Quick-fire horror show denies Bloods points at Long Melford

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 August 2016 | UPDATED: 12:55 18 August 2016

Saffron Walden Town's Craig Calver takes a touch

Saffron Walden Town's Craig Calver takes a touch

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Stuart Wardley's Saffron Walden Town twice led at Stoneylands thanks to strikes from skipper Craig Calver and Graeme Turner and looked to be heading for victory on Tuesday night.

However, a disastrous two-minute spell, a quarter of an hour from the end, enabled Long Melford to claim the narrowest of victories.

Walden attacked throughout the first half, and had the better scoring chances.

The Bloods’ best chance of a lively opening half-hour came when James Crane picked out Calver with a superb cross in the box.

The Walden captain side-stepped a defender, but his shot was blocked by the keeper from close range.

Marc Abbott also went close with a close-range header but the first half was to remain goalless.

However, it took Walden just four minutes of the second half to break the deadlock, following some one-two passing which resulted in Calver curling a shot beyond the keeper.

The goal was no more than Walden deserved, yet within eight minutes Long Melford were level.

Scott Yearling did well to get in a cross from the right, and Lorimer sent a diving header looping past Lee Pacey for the equaliser.

Two minutes later Crane nearly netted, but with just the keeper to beat he shot just wide of the far post.

Walden did restore their lead in the 61st minute, when Turner raced down the right, cut back and unleashed a shot past the keeper.

Walden continued to surge forward, and at this stage a Walden win looked the most likely outcome.

However, in the 73rd minute, when a Walden attack broke down, Melford counter-attacked down the right, and Lorimer hit a first-time angled shot into the far corner to put the home team on level terms once again.

Just two minutes later in the Walden penalty area, Walden centre-half, Ryan Fleming missed a clearance and kicked a Long Melford attacker, for which he was duly sent-off and a penalty awarded.

Up stepped Lorimer to complete his hat-trick.

Even with 10 men, Walden continued to create more chances. Turner had a header saved while Calver sent a late cross flashing across the goalmouth, but no one could convert and Melford held on.

Walden will hope for revenge in the FA Cup preliminary round this Saturday as they again travel to Melford.

The winners will travel to Southern League Premier side Chesham United in the first qualifying round on September 3.

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