Walthamstow’s winning start to the season came to an end at home to Saffron Walden Town in a feisty encounter at Wadham Lodge.
It was a fast-paced and even opening, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock. Scott Piggott was allowed to turn on the ball just outside the Stow penalty area, and he fired in an unstoppable curling effort off the far post and in.
Stow countered, and almost hit back straight away when Adalberto Pinto headed at the back post, but his effort was just wide. And just a minute later, Walden were two-up; former Stow midfielder Michael Toner heading in from just by the penalty spot.
With seemingly every decision going against them, Stow were becoming increasingly frustrated, and it showed as they struggled to create any meaningful chances in the first half – Harrison Carnegie going closest with a solid effort after cutting inside.
Stow came out with far more impetus in the second half, but still struggled to up the tempo against a Walden side who were professional at every opportunity.
Huge calls for a handball were turned away in the Walden penalty area and then Walden had a massive chance to make it 3-0, but Piggott took too long on the ball and he was blocked out. Stow were incensed at their view that there was at least three fouls to Stow players in the run-up to the effort.
But Stow did eventually have a decision go in their favour – the referee had no choice but to point to the spot when Carnegie was bundled over in the penalty area. Ollie Sotoyinbo made no mistake from the spot to give Stow hope.
Walden had another great chance to seal the win, but Piggott again mis-cued when through on goal, and Stow then had their own moment of despair, as Yemi Adelani’s finish was ruled out for offside.
Stow had the last chance of the game when Carnegie fired just wide, but they will have to regroup after tasting defeat for the first time this season.