June 20 2013 Latest news:
Michael Edwards, Sports Reporter
Monday, September 3, 2012
AN “unbelievable performance” from keeper Paul Wood helped 10-man Saffron Walden Walden seal three points against Brightlingsea Regent on Saturday – their third win in a row.
Brad Green gave Walden - who played for 86 minutes with 10 men after Lee Owen was sent off following a straight red card - scored the only goal of the game with a superb lob at the end of the first half, but it was Wood who was the difference between the teams. The shotstopper was inspired, pulling off numerous saves to frustrate Brightlingsea.
Walden boss Colin Wallington was delighted with the 31-year-old’s performance.
He said: “Paul Wood was unbelievable. His tip onto the bar was the best save I’ve ever seen – from where I was standing it looked like a goal. They could have scored four or five but Wood wasn’t going to let them.”
Wallington admitted that Brightlingsea were the better team, but he was more than pleased with the effort and desire his team showed to seal the points.
“They were the best team we have played but it shows the character of the team to lose a man that early and still win the game,” he added.
“The win was not luck, it was effort. The players kept their shape and chased and hurried for 90 minutes – that is not luck, that’s putting in 100 per cent. I can’t ask more than that.
The game never had a chance to simmer as it was boiling within minutes. Owen was given his marching orders - somewhat harshly - after the referee deemed him to have hit out at Brighlingsea forward Scott Page with just four minutes gone on the clock.
Brightlingsea used the numerical advantage, piling the pressure on Walden. However, Wood first saved well from Ricky Griggs, then from Page.
Walden steadied the ship midway through the half, without really threatening at the sharp end. It was going to take a moment of class for them to take the lead and Green supplied it on the stroke of half time. The striker linked up with James Crane, then hit an audacious lob from an acute angle on the left giving keeper Daniel Beeson no chance. Cue wild celebrations around Catons Lane.
It was always going to be tough for Walden in the second half, with Brightlingsea turning the screw on the hosts. But the visitors could not find a way past Wood who pulled off a number of saves including the stunning pinpoint effort from Page which Wallington referred.
Wallington’s team held its nerve – and even created a few chances of their own – to take their unbeaten run to five games from the opening five games.
Next up, Saffron Walden travel to Debenham LC on Saturday, kick off at 3pm.