Walthamstow narrowly lost in their latest pre-season friendly as they welcomed Barking to Wadham Lodge. It was a highly competitive and tough game for both sides, despite, it being a friendly. Walthamstow also welcomed former-Stag Billy Jones to the Lodge.
It was a quick start from the visitors as they looked to start britly. Right from the off, it was an intense battle but the earliest chances fell to Barking. A shot from distance was fired over before a volley from the same distance was sent wide of the target. The early pressure paid off as Barking broke the deadlock in the 6th-minute. An Abs Seymour free-kick took a wicked deflection which wrong footed Charlie Mann in the Stow goal.
A minute later, Walthamstow had a shot from Jon Clements saved comfortably by the Barking keeper before Barking continued to press. Their number 9 lifted a shot over Mann but it was off the crossbar before they were awarded a penalty after Billy Jones was brought down in the box. The penalty was saved well by Charlie Mann, who got down quickly to parry it away. Barking’s number 9 almost doubled the visitors lead when he was played through but instead, he rattled his shot against the post.
As the half got closer to an end, Walthamstow started to grow into the game. A shot was tipped over the bar by the keeper before George Lutaaya shot just wide of the target and Michael Toner fired over from close range.
Both sides once again come out quickly in the second half. It was Stow who tried to start the quickest but a cross from Brett O’Connor was too heavy before Barking’s 15 curled a free-kick just wide. Dave Cowley tried to influence the game and get onto the scoresheet but a shot from outside the box was just over and a free-kick was parried away by the keeper.
The visitors saw a header go over the bar as Walthamstow tried to bring the ball forward. There was an intense battle in the middle of the park as both sides tried to control the game. Cowley had another free-kick and again it was saved by the keeper as he tipped it over the bar. As the game approached an end, Walthamstow looked for an equaliser. The ball was pin-balled in the box but no one could get a decisive touch before Clements intercepted the ball from the keeper, only for a free-kick to be awarded to Barking with minutes left to play.