Watts strikes as Bloaters finish on a high note

Saffron Walden 0 Yarmouth Town 1

Yarmouth Town finished their Thurlow Nunn First Division in 10th place after an excellent final day win at Saffron Walden.

Although promotion was beyond Walden’s grasp, the team were fighting for a top four finish, significant as a fourth place spot would have guaranteed an FA Cup spot for them next season.

But the Bloaters had other ideas as with barely a minute on the clock Charlie McAra beat his man on the wing and crossed a low ball into the box for Joel Watts to score on his return to the team, writes LEN BERESFORD.

Leighton Crux almost doubled that lead five minutes later, the pacy winger ran through and just got to the ball ahead of Walden ‘keeper Wood, but he did just enough to put Crux off as the ball bounced just wide.

Both teams created some chances in the rest of the first half, Joe Bryanton skewing just wide with an opportunity, whilst Yarmouth’s Danny Cable kept the away side ahead with some decent saves, the pick of the bunch an excellent palm away in the 41st minute.

Yarmouth were quickest out of the blocks for the second half, Watts brilliantly controlling the ball and squaring the ball to McAra, but Wood saved well with his feet in a one-on-one with McAra. Soon after, Cable was again the man to thank saving at the feet of a Walden striker just as he was about to pull the trigger on a chance. Very brave goalkeeping by the goalkeeper who recently got back into the side after playing at Beccles Town for the majority of the season.

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Walden were turning on the pressure, and in a spell of consecutive corners, the home crowd thought they had scored through a header but it was just the wrong side of the post from their perspective.

A rare poorly-struck attacking free kick by Rob Andersen sparked a dangerous Walden counter. Andersen ran back and dived in with an excellent last-ditch challenge to preserve Yarmouth’s lead.

Despite the home side pressing to equalise, Yarmouth had decent opportunities.

Connor Deeks threaded the ball through to Watts midway through the second half but Yarmouth’s second top scorer dwelt on the ball and was dispossessed when it looked he was through.

Yarmouth tested their luck late on, young centre backs George Barnden, Jordie Forbes and latterly Shaun Bartley all looked assured but in the final five minutes, former professional footballer Wardley was through but fired wildly over, and Rickes hit the crossbar after getting on the end of a late corner.

The final match of the season for Yarmouth is tonight’s (Friday) First Division Knock-out Cup final at Diss. Travel is available via Reynolds coaches, departure time 5pm, with the Bloaters Bar clubhouse open from 3pm. Coach travel is £10 and there are still limited spaces left. If interested please call Len Beresford on 01493 859587.

Yarmouth: Danny Cable, Shaun Bartley, Rob Andersen (Rorie Burnett 86), Callum Jones, Joe Bryanton, Jordan Forbes, Joel Watts, George Barnden, Connor Deeks, Charlie McAra (Josh Thomas 72), Leighton Crux (Johnny Jarvis 68). Booked: Jarvis. Goal: Watts.