Pedlars draw after entertaining battle
Swaffham Town 2, Saffron Walden Town 2
An entertaining game played by two teams who wanted to play football, made the job of the match officials on Saturday, an easy one.
An early opportunity for the home side saw Will O'Brien pick out Corey Shields from a well-placed free kick, Corey meeting the ball sweetly, his volley requiring a fine reaction save to the keeper's left-hand side and second save to push it wide for a corner.
The corner was safely dealt with by the Walden defence.
Dean Mayes, at the other end, was brought into play, reliable hands making a positive catch from a corner kick.
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Mayes was again in action from a Saffron Walden corner in the 30th minute, punching clear, setting Joe Jackson on an agressive forward run, forcing another fine save.
Jack Webber was also denied just before the half-time whistle.
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Swaffham came out for the second half and were imediately in the thick of it, Webber collecting in the Walden third of the pitch and driving forward, only to be brought down in the box as he teed up his shot. Joe Jackson's penalty was saved but he made sure of the rebound, thrashing the ball hard into the roof of the net.
Corey Shields and Jackson combining well to set the second Swaffham goal up, Jackson placing the shot in the bottom right-hand corner.
The visitors remained determined, putting increasing pressure on the Pedlars' back four. Solid defending by captain David Spalding, Dwayne Hockton, David Weaver-Pope and Matthew Parkinson kept the visitors at bay until the 75th minute. Walden were given a dubious corner, the resultant cross met by a unchallenged header straight into the net.
Saffron Walden, sensing the possibility of a point, continued to apply the pressure and finally got their reward, the equaliser in the 85th minute. A tense last five minutes for both sides resulted in stalemate, the honours shared.
Next Saturday, Swaffham first team are away to county rivals Diss Town, 3pm kick-off.
On Tuesday, the Reserves attempt to complete their County Junior Cup fixture against West Winch, the previous match being abandoned through a serious injury, kick-off 7.45pm at Shoemakers Lane. They are at home again next Saturday (October 2), hosting Loddon United Reserves, 2.30pm kick-off.
The A-team are also at home on Saturday to local rivals Dereham Town A, 3pm.
The Ridgeons U18s play this Thursday, Fakenham Town the visitors, 7.45pm.