A Strong finish from the Bloods
SAFFRON WALDEN 2 (S Kingham, G Strong) FAKENHAM TOWN 1 (B Derby) THE Bloods grabbed a last-minute winner to beat Fakenham Town in the Ridgeons League First Division on Saturday. Striker Greg Strong s deflected shot two minutes from full-time gave Walden
SAFFRON WALDEN 2 (S Kingham, G Strong)
FAKENHAM TOWN 1
THE Bloods grabbed a last-minute winner to beat Fakenham Town in the Ridgeons League First Division on Saturday.
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Striker Greg Strong's deflected shot two minutes from full-time gave Walden a 2-1 win and the three points in an entertaining match played at Catons Lane.
Walden were boosted by the return of Dean Godden from a long-term injury and Ben Riches' recovery from a groin strain.
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Assistant coach John Butchart said: "I was delighted to see Dean get through the 90 minutes. The lads were pleased to have him back involved with the squad because he is a good character to have in the changing room and a good player.
"Overall I think we made hard work of the game. We played lots of football and had loads of chances, but didn't convert when we should have done.
"We went a goal down early on and we had to chase the game which made it harder for us."
Despite a confident start it was the home side who conceded first, allowing Fakenham's Ben Derby space on the ball, he collected a long clearance and lobbed Walden's keeper Dave Pledger.
Frustrated to be a goal down after 15 minutes, the Bloods searched for an equaliser and came close on several occasions with Paul Stokes and Stuart Kingham both guilty of shooting over the bar.
Walden were rewarded for their pressure on 23 minutes when Kingham picked up Richard Chadwick's through ball and fired home to level the scores.
In the second half Walden continued in their attacking spirit and were looking likely to make a breakthrough. Chadwick proved a handful for the Fakenham defence and his penetrating run beat three of their markers, but his shot struck the woodwork.
Kevin Vallis and Greg Strong both had opportunities to put the home side in front, but a superb performance from Fakenham's keeper kept the scores level.
In the closing minutes, just as it was looking like the Bloods would have to share the points, Kevin Vallis beat off a lunging tackle and found Greg Strong in space. His shot took a deflection and sailed past the stranded Fakenham keeper who had kept the opposition team in the match for so long.
The win sees Walden break into the top five in the Ridgeons League First Division.
On Saturday they visit FC Clacton, with their next home game on December 1 against Thetford Town.