Walden clinch vital win over Upminster

PUBLISHED: 16:22 29 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:22 29 September 2014

Saffron Walden 3rds started their league campaign with a clinical win against Upminster.

The two sides were poles apart in both the way they approached the game and also the squads’ average age, captain Rob Chaplin and manager Nobby Rawlings fielding a young side looking to use pace to exploit the defence of the older Upminster side.

However, Walden started with a very nervy opening 10 minutes - the defence atoning for number of mistakes by their midfield - but with 20 minutes gone they were awarded a penalty corner which resulted in Alex Newitt beating two Upminster defenders at the top of the D to slot past the goalkeeper.

Upminster were back in the game almost immediately when they were awarded a penalty corner and scored with a powerful strike in to the bottom corner.

The young Walden team kept their heads with Nev Warren, Tom Inett, Max Benton and Phil Wilkinson working well in the midfield, and they were rewarded right before the half-time break when Max Benton followed up Newitt’s saved shot to slot home from close range.

After halftime Walden moved up through the gears and, with the older Upminster team tiring, Newitt extended the lead and then completed his hat-trick by drilling the ball in to the roof of the net after a period of consolidated possession in the Upminster half of the pitch.

In defence Walden looked assured with centre backs Alex Roke and Oscar Toy comfortably breaking up the Upminster attacks and wing backs Luke Ogilvie, Alex Francis and Mark Taylor working calmly with both Tommy Cox and Adam Nash to alleviate any pressure on the Walden D.

Captain Chaplin had very little to do in the Walden goal but was alert when required to snuff out the Upminster forwards. Saffron Walden continued to press the opposition and capped the victory when Newitt broke in to the Upminster area and squared the ball for Inett to tap in.

Captain Chaplin said: “I’m really proud of the players today, the aim today was to win and to ensure we won well. We achieved this with a very good all-round performance.”

Manager Nobby Rawlings added: “Today the whole team gave 100 per cent on the pitch and proved that, even this early in the season, we’re going to be a very tough team to beat. There are always things to improve on but today’s performance was exceptional. The young players that have graduated to this side for the new season really showed they deserved to be playing in this team.”

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