Francis hat-trick seals Bloods win

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 March 2019

Saffron Walden Town kit manager Jackie Nash with Lewis Francis

Saffron Walden Town kit manager Jackie Nash with Lewis Francis

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Saffron Walden Town came from two goals down to beat Enfield 5-2 at Catons Lane thanks to a second-half hat-trick from Lewis Francis.

The Bloods started well, but struggled to create many chances in tricky windy conditions and and fell behind when Matt Thoma pounced on a mistake to slot past Neil O’Sullivan on 15 minutes.

The hosts pushed for an equaliser but fell 2-0 down when Thoma fired home his second, after Tyler Fowles saw his shot deflected off the line by Matt Frew.

Th goal silenced the home crowd, but Walden refused to throw in the towel and halved the deficit just before half time when Ashley Skeggs bravely dived between three Enfield defenders and headed the ball into the back of the net.

Jason Maher’s half-time team-talk must have been one to remember, as Walden certainly came out a different team after the restart.

Midfielder Lee Sawyer brought the Bloods level eight minutes into the second half with a perfectly placed lob over the keeper.

And the home side took firm charge of the match, as man of the match Francis put them into the lead.

The build-up to the goal saw Francis fall to the ground with the ball at his feet, but he was determined to get his shot in and swung his leg to slot the ball past the Enfield keepers outstretched arm.

Francis competed his treble with two more goals in quick succession as he chipped the keeper in the 72nd minute to make it 4-2, then cleverley pushed the ball around the keeper to score again in the 75th minute.

Francis celebrated each of his goals with the Walden supporters and went on to pick up the player of the month award from Jackie Nash after the match.

A few weeks earlier he had accidentally hit her wrist with the ball and broken it, being left distraught when he realised what had happened.

But Nash saw the funny side and all was forgiven as she presented him with his award.

The Bloods are due to travel to Barkingside on Saturday while the reserves welcome their Sawbridgeworth Town rivals to Catons Lane.

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