Walthamstow put their ground-sharing rivals to the sword in an evening where everything in front of goal went right for Ryan Maxwell’s men.
A feature of Stow’s recent good form has been starting games at a frantic pace, and it was no different against Leyton Athletic.
Only a minute in, Kieran Bishop set the tone, turning his defender in midfield before hitting a low shot from well outside the box, almost catching the Leyton keeper off guard.
Dwade James then went close from a tight angle, and went closer still from the resulting corner; his goal-bound effort blocked by the keeper’s thigh, though it was more a case of being in the right place at the right time, than moving to save James’ effort.
The breakthrough came on 11 minutes. Samrai Gebrai was allowed too much space down the left wing, cutting into the box and squaring for James to calmly tap the ball in, despite the efforts of a Leyton defender on the line.
Six minutes later, Stow doubled their advantage. Jack Folan lifted a perfect ball through to Bishop who steadied himself before smashing in a low effort at the keeper’s near post.
Two became three just before half time, though there was an air of peculiarity about the goal. The ball dropped dead in midfield, and at least six players around the ball all seemed to leave it for each other. In the end, Kyan Gulliver took control of the situation, lofting a first time ball to James, who beat his man and curled home past the stranded keeper.
— Kyle Cleone (@kylecleone) March 28, 2019
At the other end, Leyton offered little, though a neat passing move did get their forward into the Stow penalty area, but his effort was well over the bar.
Any hopes of a Leyton comeback in the second half were quickly quashed, as Folan’s peach of a volley just three minutes in confirmed where the three points would be heading.
Ben Crilley had one cleared off the line, before James, Gebrai and Folan all went close, though at the other end James Bransgrove had to pull off his only save of the evening, blocking a one-on-one well with his feet.
Then came the cherry on the cake. Bishop picked up the ball on the edge of the area, beating one defender, then putting the next on the floor before smashing in an unstoppable effort off the underside of the bar to make it 5-0.
— Ashlee Jones (@ashleeflyboi) March 27, 2019
Bishop had a couple of half chances with two low efforts which were blocked by the keeper, but the last ten minutes passed without an real incident; Stow happy to pick up the points and Leyton looking to get off the pitch as quickly as possible.
For Stow, it’s a seventh win on the bounce an a eighth clean sheet on the bounce, keeping up their title challenge and adding more pressure on the top two. Leyton Athletic on the other hand, look confined to a bottom two finish.