Walthamstow faced Enfield Borough of the Spartan South Midlands League in their second pre-season friendly with the game ending 1-1. It was Stow’s second test ahead of the upcoming season in a game which threatened to boil over.
It was Walthamstow who started the quickest and strongest of the two sides with Dwade James leading the charge. Stow’s number 9 had a chance to open the scoring in the first minute but the goalkeeper managed to tip the ball over the bar before Jack Grosvenor’s header from a corner was just wide of the target.
It was the centre-back who put the home side ahead when he got above everyone to head the ball across goal and into the far corner. Following the goal, Walthamstow remained on top of their opponents but somehow did find themselves further ahead. James’ shot was saved by the Borough keeper before Billy Jones smashed a shot towards goal but dragged it wide.
The game got a bit heated when a confrontation between two players on the pitch saw an Enfield player get booked after a swipe at the legs of Stow’s Ben Crilley before it spilled over onto the touchline.
Enfield Borough did have their chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. A shot was blocked off the line before their number nine hit a shot wide and over. Walthamstow went into the interval leading 1-0.
The start of the second half was dominated by Borough as they looked for an equaliser but thankfully James Bransgrove managed to tip one of their efforts over the bar.
Their pressing paid off when they found the back of the net ten minutes into the second half. A poor pass back to Bransgrove was pounced upon as Borough’s 19 took the ball round Stow’s keeper and tapped it in. Neither side really tested the keeper in the second half but Bransgrove made some big saves towards the end of the game as Enfield Borough tried to find a winner. Both sides had penalty shouts in the second half but the referee wasn’t interested in any of them. The game ended 1-1 as both sides cancelled each other out.
Speaking after the game, Stow manager Ryan Maxwell said: “The opposition approached the game like it was a league match so fair play to them but in that sense, we didn’t really match them.
“I’ve had a word with the players and told them that although it’s pre-season, we should be winning at everything we do because that’s what it’s going to take this year.
“After a good performance against Heybridge, some of the players took Borough for granted but you can’t do that and some of the boys will need to get back in my good books.
“We will be in on Thursday and training hard [ahead of the weekend’s game] as we need to approach it in the right way”
Image: Bill Badger.