Walthamstow picked up a huge three points on the road, defeating league leaders Stanway Rovers, despite playing 50 minutes of the game with ten men.
As could be expected for a game between two high-flyers, the opening quarter of an hour was a tense affair. The closest Stow came to troubling the scoresheet was when Harrison Carnegie’s corner evaded everyone in the six-yard box and went out of play. At the other end, Jason Beck and Tommy Fletcher dealt well with Stanway’s aerial long balls.
WIth half an hour played, Stow took the lead with an incisive break. Beck won the ball back at the back, and played a quick pass out to Callum Ibe on half-way who flicked it into the path of Carnegie with his first touch. Carnegie’s touch took him wide of goal, but it didn’t matter, as he rolled the ball home past the keeper.
A couple of minutes later Amarildo Cekrezi was called into action in the Stow goal, saving smartly from a long-range free kick. And with 40 minutes played he was back in action, parrying a first time effort well. There was a tangle of legs between Stanway winger Ernest Okoh and Tommy Spillane which resulted in a Stow freekick, but within seconds relief had turned to despair for Stow as Spillane was given a straight red, seemingly leaving a foot in as he was getting to his feet.
Stow were prepared for Stanway onslaught to start the second half, but the opposite was true, and with five minutes of the half played Stow doubled their lead. Ibe was again at the entire of things, winning the ball back and playing it into Charlie Cole on the edge of the box. Cole’s goal-bound effort took a huge deflection, wrong-footing the Stanway keeper Luke Avenell and rolling into the back of the net.
The early goal really knocked the wind out of Stanway, and it was almost 3-0 minutes later when Adalberto Pinto tapped in at the back post, but Beck was judged to have been offside when heading the ball back across goal.
Ibe then had a golden opportunity to get a deserved goal when Avenell played the ball straight to him, but just as Ibe was about to pull the trigger, the ball took a bobble and his effort was ballooned well over.
Avenell’s afternoon went from bad to worse with 75 minutes played when substitute Yemi Adelani unleashed a powerful, dipping effort from the edge of the box which sailed straight through the keeper.
There was still time for Adelani to go close twice more, and Ollie Sotoyinbo to shoot just wide. The closest Stanway came all afternoon was when their forward rounded Cekrezi, but Fletcher was there to block the forward in his path and preserve the clean sheet.