Walthamstow’s run in the FA Vase came to an end in the second round following a 3-2 loss to AFC Uckfield Town. As well as battling the elements, Stow had to battle against constant stoppages and gamesmanship from the opposition.
Neither team started off the best and the muddy pitch was proving to be problematic as it slowed down the play. The first real opportunity saw Walthamstow take the lead when a free-kick from Billy Jones was swung in and met Ollie Fortune’s head at the far post, giving Stow the lead.
Walthamstow dominated the first half but couldn’t the second goal. Phil Hawkins produced an excellent double save to deny both Fortune and Dwade James before Fortune headed just over the bar. There was an opportunity for Uckfield right at the end of the first half but James Bransgrove made a good save and the teams went into half time with Walthamstow leading.
The second half saw the visitors get off to the better start and within six minutes, they had an equaliser. Dee Okojie got on the end of a long ball and fired past James Bransgrove after a big deflection. Four minutes later, Uckfield had a second and had turned the game around the ball was cut across goal and put in by Ellis Cormack.
There was a potentially game-changing moment when Benji Crilley was close to receiving a second yellow but he was given a talking to instead.
As the game reached the last fifteen, Walthamstow were given an momentous task when the visitors took a two-goal lead with their third of the game. A cross was put in at the back post with Richie Welch getting the third goal.
There was a penalty shout for the home side when a defender handled the ball but the referee was unmoved before Stow pulled a goal back when Samrai Gebrai headed into the net from a Danny McCullock cross.
Walthamstow searched for an equaliser and came close when Dwade James’ cross just eluded the reach of Emiel Aiken. The final whistle was pleasantly welcomed by Uckfield as Stow were getting closer to an equaliser.