Walthamstow were victorious on the road again in their second away league game as they came back from 2-0 down to beat West Essex. Goals from Callum Ibe, Connor Scully and Jon Clements were enough to see off the challenge of a tough West Essex side.
It was a poor start to the game for Stow as they conceded in the third minute of the game when an error at the back allowed Cameron Gray to open the scoring. A couple of minutes later, Jon Clements headed just wide before West scored a second goal in the sixth minute. Some good passing from the hosts saw Michael Mignot go one-on-one with Conor Sansom with the West captain slotting it past the Stow keeper.
The hosts had held a two goal lead for just two minutes before Walthamstow pulled one back. A shot from Clements was parried into the path of Callum Ibe who slid in and poked the ball past Jack Coker. The game was an open affair with both sides creating chances. The hosts were almost in again but the shot was deflected just wide. Walthamstow looked for an equaliser as they came forward. Jason Beck created some space inside the box but could only find the side-netting before Connor Scully found the leveller. A good cross from Ibe was tapped home by Scully at the back post in the 16th minute.
West Essex had a period of pressure but they couldn’t retake the lead. A shot from the edge of the box by Mignot was blocked before a series of corners were well defended by Stow. Joel Lamb fired a shot from an angle wide before Symeon Taylor flashed a shot across the face of goal with no one close enough to tap it in. As the game approached half-time, Stow came back into the game. Some good play from the Stags saw Reece Conway have a shot but it was fired over before a shot from Brett O’Connor across the face of goal was deflected wide. The resulting corner was headed wide by Michael Toner. The turnaround was completed in the 34th minute when Jon Clements got on the scoresheet. He shrugged off the challenge of a chasing defender as he broke through and slotted past the keeper to give Stow the lead.
A shot from West Essex was fired over before there were shouts for a penalty as O’Connor was sandwiched between two defenders as he tried to break through. The referee waved the shouts away and booked the Stow defender for diving. Right on the stroke of half-time, Stow were forced into a first-half change as Jack Folan replaced Tommy Fletcher.
It was a quick start to the second half and Stow had another penalty shout in the opening minutes when Toner went down at a corner but it was waved away from the referee. A minute later, West Essex had almost found a way through the Stow defence once again. They had a number of shots which were blocked and well saved. Beck tried his luck from distance but his shot was fired over before a penalty shout from the hosts was ignored.
West’s Joel Lamb made a good run but skied his effort on goal before Walthamstow pressed for another goal. A cross from Tyler Hatherly was well held by the keeper before Beck had a header fired just wide and a cross from Reece Conway was just out of reach for Ibe, who was sliding in. West Essex stepped up the pressure but couldn’t find a way through the Stow defence.
As the game reached the final five minutes, both sides tried to add to their goals but both defences held strong. Walthamstow were holding onto the lead as West threw everything they had at the game. In added time, Callum Ibe touched an effort just wide.