Goals from Dwade James and Danny McCullock helped Stow secure a 2-1 win over Clapton as they leap-frogged Saffron Walden into top spot and continued their run of 4 wins on the trot. Although a dominate performance from Walthamstow, a late Clapton goal made for a nervy end but Ryan Maxwell’s side managed to hold on to claim all three points.
It was quick start from both sides with Clapton having the first shot. James Bransgrove made a good save to deny them an opening goal before Stanley Muguo cleared the ball. A minute later, Callum Ibe almost broke through the Clapton defence and his tame shot was comfortably saved by the goalkeeper.
Walthamstow began to dominate and started up the pressure on the Clapton defence. A free-kick was swung in by Danny McCullock but it was taken comfortably by William Hunt before the deadlock was broke in the 16th minute when Danny McCullock saw his shot deflect off the hands of the goalkeeper before nestling into the top corner.
Clapton’s Daniel Emovon had a shot from distance go well wide before Stow continued with their dominance. Danny McCullock did well to twist and turn the Clapton defence before forcing a good save from William Hunt and Benji Crilley was brought down in the box, giving Stow the chance to double their lead from the spot. Dwade James stepped up and calmly slotted past the keeper to give Walthamstow a 2-0 lead.
Samrai Gebrai had a curling effort from outside the box saved before his header from a corner was sent just wide 2 minutes before the end of the first half and the teams went into the break with Walthamstow leading.
Both sides came flying out the blocks once again but neither side could get shots off. Callum Ibe and Danny McCullock both tried working the ball through the Clapton defence but nothing came from it before Clapton saw their first shot of the second half go wide of the target.
Walthamstow began to dominate once again as they pushed to increase their lead. Benji Crilley got just ahead of Ibe as a free-kick was swung into the box and it was just wide before Dwade James’ pull-back, aimed towards Callum Ibe, was cleared and Callum Ibe’s header was just over after Emiel Aiken had flicked the ball on.
With 10 minutes left to play, Clapton pulled a goal back. The forward rode a number of challenges before lifting the ball into the net. Walthamstow had the chance to kill off the pressure but Samrai Gebrai’s shot was just wide whilst Clapton had a couple of chances as they looked for an equaliser. A shot was dragged wide before James Bransgrove was forced into a incredible save as he kept Stow in the lead.
To make matters more nervy, Benji Crilley was sin-binned as the game reached injury time and despite a shot from Emiel Aiken going agonisingly across the face of goal, the referee brought the game to an end.