Walden hit top gear, for 45 minutes anyway
PUBLISHED: 10:03 09 March 2011
A BRILLIANT 45 minutes settled this potentially tricky league tie as the hosts came flying out of the blocks to score four goals in a breathless first half.
Saffron Walden 4 Swaffham Town 1
After losing 2-1 at the weekend against Long Melford John Butchart’s men bounced back instantly and emphatically.
Within five minutes Mitchell Das added to his impressive scoring run with a left footed bullet that arrowed into the bottom corner. Moments later he bagged his second after a mazy run from Graeme Turner produced a lobbed through ball which Das bravely stooped and headed home.
With Swaffham unable to grab any hold on the game Walden looked good for a two-goal lead at half time – but just a few minutes before the break a quick-fire blitz all but ended the game as a contest.
Firstly Brad Green capitalised on a mistake from a throw in and finished neatly, then Turner provided a subtle lob which visiting keeper Dean Mayes could only scoop into the roof of his net.
The second half was fractured by niggling fouls and was largely forgettable. Walden should have had a penalty when Jamie Solkhon was bundled over and Spike Bell went on a mazy run that started on the half way line before shooting low to force a smart save.
Swaffham managed to grab one back when Mehdi Mehrpour pounced on a long ball and finished neatly.
However probably the most pleasing part for the home crowd was the performance of Peter Flack who has been moved from centre back to centre midfield.
Tall and strong he dominated the midfield in the air and on the floor to allow the likes of captain Tommy Butchart and full backs Bell and Solkhon to burst forward.
Assistant manager John Butchart said: “Ali has shed a few pounds in the last few weeks and his hard work has given him that extra yard to play in midfield.
“It was a good performance from him and with him playing well there it give others a chance to get forward and create.
“The whole side played very well in the first half and I want the players to take that 45-minute performance into a whole 90 against Diss Town this weekend because that will be a tough game.”
Officials behind the scenes at Walden, and there are many of them who all do a fantastic job, are expecting a large crowd this Saturday.
Diss and Walden have the two highest attendance records in the Ridgeons First Division and it is possible that nearly 300 people could be at Catons Lane. Kick off is at 3pm.
We will be there. Get live game updates on Twitter – follow NickPJThompson.