Strikers rekindle Walden’s promotion push

PUBLISHED: 10:46 31 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:46 31 March 2015

Craig Calver scored Walden first goal against Needham Market. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Craig Calver scored Walden first goal against Needham Market. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden Town’s strike partnership of Shaun Avis and Craig Calver fired the Bloods past Needham Market and rekindled their promotion chase.

Calver and Avis both struck before half-time in Walden’s 2-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Needham on Saturday.

It was a vital three points as it kept them three points clear of fourth-placed Great Yarmouth Town, who beat Haverhill Borough and face league leaders Swaffham Town on Easter Monday.

Matt Snelling almost gave Walden a third-minute lead on Saturday but for a timely stop from James Bradbrook, in the home goal, to tip the 20-yard effort around the post.

The deadlock was broken 15 minutes later when Spike Bell burst down the left and crossed for Calver to volley into the net.

Avis and Graeme Turner skimmed the woodwork as Walden poured forward, and the second goal eventually came just after the half-hour mark. And it was a goal of the utmost class.

Having seen Calver volley the first goal, Avis went one better, pulling off a acrobatic back-heel volley to turn in his strike partner’s cross.

At 2-0, there was no way back for Needham but Walden remained hungry for more goals, especially after their recent of poor form saw them fail to find the net in two games and pick up just two wins in six.

The second goal never did materialise. Avis came close shortly after the break, forcing Bradbrook into a save, and new signing Paul Abbott, who had an impressive debut, blazed over the bar from outside the area.

Walden goalkeeper Floyd Croll had a rare scare when Billy Holland broke free, but his shot was wild. He was a spectator for much of the game as Market failed to threaten and Walden created chances.

The introduction of James Crane late on gave the Bloods a renewed impetus but he was unable to create any chances and the game ended 2-0.

The four-day weekend brings two must-win games for Walden if they are to keep their bid for promotion alive.

On Saturday, Stuart Wardley takes his Walden side to 17th-placed Leiston before they welcome local rivals Haverhill Borough to Catons Lane. The Bloods have yet to beat Haverhill in two attempts this season.

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