Stow 1-0 Maldon & Tiptree

Sometimes, the idea of doing the match report is better than the reality. Because while you want to sip a few cans of Exale and enjoy the match as a punter, you often remember you’ve committed to writing a few hundred words about the game and when something has happened, you have to hastily jot down some notes about what you just saw. This such a time. And with a lack of posts from the Club Twitter as well, I’m really having to dig deep on this one. 

What was a delightfully warm Saturday at the lodge, a bumper crowd saw Walthamstow return to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Maldon and Tiptree. As the club DJs treated us to a jam themed playlist over the PA, this felt like a return to the ‘Stow we know best, with big performances from key players and a scoreline that flattered the opposition. 

Walthamstow started well with Demaray Anyadike causing the Jammers left back heaps of trouble from the get go. It was clear our game plan was to get the ball to the wingers and Anyadike was at his tricky and skilful best, giving the full back a headache all afternoon. 

And it was Demaray who opened the scoring. Coming in off the right, he unleashed a vicious shot that the keeper did well to block and parry; but Anyadike clearly found a four-leaf clover en route to the game as the save bounced back to him and he finished at the second attempt. It was the start Walthamstow would have wanted and as a cacophony of confetti cannons sprayed colourful scraps across the pitch, the Stow faithful thought this was the start of a goal glut. 

But the Jammers were resolute in defence and could have scored goals of their own. Despite being in 15th, they played some decent football on the counter and forced Matt Nolan, back between the sticks after a midweek break, into a smart save not long after our opener. 

From there, the game settled into a pattern of Stow chances punctuated with Maldon & Tiptree breaks. Carl Mensah blazed a good chance over, before the linesman called him offside. The Jammers hit the post on the break. Just before half time, Jordon Watson forced a corner that was neatly worked back to Te Wihongi – playing the anchor role in midfield – and his smart, curling shot forced a great save from the Maldon keeper. No such luck from the rebound, this time.  

The second half started with a contentious decision when Jordan Watson burst into the box and was impeded by the Jammers keeper. The referee refused to budge but as the old saying goes, you’ve seen them given. Walthamstow had the better of the exchanges in the second half with chances coming for the boys in William Morris-blue. George Ironton took a swerving shot from the egde that forced a save from their keeper; big Dunc forged a couple of chances but couldn’t convert them, including a shot from distance that went close after their keeper was caught in no man’s land. 

But the last word went to Matt Nolan, who had to be alert to a dipping effort from Maldon and Tiptree with the last kick of the game. He leapt like a salmon and pushed the ball over the bar, securing a vital three points for Walthamstow. The boys from E17 remain unbeaten in the league, sitting in second place, and this felt like a return to form for all concerned. Demaray, Mensah, Nolan, and Te all stood out on a sunny day at the Lodge and the Stow fans left content that three points remained in Walthamstow. 

Image: Bill Badger

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