Our veterans began their first defence of the Essex County Sunday Veterans Cup with a home tie against Hullbridge Sports. From the start Walthamstow went on the offensive and Sezai Tasci and Erdal Bekler forced early saves from Steven Card in the Hullbridge goal, but fairly constant pressure for most of the opening period failed to find a break through.

Hullbridge slowly came more into the game and took the lead on 27 minutes when Stuart Harper beat Ismet Turkoglu. Moments later they almost doubled their advantage when a low effort from Ben Saveall went inches wide.

Walthamstow took a while to recover from their setback, but Tasci, who was their most potent threat, blasted home from close range on 40 minutes, and 2 minutes later put the home side in front with a shot that went in under Card’s body.

Walthamstow were reduced to 10 men when Ferhat Yavuz was sent off. He took a blow to his instep in a challenge and was aggrieved that the referee, Mike Allen failed to award a free kick. He was dismissed for foul and abusive language.

The reduction in numbers did not deter Walthamstow and they added to their score when Tasci cut in from the left to complete his hat trick on 53 minutes. Mario Renas Seyho added a fourth goal 5 minutes later with a low drive from the edge of the box. The same player sprung the Hullbridge offside trap to add a 5th goal on 69 minutes.

The home team relaxed and allowed Hullbridge back into the game on 77 minutes when a free kick by Peter Ware took a wicked deflection off the defensive wall to wrong foot Turkoglu.

In the last minute Saveall added a 3rd for Hullbridge from close range.

Walthamstow line up: Turkoglu, Renas-Sayho, Gultekin, Yesildag, Arasan, Gursoy, Kilicaslan, Dag, Ayvaz, Tasci and Aslan. Subs: Yavuz, Topal and Beckler.

Hullbridge Sports: Card, Harmond, Henry, Ware, Harper, Jones, Rogers, Lambdon, Gibbs, Saveall and Scates.

Walthamstow now visit Sky Athletic in Round 2 on 18th November.

Next Sunday, 14th October, we are at home to Tansley in the Garston Cup at Wadham Lodge, kick-off 10.30.