Goals from Dwade James, Callum Ibe and Lewis Francis saw Stow remain second in the Essex Senior League after a 4-2 win over West Essex. Although the scoreline didn’t reflect quite how dominant the visitors were, the victory was enough to keep Walthamstow within a point of Hashtag United.
It was a quick start from Walthamstow who were given a penalty within the first minute. Dwade James stepped up and gave Stow an early lead. Walthamstow dominated the opening ten minutes but they couldn’t capitalise on a good run from Samrai Gebrai before Stow found themselves 2-0 ahead. Charlie Yexley delivered a good cross which found Callum Ibe at the far post, allowing him to slide in to score.
Stow were awarded a free-kick after Samrai Gebrai was brought down after a burst of pace through the middle. The resulting free-kick was slid down the side of the West Essex defence and slotted past the keeper by Dwade James for his second of the game. There was a huge penalty shout for the hosts around the 20 minute-mark as Kyan Gulliver appeared to pull back the West Essex forward but it wasn’t given by the referee.
As the first half approached it’s end, Stow continued to push for more goals. Benji Crilley saw his effort cleared off the line from a corner before a couple of long throws saw Callum Ibe’s shot blocked on the spin and Samrai Gebrai fire his shot over. Despite a deflected free-kick from Danny McCullock, the teams went into the break with Walthamstow leading 3-0.
It was Stow who continued on the front foot in the second half and the first opportunity came in the opening minutes but Samrai Gebrai could only fire his shot over after some good play from Ibe before Crilley forced the keeper into a good save after being fed through by Gebrai.
The first shot for the home side came in the 62nd minute when some good play created some space but it was fired over. The game threatened to be abandoned when the floodlights failed in half the ground but the game continued 10 minutes later. 3 minutes after the restart, West Essex pulled a goal back when a cross from the right unfortunately deflected off Jamie Bennett’s shin and crept in.
There was another delay as the floodlights failed again but play restarted in the 88th minute. West Essex were reduced to ten men when their 14 received a second yellow after bringing down Ibe before Walthamstow increased their lead when a poor clearance was capitalised on by Yexley who delivered another good cross – this time for Lewis Francis to nod in at the far post. Deep into added time (due to the floodlight failure), West Essex pulled back another goal when a free-kick was fired in by Callum Bloss.
Despite a shot by Nicky Symons from the edge of the box which was fired over, the referee brought the game to an end.