Walthamstow began their league campaign with a victory over Sporting Bengal United thanks to goals from Charncey Dash, Jon Clements and Sam Jeremiah. It was a fiery affair and a physical game as both sides tried to start their season with a win.
Right from the off, both sides battled well. Both sides tried to settle but neither dominated in the early minutes. The first chance came in the 7th-minute when Reece Conway volleyed an effort over the bar from distance before Dash got on the end of a cross from James Hammond but his header was also over the bar. Bengal tried to come forward but they couldn’t break through the solid Stow defence.
Walthamstow continued to come forward but an effort from Callum Ibe was well saved at the near post and a minute later, Dash’s effort from the edge of the box was curled wide. There were a few stoppages as both sides battled strongly and several players were down with knocks. Sporting Bengal’s Lee Sharpe had a header at the far post go inches wide after he latched onto a header before Curtley McIntosh was played through but a last ditch challenge from Tommy Fletcher prevented any chance for the hosts.
Stow started the strongest in the second half as they had chances in the opening minutes. Ibe cut in from the wing but sent a shot over from the edge before Dash flicked on a header but Connor Scully couldn’t slide in and score. Bengal had a chance through David Vaughan but the shot was deflected wide.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 53rd minute when Dash was pushed over when trying to get on the end of a perfect Ibe cross for a penalty. He dusted himself off and rolled the penalty home. Walthamstow came close to doubling the lead just six minutes later when Dave Cowley delivered a free-kick into the box but Dash couldn’t quite get enough contact on the ball as he tried to slide it in.
The hosts also had a free-kick but Carlos Hubner looped his effort over the bar before McIntosh fired a shot just over following a good run after Bengal had won possession in the Stow half. Walthamstow began to dominate with both possession and chances as they tried to extend their lead. A shot from Conway was saved by the keeper before Ibe tried to create space but he dragged his shot just wide. Ibe was denied once again as Bengal’s keeper pulled off two point blank range saves after a good cross from Hammond.
With just over 10-minutes to play, Jon Clements sent a warning shot over the bar as he tried to lob the scrambling keeper before he doubled Stow’s lead. Dash looped the ball over to Clements who scored despite the keeper getting a hand to his shot. Stow continued the pressure as the game reached added time and the lead was extended. Emiel Aiken did well to get away from a couple of defenders on the wing before he pulled the ball back to Sam Jeremiah who tapped in in for his first goal for the club.
The last kick of the game saw Sporting Bengal scored a goal and spoil a clean sheet for Stow after a superb free-kick was smashed home.