Saffron Walden Town claim second league triumph in a row

PUBLISHED: 10:06 01 October 2015 | UPDATED: 10:06 01 October 2015

Craig Calver. Picture by Jamie Pluck

Craig Calver. Picture by Jamie Pluck

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Following their 3-0 away win at Long Melford the previous week, the Bloods produced another hard-working performance to record an impressive 2-1 away win against former Thurlow Nunn Premier Division champions Hadleigh United on Saturday.

From the off, Saffron Walden were on top with James Thomas and Craig Calver both going close in the opening 15 minutes.

The home side responded well and in the 13th minute Walden needed keeper Floyd Croll to block a near post shot from Dan Thrower.

Moments later, a Walden free-kick was headed out to Max Drane who shot over the crossbar and then Matt Snelling took the ball forward before clipping the top of the bar with a good shot on the run.

The visitors finally made their dominance pay in the 22nd minute as Walden took the lead.

Ben Lawrence’s first-time pass found Calver in acres of space on the left flank, and the Walden forward smoothly took the ball to the edge of the box before curling it round the keeper and into the net.

United looked for a way back into the game immediately but Croll was on hand, literally, to deny them with two one- handed saves within a minute, the first thwarting Thrower and then Marley Spindler.

As it was, Walden held their slender advantage as both sides left the field for half-time.

Walden re-emerged from the dressing room with renewed vigour and, in the 51st minute, a Hadleigh throw was cleared down the right flank where Thomas turned his marker superbly and set off towards goal.

Twice he could have gone down under challenges, but he stayed on his feet.

He entered the box and slotted the ball past the advancing keeper for a fine goal, his first for the club.

Hadleigh knew they had to respond and they soon found the perfect reposte in the 61st minute as Joe Chester drove a low ball into the box, and Chaplin was able to steer the ball into the corner of the goal to halve the deficit.

The home team could have equalised with 16 minutes remaining when Croll did well to block a shot from Thrower, but then a second later, made an even better save from substitute George Mrozek’s follow up header. The Hadleigh keeper even applauded the Walden custodian’s efforts.

Hadleigh attacked with some urgency to try and get an equaliser, but the Walden team worked tirelessly to frustrate their opponents.

With a minute to go, Walden almost put the game to bed.

Dan Grindrod’s powerful free-kick was spilled by the keeper, but saved at the second attempt.

The Bloods held onto their lead to record another fine away win, although next Saturday they will need to be at their best.

A trip to second-placed Godmanchester Rovers awaits in-form Town. Rovers are already displaying all the hallmarks of potential title contenders.

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