Walthamstow progressed in the FA Vase as they beat Harwich & Parkeston 5-4 on penalties. A late goal from Stow sent the game to penalties despite a dominant performance.
Both sides tried to get off to the best possible start, but it was Walthamstow who had the earliest chances. Charncey Dash controlled the ball well in the box but sent his shot over the bar before a free-kick from Connor Scully was comfortable for the keeper. The first chance for Harwich came in the 16th-minute when a shot from distance was saved well and collected on the second attempt.
Stow continued to come forward, but they couldn’t find the opening goal.
There were shouts for a penalty as Dash was brought down in the box but the referee awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Stow were down to 10 when Jason Beck was sin-binned and Callum Ibe missed his kick as he tried to volley the ball. Minutes later, Dash was denied again as his shot from point-blank range was held on the line by the keeper.
The deadlock was broken in the 37th-minute when Harwich & Parkeston took the lead. A long-range effort from Adam Hampson nestled into the top corner and out of reach of Connor Sansom, though there were strong protests from Stow about a hand-ball in the run-up to the goal.
Stow pushed at the end of the first half as they looked for an equaliser. A cross was just missed by the head of Dash before the Stow forward sent another head over the bar.
Walthamstow came out the strongest in the second half, but they struggled to find pass to unlock the Harwich defence. A shot from Harwich was struck across the face of goal before Callum Ibe almost equalised. Tommy Fletcher flicked the ball on, but it deflected off Ibe’s leg and bounced wide.
As the game approached the final 15 minutes, Walthamstow continued to push as they seeked an equaliser. A header from Jon Clements was saved comfortably by the keeper before Stow were down to 10 once again as Callum Ibe was sin-binned.
There were a couple of chances for Harwich but they couldn’t extend their lead. Another shot was fired across the face of goal before Charlie Lindoe saw his shot saved comfortably by the keeper.
Stow had minutes to find an equaliser as they stared down the barrel of a defeat. A header from Dash was just wide before Sam Jeremiah created some space on the edge of the box but sent his effort over the bar. The equaliser finally came in the 90th-minute when a flick on by Charncey Dash was headed past the keeper by Jon Clements. With 4-minutes added on, both sides tried to grab a winner, but it finished level.
The game went straight to penalties with the ABBA system. It was a good start to the shoot-out as Connor Sansom kept Elliott Johnson’s penalty out before Dash and Clements gave Stow a 2-0 lead. That was followed by Adam Hampson and Charlie Lindoe levelling it for the hosts. Both Sam Jeremiah and Tyler Campbell converted their kicks as Stow took a 4-2 lead before Oliver Law and Harry Miller converted their final two penalties to level the shoot-out once again. Emiel Aiken stepped up and slotted it home to send Walthamstow through.
There was also a win for our reserves in the Essex Senior League Reserve Division as they beat Saffron Walden 6-0 at the Lodge.