The ability to ‘win ugly’ is often said to be the mark of a team going in the right direction. This was the case against Woodford Town, when Walthamstow – on a comedown from their fantastic FA Cup win at the weekend – struggled to get grip on a defiant Town side.

Stow started brightly though, and Ryan Ramsay was again at it down the left wing, getting into the box and causing problems as early as the first minute.

And with a quarter of an hour on the clock, Ryan Maxwell’s side were rewarded. Lee Flynn played a perfect ball over the top to James Peagram, who took a touch and made no mistake with his finish.

The lead didn’t last long though, as three minutes later, Stow were caught out by a ball over the top themselves. Chris Clark did brilliantly to save the first effort, but the loose ball eventually fell to Kosovan international Alban Bunjaku who smashed it into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

With neither side content on holding onto the ball, it was no surprise that Stow went straight up the other end and regained the lead. Ramsay cut into the Woodford box and was cut to the ground as he was about to cross, earning Bailey Brown a booking. Christian Owusu continued his 100% record from the spot, slotting home off the post.

Things got worse for the home side not long after, as they were reduced to 10 men, Brown receiving a second yellow card, for another foul on Ramsay.

As Stow proved on the weekend, it can often be harder playing against 10 (or even 9) men, and Woodford got more and more into the game as the second half went on.

They were rewarded five minutes into the half when Bunjaku was allowed to creep in unmarked and volley home from a corner.

By now Stow were having to make the best of any half chances they were handed. Ramsay went close, having an effort cleared off the line after the keeper stopped his first one on one effort, and play was cruelly brought back when Junior Appiah was clean through on goal – the referee not playing the advantage quite long enough.

Clark had another solid game in the Stow goal, saving his side’s blushes more than once, but there was nothing he could do in the 89th minute when a Woodford cross from the left curled nastily into the inside of the back post and somehow hooked away.

This was the final let-off Stow needed, as in the 92nd minute, Peagram was on hand to smash a header home from a Harry Watkins corner.

There was still time in the 95th minute for the home side to miss another great chance – arguably their best of the match – when Ellis Routledge blazed over from about ten yards.

Stow were the first to admit that they weren’t at the races, but at the end of the day, picking up another crucial three points is all that really counts.

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