Portway on target again but Bloods beaten at home

PUBLISHED: 10:09 15 December 2016 | UPDATED: 10:15 15 December 2016

James Crane

James Crane

Archant

Charlie Portway's fourth goal in as many games could not salvage any points for Saffron Walden Town as they lost 2-1 at home to promotion-chasing Gorleston.

Walden played with great confidence and should have got a result but full credit to Gorleston’s defence and goalkeeper Taurean Molloy.

Before the match there was a minute’s silence for Gorleston fan John Bailey, who sadly died during their match against Basildon United in the FA Vase the previous week.

Ryan Auger had an early scoring chance but his shot was blocked on the goal-line by Mitch McKay.

Auger was again involved in Walden’s second attempt on goal.

The midfielder held the ball up in the area and squared it to Jamie Salmon, but his first-time effort went wide of the post.

The Bloods were getting closer and could have potentially been 3-0 up after Ryan Fleming latched onto Auger’s free-kick but his headed effort went over the bar.

Just as the home side looked in complete control, Walden’s keeper Lee Pacey mistimed a jump, failing to get his hand on the ball which was floated into the six-yard box.

The ball freakishly dropped to the floor and with a cruel back-spin sailed back over Pacey and into the back of the net.

Just before half-time, Molloy pulled off an excellent save from Portway’s powerful 10-yard strike, tipping the ball over the crossbar.

The Bloods continued to look positive and tested the Gorleston defence early in the second half.

Craig Calver hit the bar and Portway had a strong penalty claim after being pulled to the ground but the referee waved play on.

Gorleston’s second goal was controversial.

The ball was lobbed over Pacey and heading straight for the back of the net when Spike Bell cleared.

After some debate the assistant referee believed the ball had crossed the line before Bell cleared it and a goal was awarded.

James Crane was denied by another good Molloy save before Walden’s pressure finally paid off with five minutes left.

Crane headed down Calver’s cross into the area and Portway blasted the ball into the net.

The Bloods’ last attempt at equalising came from Jamie Salmon, but his long-range effort curled away from the goal and out of play.

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