Walden stop Rovers in FA Cup contest
Saffron Walden FC march on in the FA Cup after a victory at Stanway Rovers on Saturday in the extra qualifying round. The Bloods, who will now host Maldon Town in the first qualifying round, deserved the victory against their premier league opponents – a
Saffron Walden FC march on in the FA Cup after a victory at Stanway Rovers on Saturday in the extra qualifying round.
The Bloods, who will now host Maldon Town in the first qualifying round, deserved the victory against their premier league opponents - a result which delighted assistant manager John Butchart.
"We played really well," he said. "They are a level above us so it was nice to turn them over on their patch.
"All the lads were up for it and we deserved the win. It shows that if you have got the right attitude then anything is possible.
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"It's good for the club, good for the supporters and now we're hoping to take another scalp in the next round."
Butchart knows it won't be easy against the Ryman Division One North club with £2250 in prize money at stake, but he's confident the Bloods can get the right result.
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"We beat Harlow last year who play at the same level, so we know we are capable if the lads perform on the day.
"Being at home helps and I'm sure there will be a healthy crowd, which gives us a lift."
Stanway started strongly on Saturday and David Pledger was called into action after two minutes, saving a close range strike from Challender and again minutes later when he tipped over North's swerving drive.
However, it was the visitors who made the breakthrough when Kevin Vallis' curling free-kick found the unmarked Stuart Kingham at the near post and he headed the Bloods into the lead.
There were chances for both sides before Walden doubled their advantage just before the break. Spike Bell's foray into the box to set up Richard Chadwick for a tap in was stopped by the hand of Newson, with Vallis stepping up to fire in the resulting spot kick.
The second half started with the Bloods applying pressure, and Bell beat the offside trap and outpaced the defender to fire in a volley that Thornton in the Rovers' goal did well to gather.
Thornton was beaten after 49 minutes when Bell cut inside the Stanway defence and fed
Ben Riches who lobbed the advancing keeper.
Tommy Butchart, Chadwick and Bell all came close for Walden with the defence holding firm at the other end as the visitors booked their place in the next round.
Walden hosts Debenham on Saturday, before visiting Ely City on Tuesday, both in the Ridgeons League First Division.
"Debenham have not lost this year and are flying so we will have to make sure the lads don't have one eye on the cup game," said Butchart.
"We have two tough games before Maldon and we will get them fired up. We cant step off the pace as this is a tough league.
"We want three points in each game and we will be disappointed with anything less.