Thetford strike late to deny Saffron

PUBLISHED: 14:13 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:13 12 April 2017

James Crane on the ball. Picture: Jamie Pluck

James Crane on the ball. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden Town FC paid their respects to club president Paul Daw before their home game with Thetford Town on Saturday.

Paul died on March 25 and his funeral was held on Monday in Cottenham.

Before Saturday’s match Saffron Walden Town held an emotional one minute applause from all the fans and players, with an added touch from Jackie and Malcolm Nash who organised for lots of red and black balloons to be released by children.

On the pitch the league game was evenly matched, with both defences working extremely hard and in unison to break down any clear chances.

The first save of the match was from Thetford’s goalkeeper. James Crane found some space in the area and tried to beat the keeper to his right, but the Thetford man stopped the effort in the air.

The ball was collected by Julian Simon-Parson who managed to cross back to Crane, but although Crane tried to shoot a Thetford defender snuffed out his effort.

A few minutes later Thetford were awarded a free-kick and when the ball was played into the far post, a header was just inches wide.

Half an hour into the match and Thetford went for a long range volley, but the ball just missed the crossbar by a few inches.

Sam Soutar made an excellent diving save at the feet of the Thetford forward. He judged his time and dive to perfection, and secured the ball in his grasp.

Just before half-time Harry O’Malley put the Bloods in front. Ronnie Ledwith’s powerful throw into the area was headed by three different Bloods players, until it eventually dropped for O’Malley who struck the ball beautifully into the corner of the net.

The second half was very much like the first with both defences working well and preventing any clear chance on goal.

Thetford had a spell of pressure with 15 minutes remaining and scored. They won a corner which was delivered to Cameron King and he skilfully played the ball to Robbir Priddle whose shot went through a sea of players and moved his side back level.

Near the end of the match Thetford had two excellent chances to take all three points but Priddle and Machaya both missed the target.

Next Saturday the first team are away to Kirkley and Pakefield.

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