Saffron Walden Town leave it late in FA Cup thriller

PUBLISHED: 09:29 19 August 2010

Saffron Walden FC vs Mauritius.

Saffron Walden.

August 14, 2010.

Photograph by Michael Boyton.

Pic shows: Action from the match.

Saffron Walden FC vs Mauritius. Saffron Walden. August 14, 2010. Photograph by Michael Boyton. Pic shows: Action from the match.

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A NAIL-BITING climax saw Saffron Walden Town FC overturn a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round 
on Saturday.

A NAIL-BITING climax saw Saffron Walden Town FC overturn a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday.

Deep into extra time, substitute Zac Collins controlled the ball on his chest and unleashed a devastating 25-yard volley to sink Mauritius Sports at Catons Lane.

Assistant manager John Butchart was full of praise for the player who has been plagued by injury for the last two seasons.

“It was a quality goal and a very exciting finish to the game for the crowd,” said Butchart. “Zac’s missed the best part of two seasons with a knee injury so it’s great to see him on the score sheet again. He’s got a lot of potential and I know he’s capable of scoring a few more like that this season.”

The Bloods made a bright start to the first half with Jamie Solkhon unlucky to be judged offside after beating goalkeeper Mike Parker, but it was Mauritius who made the breakthrough shortly before the break.

From a free kick Oliver King provided the delivery and captain Harry Chalk headed past the outstretched hands of Ronnie Yates in the Walden goal after 38 minutes.

In the second half the Bloods continued to apply the pressure, but once again, against the run of play, it was Mauritius who found the back of the net.

Saffron Walden showed their defensive frailties after conceding to another free kick. This time King did not need any help and curled the ball neatly around the wall and into the goal.

Butchart admitted that his team would need to be far more robust against set pieces if they were going to have success this season.

“We looked rusty at the back and we need to sharpen up and get organised pretty quickly,” he said. “It’s something we’ll be concentrating on in training.”

Two goals down and looking like an early exit from the FA Cup, the Bloods’ comeback was sparked by a goal from Mitchell Das who finished off a neat pass from Joe Murphy after 62 minutes.

With 10 minutes to go Walden added a bit more spark to their attack by bringing on Steve Leys and Faraj Hammali. The move worked and Leys set up Spike Bell, who had moved to right back, to fire in the equaliser on the stroke of full 
time. Collins wrapped up the game for Walden after 93 minutes.

The Bloods now face Great Wakering Rovers in the FA Cup Preliminary Round on Saturday August 28 at Catons Lane.

• SAFFRON Walden Town FC lost 2-0 to Godmanchester Rovers in the Ridgeons League First Division last Wednesday.

Assistant manager John Butchart criticised his players for their lacklustre performance and admitted that the team who wanted it most had won.

“I think only seven of our players turned up and four looked rusty and tired,” he said. “It was a competitive game, but Godmanchester were hungrier than we were and deserved the win.”

The Bloods’ next league match is at Catons Lane on Saturday against Fakenham Town.

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