May 24 2013 Latest news:
Monday, September 17, 2012
SAFFRON Walden crashed out of this season’s FA Vase at the hands of rivals Haverhill.
In an entertaining game, including six goals and a red card for both sides, the result was a fair reflection of the proceedings - the hosts were well worthy of their victory on their first half performance alone.
They were two goals to the good by the interval - three up after 50 minutes - and, despite a valiant comeback by Walden in which they grabbed two late goals, sealed their passage into the third round with a fourth goal deep into injury time.
But it was in the first 45 minutes where the damage was done as Walden never got to grips with their higher-placed opponents, much to the disappointment of boss Colin Wallington.
“That 45 minutes was our worst performance of the season and we didn’t deserve anything,” he told the Reporter at the final whistle.
“They were far better than us and we just didn’t really compete - that is not like us.”
After a tight opening 15 minutes Haverhill started to exert controland took the lead in the 23rd minute when former Bloods defender Greg Strong worked a good opening on the left flank and put in a cross for striker Callum Harrison to turn home.
The advantage was doubled 10 minutes later. Dan Cornwell, with his back to goal, turned his marker, Stuart Wardley and the Bloods defender could bring him down in the box. Cornwell dusted himself off to neatly slot home from the spot.
Wallington admits he got into his players at half time but it paid little dividends as Haverhill seemingly wrapped up the tie with a third goal shortly into the second half when Jacob Brown rose well at the far post to head home Cornwell’s cross.
Cornwell was proving to be the thorn in Walden’s side - but he ruined his credentials for the man-of-the-match honours on the hour mark with an act of wrecklessness. The striker was given his marching orders for violent conduct after needlessly reacting to Bloods’ midfielder James Abbott’s poor foul on teammate Jacob Brown. Abbott was, somewhat harshly, also given a red card for the tackle.
The double sending off worked in Walden’s favour. With Haverhill missing Cornwell’s burly presence up front, they a foothold in the game for the first time.
But they lacked an attacking threat until Ross Laird’s introduction into the fray. The Bloods substitute first laid on a teasing cross that defender Chris Reid met to power home a header to give Walden a glimmer of hope. And that glimmer turned to genuine belief just two minutes before the 90 minutes was up when Alex Riches’ diving header - from another pinpoint Laird cross - found the net.
Both teams went for it in injury time. Steve Leys and Wardley both went close to an unlikely equaliser for Walden, while Haverhill hit a post and found visiting keeper Paul Wood in good form.
But Rovers wrapped up the victory on the stroke of full time when Jamie Challis shrugged off Wardley’s challenge before firing home from close range.
It was no more than the hosts deserved, yet Walden can take great encouragement from such a spirited fightback.
“We showed a lot of character and it’s our first defeat - we knew we couldn’t go the season unbeaten,” said Wallington. “We have to learn from it, pick out the positives and bounce back stronger.”
Walden return to league action at home to Braintree Town Reserves on Saturday, kick off 3pm.