Walden stage late fightback to earn a share of the spoils with Team Bury

PUBLISHED: 16:17 21 March 2013 | UPDATED: 16:17 21 March 2013

March football vs Saffron Walden Town. Picture: Steve Williams.

March football vs Saffron Walden Town. Picture: Steve Williams.

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STUART Wardley scored a late equaliser to complete a hardfought comeback by the Bloods on Tuesday night.

Walden staged a gutsy second-half fightback after falling two goals behind against Team Bury before goals from Wardley and Ross Laird earned the visitors a point.

But it could have been even better for Colin Wallington’s men had Dan Dea’th converted an injury-time header from eight yards out. As it was, the effort sailed just over the bar – forcing Walden to settle for the draw.

The visitors had got off to a dominant start but in the 7th minute Team Bury scored with their first attack when Mason Thorogood turned the ball into the net from the acutest of angles.

In the 22nd minute Ross Laird drove the ball low across to the far post, but Wardley’s outstretched leg lifted the ball over the crossbar. Eleven minutes later Louis Harper’s free kick looked to have brought the equaliser, when Wardley rose unchallenged and headed powerfully goalwards, but the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post.

Wardley later had a header saved, before in the 43rd minute Alex Riches started a move which resulted in Harper’s shot being cleared off the line. Riches followed up the rebound but his header was saved by the keeper.

But despite being the dominant side in the first half, The Bloods went into the break a goal down.

Walden’s task became much harder in the 53rd minute when Ryan Taylor put Team Bury 2-0 up with a powerful shot from 25 yards out.

The Bloods found it hard to re-assert their authority but were given a life-line in the 66th minute when James Crane took on five players with a magical run into the box, before laying the ball off to Laird to finish with a fierce strike into the far corner.

The last quarter of an hour was an enthralling affair as Walden threw everything they had into getting an equaliser. Laird had a good shot saved low down in the 74th minute, while Wardley shot over the bar as the pressure intensified. Three strikes in quick succession were all blocked, before the equaliser finally arrived in the 88th minute.

A free kick found Riches at the far post. His shot was blocked on the line but as the ball spun into the air Wardley followed up to head in the rebound.

In injury time Dea’th nearly won it for Walden, with a header from a corner, but that may have been harsh on Team Bury, whose young side worked hard to get a point.

SAFFRON WALDEN: Jason Harvey, Dan Dea’th , Dan Phelan (Peter Davies – 59 mins, Darren Wardley 76 mins), Charlie Davies (Matt Snelling – 59 mins), Alex Riches, Chris Reid, James Crane, Jake Noble, Ross Laird , Louis Harper, Stuart Wardley.

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