A goal from Josh Osude was enough for Hashtag to take the points and inflict another defeat on Stow as they travelled to East London on Saturday. Walthamstow dominated the game but couldn’t take their chances. Hashtag increased their lead at the top while Walthamstow dropped to fourth after the other results in the league.
Both sides tried to get off to a quick start but neither side could hold onto the ball for a long period of time. Hashtag United had the first chance but a cross was taken well by James Bransgrove. Although the visitors looked dangerous going forward, Walthamstow defended well and had a number of chances themselves. A shot from Emiel Aiken was blocked before a good cross from Vinny Murphy was cleared and a shot from Callum Ibe on the edge of the box was just wide.
As the first half went on, Walthamstow continued to dominate. Dwade James wrestled past a couple of defenders but his pull-back was cleared. Hashtag United had a couple of chances just before half-time. Harry Honesty was played through but James did well to charge out and block the shot before George Smith dragged a shot wide and the teams went into the break level.
Walthamstow came out from the break quickest and were on the attack from the first minute. Danny McCullock tried to pull the ball back to the players in the middle but the visiting keeper did well to grab the ball before hand whilst Dwade James was almost played through but the keeper did well to clear. Dwade wrestled himself through the defence once again and got the ball to Danny but the ball was cleared before he had a chance to get his shot off.
There was a penalty shout when McCullock was brought down in the box but all shouts were waved away whilst a rare shot for Hashtag in the second half was saved well.
Samrai Gebrai did well on the wing but his low cross was deflected out of play before the resulting corner was header just over the bar. Hashtag fired a free-kick over before Callum Ibe fired just wide of an open net following a poor clearance. As the game reached the last 10 minutes, Walthamstow increased the press as they looked for the winner. A shot from Samrai Gebrai was just wide from just inside the box and a good run from Callum Ibe saw the ball cleared after a low cross was almost fired in.
Hashtag broke the deadlock in added time as they counter-attacked with Josh Osude tucking the ball into the corner. Despite a chance for Walthamstow in injury time, the referee ended the game.
Speaking to Walthamstow manager Ryan Maxwell after the game, he said “We were the better side throughout but we got caught on the break and my players didn’t manage the game very well. Like Takeley, we got caught late on and of course, I’m gutted with the result. They need to stop relying on me to manage the game but the one thing they lack is the ability to do so.”
[When asked about how the boys will learn from these two defeats] “The bottom line is, if we don’t learn quickly then I will need to bring in an experienced player. We all make mistakes but making the same mistake twice in 10 days is not good enough and they haven’t learnt enough.”
[When asked about Tuesday’s game] “I will help lift the boys up, it’s my job, but they need to try and lift themselves again. We were the better side today but the result is the most important thing. The games come quick so they have no choice but to lift themselves up.”