually a spectator in the Walden goal in the first half, but despite having the better of the play, Walden had to settle for a goalless first half.

The second half became more and more one-sided as the home team surged forward at every opportunity.

Watson had an outstanding game, making save after save, and but for his heroics, Walden would have been out of sight in the first half.

Spike Bell drove forward with the ball in the 60th minute and smashed his shot against the underside of the bar and it began to look as though a goal would never come.

However, in the 74th minute, the deadlock was finally broken when Joe Murphy broke clear on the right, and although the keeper did well to get a hand on the ball to slow it down, Crane was on hand to put Walden deservedly ahead.

The attacks increased in their intensity as Walden searched for another goal but the more shots launched at the young Swaffham keeper, the better he played, making numerous one-on-one saves.

Craig Calver curled a late corner against the underside of the bar, which bounced into the goalmouth and was scrambled clear by the resolute Swaffham defence.

Even in added-time Walden retained possession better and the game seemed to be heading for a 1-0 home win.

An unnecessary substitution by Walden in the 94th minute, gave Swaffham an extra minute, and that was all they needed to get over a cross, which full back Platten got the slightest of touches on with his head to glance the ball into the far top corner.

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