Shaun Avis in terrific form as Saffron Walden Town hammer FC Clacton

PUBLISHED: 15:02 19 October 2016

Shaun Avis. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Shaun Avis. Picture: Jamie Pluck


Shaun Avis hit a hat-trick as Saffron Walden Town ended a five-match winless league run with this routine victory over the Premier Division’s bottom club.

Having lost all of their opening 13 league encounters, on paper Clacton looked to be no match for the Bloods and so it proved.

It took Walden 28 fairly frustrating minutes to take the lead.

In the opening third of the match, there were chances for Avis and Graeme Turner but the hosts just couldn’t break the deadlock.

Had it not been for Clacton’s debutant keeper Paddi Hawkins the score would have been a lot more.

It was Matt Snelling who eventually pierced the Clacton backline just before the half-hour.

He skilfully drove into the 18-yard box and smashed a shot past Hawkins and into the net.

Two minutes later, Snelling produced a perfect cross which found Stuart Wardley ghosting into the box.

He headed the ball firmly and it looped over the keeper and into the goal.

Walden’s third goal came from some brilliant work from James Crane.

He ran up the wing with the ball, skilfully turned Clacton’s right back, and delivered an excellent cross for Avis to head home

The Clacton defence were not given a moment’s rest.

Avis made it 4-0 after he steered in a perfect cross from Turner and the Bloods were all but assured of the three points before the half-time whistle.

Avis almost completed a first-half hat-trick but his strong header was well-saved by Hawkins.

Walden’s approach to the second half was a lot more relaxed and contained.

On the hour mark Wardley made three substitutions which saw Marc Abbott, Snelling and Crane replaced by Max Drane, Richard Chadwick and Charlie Dicker.

Walden continued to look for another goal, and within moments of coming on, Drane came close with an effort from a corner, but his header was just wide of the post.

Clacton’s best chance to grab a consolation goal came in the 82nd minute.

The Clacton striker went for a long-range effort but Jamie Dicker managed to block the shot and steer it away from the goal for a corner.

Drane was working hard to get on the scoresheet.

He connected well from a corner, but the Clacton defender threw his body at the ball and managed to block the shot.

Avis completed his hat-trick in the 90th minute.

Bell linked up brilliantly with Avis and slipped the ball to him just wide of the six-yard box.

Avis set himself for a shot and drilled it up and over Hawkins.

This Saturday the Bloods face a difficult test as they travel to Welwyn Garden City in the first round proper of the FA Vase.

The club have organised a coach if any fans want to travel. The cost is £10 for adults and £5 for children.

Email to book tickets.

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