Saffron Walden Town captain Pethers pays tribute after play-off loss

Scott Pethers (right) in action for Saffron Walden Town at Ilford earlier in the season

Scott Pethers (right) in action for Saffron Walden Town at Ilford earlier in the season - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Saffron Walden Town captain Scott Pethers paid tribute to the club and its supporters after seeing their promotion dreams shattered on Saturday.

The Bloods, having finished as runners-up in the Essex Senior League, travelled to Isthmian North strugglers Witham Town for a play-off to see which club would play at step four level in 2022-23.

And the home side came out on top by a 3-0 margin at Spa Road, in front of a crowd of 697.

Rian McLean opened the scoring four minutes before the break, with Josh Osude doubling the advantage on 56 minutes.

Jimmy Wallace added the third just past the hour mark to leave Walden wondering what might have been.

And Pethers took to Twitter to post a message, which said: "I have to say thank you for your relentless support this year and during the three seasons I've enjoyed at this great club.

"In my 18 years of senior football I've never known a club to be so committed and so unconditional in their support of their team.

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"In my opinion, too much is said about non-league players and not enough about the real superstars, the fans and committee members coming through the turnstiles every week. You are the true heroes.

"I have so many great memories in the Red and Black of Walden, too many to mention. I'm sorry we couldn't provide you with the promotion that you crave and deserve, but please take comfort in the fact that I know it's only round the corner.

"Jason [Maher] and the management team have built a great squad of hungry, talented and genuine players. I'm so confident the heartache of the play-off loss will only act as a catalyst now to gain step four football at the next opportunity."

Pethers, replaced by James Crane for the final 14 minutes, added how proud he was to have represented the club, hinting that he might have played his last game.

"I'm not getting any younger and I think I need to take the summer to think about my new family and whether or not I can continue to give you all what you deserve, week in, week out," he said.

"It might be time to lget the younger generation take over. Whatever the decision will be, I have been truly honoured to be your captain and play a small part in the history of this great club."