Stuttering Walden pick up welcome win

PUBLISHED: 09:15 19 March 2015 | UPDATED: 09:15 19 March 2015

Shaun Avis. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Shaun Avis. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden Town rekindled their promotion push with a much-needed 2-1 victory over Halstead Town at Catons Lane.

Back-to-back losses threatened to derail the Bloods’ bid for automatic promotion to Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, but three points on Tuesday keeps them in the mix.

It was not the ruthless performance that many have come to expect from Walden this season, or had hoped for, but first-half goals from Matt Snelling and Shaun Avis proved to be enough.

It means Walden are level on points with Swaffham Town, who have two games in hand, and one off leaders Long Melford. With seven games to play, a slip-up by any of the teams could be catastrophic to their title hopes.

The situation made Tuesday’s win all the more important because they could have been three points adrift and looking towards the play-offs as their passage into the Premier Division.

With so much on the line, Walden came out swinging and only two good saves from Yarmouth’s goalkeeper, Matt Walker, kept them from taking the lead.

Still, the opener arrived on 20 minutes and it was Snelling who took the plaudits. Graeme Turner stepped over Craig Calver’s cross, leaving it for Snelling to tap in.

Walden continued to keep the pressure on and the second goal arrived 10 minutes before half-time. Calver send a perfectly weighted ball to his strike partner Avis, who smashed the ball past Walker to double the lead.

The second half was more even and the Bloods were looking comfortable until Tom Cook cracked a shot from 25 yards past Floyd Croll.

The hosts wobbled before takingtook control of the game, and they went close to restoring their two-goal lead on a number of occasions but the scored remained 2-1 at full-time.

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