Stow’s reserves made history, beating Sawbridgeworth Reserves 2-0, and in doing so, securing the first trophy for the club since changing names to Walthamstow.
The Len Cordell Memorial Plate was the prize for the winners, but it was Sawbo who made the brightest start as Samson Bashua found himself in some space, but he was denied by the keeper from a tight angle. Walthamstow tried to get down the pitch in the early moments, but struggled to make anything stick as Sawbo cleared their lines.
Walthamstow continued to look for a route down the wing, but Airon Paul was called offside, with Sawbo continuing to dominate the ball as they looked for the opening goal. The home side has a good few chances as a header from a free-kick was well held by the keeper, before Raheem Gray struck the ball towards goal, but his shot was comfortably saved by the keeper.
Stow’s first real attempt on goal came in the 22nd minute. Timo Monsheju cut inside and fed the ball to Luke Hillier, but his shot was fired over. Walthamstow continued to come forward as Tyrese Reynolds skipped past a couple of players but overran the ball and the Sawbo keeper held onto the ball.
After finding themselves under some pressure, Sawbo got a foothold in the game, as they looked to come forward. Gray made a superb run towards goal and fired a cross across the face of goal, but his effort was inches wide of the post. Stow had a couple of free-kicks a couple of minutes later but couldn’t take their chances as the first one was blocked, with the rebound fired over, before the second was floated into the box, but the outstretched forward couldn’t latch onto the ball.
Stow finished the half the strongest, but again couldn’t take their chances. Bashua found some space for Sawbo, but fired his shot straight at the keeper before, down the other end, Walthamstow saw two shots graciously held by the keeper. Monsheju fed the ball to Reynolds, but a slight deflection took it through to the keeper before Sam Wilson fired over.
It was the perfect start to the second half for Walthamstow as they took the lead in the 51st minute. A ball was crossed towards goal and headed beyond the keeper by Ben Byrne. Despite find themselves a goal up, it was Stow who were under pressure. The Stags defended well against relentless Robins attacks, but Sawbo continued to come forward.
Sawbo went close in the 60th minute as the keeper missed the ball, as he leapt to catch it, but no one was close enough to tap home at the far post. Minutes later, they did have the ball in back of the net as Jack Taylor headed over the keeper, but it was ruled out for offside.
As time began to run out, Stow had a great chance to double their lead, but Monsheju’s shot was well blocked. The resulting corner came to nothing and Sawbo looked to break quickly with Gray being played through, but he was deemed to have been offside. As the game entered the last 10 minutes, it was Sawbo who came forward. A shot was fired over before the ball fell to Bashua, dead-centre of the goal, but his shot was dragged agonisingly wide.
In the 84th minute, the Robins really upped the pressure on the Stow defence. A shot was fired wide, before they couldn’t quite head the ball in from a corner. A cross was fired towards goal, but the bounce made it difficult for the keeper, but the ball bounced over the bar and a shot was fired towards goal, but comfortably held by the keeper in the 90th minute. Jordon Paul was booked by the referee for time-wasting and minutes later, Sawbo were awarded an indirect free-kick for just inside the box. The effort was aimed towards the back post by cleared by the Stags.
With 95minutes played, a quick break after Tim Monsheju won the ball saw Stow break down the pitch. Zachary Thomas squared the ball to Sam Wilson, who poked the ball beyond the keeper to secure a historic victory for Walthamstow.
Report by Aaron Moore.