Walthamstow went up against a resilient Ilford side on Saturday, but came away with a deserved three points thanks to a 1-0 win.

The home side had only lost twice coming into the game, and that combined with driving rain and a swirling wind meant it was always going to be a difficult afternoon for Stow.

But Ryan Maxwell’s side were on top from the off, and had a huge penalty shout turned down in the first minute when James Peagram was taken down when clean through on goal. The referee, who was being assessed, was unmoved.

Junior Appiah was a threat all afternoon, and should have scored when some great play between him and Christian Owusu save the former bags of space in the penalty area, but he curled his effort wide.

Ilford’s best threat looked to be from set pieces, and Chris Clark had to be alert to pull off a fine save from a deflected shot following an Ilford corner.

James Peagram had a back post tap-in disallowed for offside before Hugo Rosetti’s fingertips denied Appiah with a lob from just inside the penalty area.

Stow then had a huge let off when the Ilford centre back somehow rattled the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. And they were punished five minutes later. The same defender who had missed the open goal misplaced a pass straight to Appiah who headed straight towards the Ilford goal.

He slipped in Billy Jones who’s first effort was blocked, but he was able to cut the ball across to Peagram who couldn’t miss from a couple of yards out.

Reece Conway and Craig Pope both went close with long-range efforts in the second half, and Jones rattled the crossbar much in the same way Ilford did in the first half.

Ilford offered little in the second period, Stow dealing comfortably with their long balls, but they could have nicked a point in the last minute when a hopeful pass from midfield somehow evaded everyone until it reached the home side’s forward just inside the penalty area. It seemed to catch him by surprise too, as he screwed his effort well wide.

Stow are now unbeaten in seven league games, and face a tough trip to another in-form side, Saffron Walden, on Tuesday evening.

Image: Bill Badger