Walthamstow got their first win of pre-season as they welcomed FC Romania to Wadham Lodge. It was a competitive, high-intensity game which saw Stow score in both halves as they came away with a 2-0 win.
It was the home side who got off to the best start and dominated early possession in the opening minutes with FC Romania slowly finding their feet and having small spells of possession. Billy Jones had Walthamstow’s earliest chance when he ran in on a low cross but he sent the ball just wide.
As the half went on, the away side had a couple of chances; a deflected shot was comfortably saved by James Bransgrove before Romania’s 8’s shot curled wide.
Dwade James made it 1-0 to the home side when the goalkeeper parried the ball into a mix of players allowing last year’s top scorer an easy tap-in.
Walthamstow had a number of chances towards the end of the first half when Jack Grosvenor headed just wide before Jones’ shot was held by the keeper and Gus Douglas’ shot from distance was dragged wide of the target.
The teams went into the break with Walthamstow leading.
Neither team could hold onto the ball long at the start of the second half and the possession kept changing hands.
Romania had the best chance in the opening minutes but their 10’s shot from distance was over.
Walthamstow had a foothold in the game and wondered how they were further in the lead with a number of great chances.
Samrai Gebrai had a good run down the left and crossed the ball across goal but no one was there to get a touch before a cross from Ben Crilley was just missed by the head of Jones.
The away side had limited chances; their number 17 sent the ball wide with a header before Bransgrove saved comfortably from a shot from distance.
Walthamstow had the ball in the back of the net with 10 minutes to go but it was ruled out by the referee for a foul of the keeper before Ollie Fortune gave Stow a 2-0 lead a minute later (a nice ball from Ryan Maxwell got the assist).
FC Romania tried to get something out of the game with two late chances but they could find the back of the net and the game ended at 2-0.
Speaking after the game, Stow manager Ryan Maxwell said: “It our first game on the grass so a more realistic test. Over the first 45 minutes, I saw relationship’s being built and a lot of positives to take away.
“Despite the changes at half-time, the team still did what I asked and there was a good attitude from the players. We have Canvey Island of Tuesday which will be another good test and I will be measuring where we are as a team.
“If we are to do well this season, we need to be on par with them.
When asked about his minutes on the pitch, Ryan said: “Well I got an assist, didn’t I? The most important thing is keeping myself fit and available to be called upon but it’s nice to be out there.”
Image: Bill Badger. More available on Bill’s Flickr page here.