Promotion would be 'huge achievement' says Saffron Walden Town boss

Saffron Walden Town players celebrate a goal during the Essex Senior League season

Saffron Walden Town players celebrate a goal during the Essex Senior League season - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Saffron Walden Town boss Jason Maher says it would be a 'huge achievement' to get the club back to step four in the non-league pyramid this weekend.

The Bloods, having finished runners-up in the Essex Senior League, head to Witham Town, who finished 18th in Isthmian North, for a play-off match to see who plays at the higher level in 2022-23.

And Maher believes his side have a good chance to be the ones who achieve that on Saturday, saying: "If we go and play to our maximum and do the basics well, we'll have a good chance.

"For the players it's a free hit. Everyone is expecting Witham to win as the step four club, being at home.

"We've got good players, we're on a good run at the moment and if after 90 minutes it's good enough, it will be brilliant.

"It would be a huge achievement to get back to step four. We didn't set out at the start of the season to say we have to get promoted. We wanted to do our best and work as hard as we can.

"I think the club is ready for step four, it ticks every box. If we don't make it, it's not the end of the world.

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"We'll give our best and hope by 5pm on Saturday it's good enough. Our supporters will be there in massive numbers and it will be a great occasion."

Maher's men ran out 2-0 winners over Hoddesdon Town in their last league match of the season to finish two points clear of rivals Redbridge.

Maher added: "Given the importance of the game, I thought it was a pretty controlled, measured performance.

"They only had one shot on goal in the second half and no chance so fnote in the first half. We were fairly comfortably.

"We didn't create loads of chances in the first half, but had the most of the territory and the ball and just before half-time we got a good team goal from Charlie Smith, which settled us down.

"We had a fairly good second half without getting the second goal until Stan Leech came off the bench and scored a great header.

"It was a decent performance given the pressure on us. We were very good defensively and have been for a while. 

"It was difficult to enjoy the victory as I keep reminding everybody it's no good if we don't get the job done."

Witham snatched a last-gasp win at Romford, meanwhile, to ensure they avoided automatic relegation to step five but Maher hopes his side can turn the tables.

"We have to try and be as good as we can be this weekend. We want to start well, get on the front foot," he added.

"We're away from home but we've been pretty decent away this season and had some positive results against some of the better teams.

"I'm not overly concerned it's away. It's a big game, there will be a big crowd and they're a step four club desperate to remain at that level.

"We've got to give a good account of ourselves and hope it's good enough."