Walthamstow 3-2 London Lions

Walthamstow progressed to the next round of the FA Cup after a narrow victory over London Lions, in front of a massive crowd at Wadham Lodge. Goals from Michael Osei, Connor Scully and Charncey Dash saw Stow come from behind twice to claim the victory.

The visitors got off to the better start as they broke the deadlock within the opening minutes. A looping cross fell into the box and was tapped in at the back post, with the attacker unmarked. The set back didn’t put Stow off as they began to dominate the game. Shots from Jon Clements, Brett O’Connor and Dash from the edge were all sent either wide or over before a low cross from Scully was cleared.

The pressure continued from Walthamstow as George Lutaaya broke through but his shot was saved comfortably by David Myers. Amongst all the pressure, London Lions saw a cross caught by Charlie Mann before a shot from close range was sent just wide. Dash was a handful to deal with as he twisted and turned but his shot was deflected just wide.

As the game approached half-time, Stow searched for an equaliser. Michael Toner came in on a shot on the edge of the box but it was fired over before an error from the Lions keeper almost gave Stow an opportunity and Lutaaya was played through but couldn’t get his shot off.

Both sides tried to start the strongest in the second half but it was the visitors who had the first effort on goal; a shot from an angle was deflected wide. Max Mitchell had made a positive change at half-time, bring on Michael Osai. His first involvement saw him run at the defence but his powerful shot was fired inches wide. The visitors had a ball flashed across the face of goal but it was cleared before the pressure had paid off. Stow had their equaliser as a lay-off from Jon Clements went to Osei who sent a powerful curling effort into the top corner.

Despite Stow equalising, the visitors retook the lead 4 minutes later as another shot was slotted in at the far post. Stow continued to dominate possession as they looked to come back once again. The ball was in the back of the net in the 65th-minute but the goal was ruled out as a throw in from Vinny Murphy eluded everyone and went over the goal line. A few minutes later, a header from Murphy was blocked on the line. The Lions tried to break and extend their lead but Mann held onto the ball well.

Two goals in two minutes changed the game for Walthamstow. Connor Scully latched onto a perfect pass from Clements ball on the edge of the box and fired it past Myers to level the score before Dash put Stow ahead after he was played through. Being one-on-one with the keeper, he coolly slotted it past him. As the game approached the end, London Lions tried to create chances whilst Stow tried to hold onto the ball. A shot from the edge for the visitors was fired wide. It was almost 4 for Stow as Emiel Aiken was played through but it was ruled offside.

Walthamstow will now face fellow-Essex Senior League side Cockfosters at home on September 12th in the Preliminary Round.

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