Essex Senior League: Takeley 0 Saffron Walden Town 1
PUBLISHED: 11:11 18 August 2019
Saffron Walden Town came out on top in their Uttlesford derby at Essex Senior League rivals Takeley on Saturday.
A second-half goal from Jack Leachman proved enough to earn the Bloods the spoils at Station Road and give them a boost ahead of Tuesday's home meeting with Stansted at Catons Lane.
Ross Adams had an early claim for a penalty ignored, while Aaron Thomas saw a low shot deflected just wide.
Coby Miles fired over at the other end for the hosts, but Walden saw Leachman have a shot blocked and Gavin Cockman fire one attempt straight at Matt Gill, before another was deflected behind.
Adams headed wide from the corner, but Bryn Thorpe then nodded wide for Takeley and Glen O'Hanlon sent a dipping effort just over when Jason Todd just failed to connect with Andre Humphrey's cross.
The visitors saw Lewis Francis cross from the left, but Cockman fail to connect, and Jack Isherwood fire over, before Francis had a shot half stopped by Gill before the ball was cleared off the line.
Francis and Leachman wasted further chances for Walden before the best chance of all just before the break saw Spike Bell find Francis unmarked, only to sweeo the ball wide.
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Humphrey shot straight at Nicky Eyre, while Cockman went close twice more before the interval as the first half ended goalless but with tempers fraying.
Takeley had another let-off early in the second half when Gary Bowes played the ball in from the right and Gill was unable to claim it, with Cockman sending it goalwards for Reece Barrett to head off the line.
But Walden had Eyre to thank for a fine save to keep out Thorpe's header, after Miles did well on the left.
The deadlock was broken just before the hour as a corner reached Leachman on the edge of the box and his sweet strike beat Gill at the near post.
Miles fired over as Takeley looked for a reply, while Barrett's free-kick went just wide, but Walden could have gone 2-0 up when Cockman went through but sent his shot past the far post.
Takeley had more possession in the closing stages, but Walden's defence held firm and O'Hanlon had a header deflected wide from a corner in stoppage time.
The hosts had the ball in the net from a last-gasp free-kick, with keeper Gill up in their attack, but it was ruled out for a foul on Eyre as Walden banked the points.
Saffron Walden: Eyre, Bell, Skelton, Adams, Riley, Pullen, Francis, Isherwood, Cockman, Leachman, Thomas. Subs: Pethers, Strong, Bowes, Hirst, Sawyer.