Walden leave it late in season opener
SAFFRON Walden Town Football Club scored a last gasp goal to secure maximum points in their first game of the season against Great Yarmouth, on Saturday. On a hot day at Catons Lane, Walden struggled to make an impact and it was Great Yarmouth that looked
SAFFRON WALDEN 2
(K Vallis, B Riches)
GREAT YARMOUTH 1
SAFFRON Walden Town Football Club scored a last gasp goal to secure maximum points in their first game of the season against Great Yarmouth, on Saturday.
On a hot day at Catons Lane, Walden struggled to make an impact and it was Great Yarmouth that looked the more threatening of the sides in this Ridgeons League First Division encounter.
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Assistant manager John Butchart was pleased his side got off to a winning start and maintained the imperious home form they had showed last season.
"It was the first game of the season and the lads were all quite jittery," he said. "It wasn't the best game to watch but they worked hard.
"I'm pleased to get a win in the first game of the season. As a team they did alright, but the lads have a lot more ability than they showed."
The first 15 minutes saw a lot of early pressure from Great Yarmouth, while Walden were a pace behind and struggled to put a string of passes together.
James Underhill was looking sharp for Great Yarmouth, and on 16 minutes he beat Walden keeper, Kieron Badcock, from 20 yards out to give his side the lead.
Shocked out of their inertia from finding themselves a goal down, Walden stepped up their efforts and responded quickly.
Four minutes later, left-midfielder Richard Chadwick was brought down in the box from a clumsy challenge and the referee, Andree Snell, was quick to point to the spot. Kevin Vallis stepped up to take the penalty and brought Walden back on to level terms.
Walden started the second half with more conviction than they had the first, and began to pass the ball with more confidence.
After 14 minutes, centre-forward Ben Riches played a good cross into the near post that was inches away from being put into the net by a flying header from Ben Smith.
Substitutions made 20 minutes into the second half, helped to give Walden greater penetration and wingers Ryan Cannon and Spike Bell added extra width to their game.
As the second half drew to a close, it looked as though the points would be shared, but Walden's perseverance paid off and in the closing minutes of the game a header from Ben Smith put the ball into the danger area and Ben Riches was able to find the back of the net in a goal line scramble to give the Bloods all three points.
Walden were due to host Godmanchester Rovers last night (Wednesday).