Saffron Walden Town record their largest league win of season
PUBLISHED: 16:23 16 March 2016 | UPDATED: 16:48 16 March 2016
Saffron Walden Town warmed up for their clash with league leaders Norwich United on Saturday with a thumping 4-0 home win over FC Clacton at the weekend.
The victory was the Bloods largest in the Thurlow Nunn Premier League so far this season.
With several players missing, it looked like a makeshift line-up at the start, yet less than a minute after kick-off Walden were a goal ahead.
Matt Snelling, who has missed several months through injury, took an early pot-shot from 20 yards out and saw it bounce over sprawling keeper Joe Fowler and in.
Spike Bell could have added to the score in the 10th minute when he ran on to a James Thomas through ball, but his shot hit the keeper’s hip and the ball deflected over the bar.
However, a second goal came in the 25th minute.
Snelling won a corner and Ryan Fleming headed home Bell’s deep cross.
Player-manager Stuart Wardley then headed a 36th minute free-kick against the inside of the far post.
Two minutes later Thomas shot just wide from a lovely passing move as the Bloods sought revenge for a rather unjust 3-0 defeat at Clacton two-and-a-half weeks earlier.
Charlie Dicker replaced Ryan Fleming at the start of the second half and debutant Perry Moody moved from full-back to central defence, where he continued to have a fine game.
Clacton’s best chance to get back into the game came when Lee Townrow headed a corner in the 54th minute against the top of the crossbar.
However, it was a bad tackle from Townrow in the box on 76 minutes which effectively sealed the game when he clattered into Thomas, and was lucky to escape with a yellow card, and not a red.
From the resulting penalty Marc Abbot scored comfortably to put Walden three goals ahead.
Ten minutes from time, two youth team players, who had come on as substitutes, combined to set up the fourth goal to round off the victory.
Charlie Dicker surged forward and Jack Morris flicked the ball on delightfully for Thomas to slot the ball into the corner of the net to complete a swift move from defence to attack.
The win leaves Saffron Walden ninth in the table with 37 points from 29 games.
The Bloods host leaders Norwich United at Catons Leane on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.