Walden progress past Hadley in FA Cup

Jake Noble

Jake Noble - Credit: Archant

Saffron Walden Town are through to the next round of the FA Cup after beating Hadley 2-1 in their extra preliminary round tie.

Goals from Sam Gregory and Jake Noble either side of half-time booked Walden’s place in the preliminary round, where they will face Cheshunt at Catons Lane.

Gregory’s goal came in the 21st minute as Walden took advantage of their pressure they had built up since Jamie Solkhon’s third minute header was saved. A corner was knocked down in the box and Gregory was on hand to poke the ball into the net.

Four minutes later he could have doubled his tally but failed to test the goalkeeper. It was the same story at the other end where Floyd Croll easily denied Laste Dombaxe.

Walden scored a second early in the second half. Noble made a near post run and glanced a header from Ben Lawrence’s long throw in past the goalkeeper.

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The two-goal cushion didn’t last long as Shay Khosrowshahi received the ball 40 yards out on the left, raced in the box, rode a tackle and smashed the ball past Croll.

Despite being in the ascendency after the goal, Hadley had the wind taken out of them by the referee. Joe Murphy was caught in the face with an out-stretched arm and the official gave Gustavo Angel-Tamayo is marching orders.

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Chances started to come thick and fast for Walden but they couldn’t make the one-man advantage count, with Craig Calver missing two good opportunities to kill the contest. Sam Gregory had a header pushed round the post and Graeme Turner had the best chance in the 82nd minute when he broke clear, rounded the goalkeeper, and side-footed the ball goalwards only for it to be cleared from the goalmouth by a covering defender.

Hadley attacked Walden with abandon as the game neared its conclusion but they couldn’t find the goal that would have earned them a replay.

It is the second time in two years that Walden have made the preliminary round. They will be hoping to go one better this year and reach the first qualifying round having lost to Welwyn Garden City in extra-time of their replay preliminary round match.


Floyd Croll, Paul Abbot, Jamie Solkhon, Matt Snelling (Joe Murphy – 56 mins.), Ben Lawrence, Chris Reid, Craig Calver, Jake Noble, Mark Abbot (Louis Harper 85 mins.), Sam Gregory Graeme Turner – 78 mins.), Spike Bell. Substitutes (not used): Peter Davies, Max Drane, Sam Soutar.

Att: 70

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