Walthamstow moved up to 3rd in the Essex Senior League after brushing Enfield aside at the Lodge in front of a rocking crowd.
A hattrick from Dwade James as well as goals from Callum Ibe, Tommy Fletcher and Jon Clements was enough for the Stags despite a consolation for the Es as Stow ran riot in a 6-1 win. The victory also put Stow within four points of league-leaders Hashtag United as they overtook Cockfosters into third.
It was Walthamstow who started off the quickest at Ibe had two good chances either side of a break from Enfield. He made a good run into the box but sent an effort into the side-netting before he fired a shot inches wide from the edge of the box. There was a potentially game-changing moment as Patrick Campbell brought Dwade James down but the defender was awarded a yellow card. The resulting free-kick from Harrison Carnegie was aimed towards the head of Ibe, but Sam Soutar was out quickly to claim.
The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute as James scored his first of the evening. The Stow forward curled the ball into the top corner after receiving the ball in the box. The visitors tried to respond straight away but it was Walthamstow who dominated. Carnegie aimed a cross towards James but the keeper held on well again before the led was doubled. This time James turned provider as he laid the ball off to Clements on the edge who fired it beyond the keeper, despite his heroic efforts to get a hand on the ball.
The goal gave Stow confidence as they continued to come forward. With their tails up, Walthamstow scored a further two goals in two minutes as they looked to take advantage of a shaky defence.
Carnegie looked to have directed a shot into the top corner but it was deflected behind for a corner. The resulting corner was aimed towards the near post and headed in by Fletcher who picked up his first goal of the season. A minute later, James scored his second as he headed a free-kick delivery into the net.
As the game approached half-time, both sides had chances to score. A low cross eluded the touch of Ibe by inches before he had the ball in the back of the net after the keeper had spilled a catch, but the referee blew for a foul. Enfield had two efforts cleared off the line as they looked for a way back into the game.
It was a strong start to the second half for Walthamstow as they began with a goal. Ibe finally got a deserved goal as he headed the ball with a cushioned header to extend the lead. Minutes later, Ibe was almost in again but the keeper cleared before he could get a foot to the ball. Carnegie almost scored his first goal for the club as he cut inside after making a good run but his effort was just over the bar.
The sixth goal came just before the hour mark as Dwade James rounded the keeper and slotted home to complete his hattrick. James almost turned provider again as he aimed a cross into Ibe but it was deflected behind. The resulting corners saw Stow almost get a 7th but Enfield’s Toby Barlow flicked the ball off the line before another effort from Jason Beck was blocked by the defence.
Enfield got their goal as a free-kick was driven beyond Jake Alley. The goal gave the visitors a brief sense of confidence as they looked to score more goals but couldn’t find a second. They came closest when a ball was flashed across the face of goal but was wide of the target.
As the game reached the final ten minutes, Stow continued to search for more goals. Walthamstow were awarded an indirect free-kick following a back pass by the Es but Stow couldn’t make the most of it as the ball to the back post by Carnegie bounced out of play. Conor Scully managed to get away from the defence with a neat flick but his low cross eluded everyone in the middle. Despite more runs forward, the game was brought to an end with the confirmed win for Stow.
Speaking after the game, hattrick hero Dwade James said “I think we dominated from start to finish. We had a brief spell where they got onto the ball but I think we were fully deserving of the result.”
[On ending on a high] “The word end is not the word I want to be using. It upsetting that we have to take another break but that’s the situation we are in. To score a hattrick in my final game of the year, I’m over the moon.”
[On not getting the chance to carry form into Christmas] “It’s our third win on the bounce, we are clicking and the changing room is buzzing. Having to break that momentum is gutting but everyone is in the same boat so we can’t complain. Once the season restarts, you will see us come back!”