Walden win first game in hand on leaders Long Melford

PUBLISHED: 14:45 04 February 2015 | UPDATED: 14:57 04 February 2015

Manager Stuart Wardley. Picture: Jamie Pluck

Manager Stuart Wardley. Picture: Jamie Pluck

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Saffron Walden Town took a big step towards reclaiming top spot in the Thurlow Nunn First Division by winning the first of their four games in hand over leaders Long Melford.

The Bloods brushed Debenham LC aside at Maitlands on Saturday, winning 3-0, to move on to level points with Melford. Walden remain in second spot due to their inferior goal difference.

That could soon change if Walden can continue to produce performances like they did on Saturday. It took just 10 minutes for Town to open the scoring and it was Craig Calver who provided the all-important touch as he took his season’s tally to 18 goals.

Not to be outdone, Calver’s striking partner Shaun Avis got his name on the scoresheet, too. After a Walden corner was cleared, Graeme Turner received the ball and cut it back for Avis to volley past Debenham’s goalkeeper, Sam Chilvers.

The pair continued to present problems for the hosts’ back line but they failed to add to Walden’s lead and they went into the break two goals to the good.

Walden’s travelling fans did their bit to ensure the game continued by clearing the lines of snow during the interval. And they were rewarded in the second half as Charlie Gray scored a goal of the highest quality.

Chilvers had denied Avis, Calver and Turner in the second half but there was nothing he could do to stop Gray’s curling, 35-yard effort from nestling in his net.

Walden’s custodian Floyd Croll was largely a spectactor in the game on the way to his 11th clean sheet, and seventh away from home, but he was alert when called upon in the latter stages to stop dangerous looking shots from Ben Green and Luke Austin.

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