Saffron Walden Town hit four to take the points at Downham

PUBLISHED: 08:13 29 October 2013

Shaun Avis

Shaun Avis


Saffron Walden stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a comfortable 4-1 win at Downham on Saturday.

Craig CalverCraig Calver

It was a welcome and vital three points to keep the Bloods within touching distance of the promotion places.

They spent most of the first 45 minutes in the Downham half. Shaun Avis headed a fourth minute cross from Spike Bell against the crossbar, and chances continued to come thick and fast, particularly from Joe Rudkin’s long throws, as the Downham goal had a charmed life.

Craig Calver, Stuart Wardley and Avis all went close to scoring before Jamie Solkhon had a header cleared off the goal line.

Calver then broke clear on the left before unselfishly laying the ball off to Avis who side footed the ball into the net from close range.

Calver hit a low volley against the far post in the 26th minute. Wardley should have scored with a close range header, before Calver hit a dipping volley a minute before the interval, which Luke Pearson, in the Downham goal did well to push over the bar for a corner.

From the cross Solkhon was tripped inside the penalty area by Matt Calvert, who received his second yellow card within three minutes, and was duly sent off.

A penalty was awarded, and Calver calmly scored from the spot.

Three minutes into the second half Downham created their best chance when Plumb glanced a header from a corner goalwards, and Darren Bicknell cleared the ball off the goal line.

Walden soon got into their stride again and Solkhon had a goal disallowed in the 56th minute, and two minutes later Calver’s cross was smacked against the post but Joe Murphy, sliding in at full stretch.

Another goal seemed imminent, and duly arrived in the 61st minute when Bell’s corner was headed over the line by Solkhon.

The Bloods appeared to take their foot off the pedal after the third goal, but following the injection of some new life with the use of all three substitutes, James Crane did extremely well to get to the bye-line and cross to Avis who steered the ball into the net with a cleverly taken goal, to make the game safe.

Downham won a free kick on the edge of the Walden penalty area in the 87th minute, and substitute Adam Reeve hit a low shot which bounced over the outstretched arm of Paul Wood, for a consolation goal.

Walden still had time to create another excellent chance, when Rudkin’s long throw was headed powerfully by Wardley, and Pearson made a brilliant save to deflect the ball over the bar.

It was a welcome three points prior to the eagerly awaited Red Insure Cup game at home to Ely City tonight (Tuesday).

TEAM: Paul Wood,Spike Bell, Jamie Solkhon (Dan Grindrod – 80 mins), Matt Snelling, Chris Reid, Stuart Wardley , Joe Murphy (James Crane – 60 mins), Joe Rudkin, Craig Calver, Darren Bicknell (Louis Harper – 75 mins), Shaun Avis.

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