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It was victory for Walthamstow at Wadham Lodge as they beat a young Orient side in front of over 400 spectators. Goals from Moses Carvalho, Ruben Bartlett-Antwi and Yemi Adelani gave Stow victory although it could have been much more.
It was a very fast start from the hosts as they looked to break the deadlock in the opening minutes, but attacks from Yemi Adelani, Casey Nolan-Samuels and Harrison Carengie produced nothing in the way of goals as near missed and good saved kept the game level. The opening 10 minutes of the game gave Orient little time to breathe as they were pegged back, but the hosts couldn’t make it count.
The young side had settled well into the game as they looked to bring the ball forward, but they couldn’t make anything stick as Stow looked to peg them back again. Casey Nolan-Samuels looked to cross the ball into Harrison Carnegie, but it was cleared before he could get his head to it before the latter lined up a free-kick, but his effort was fired over the bar. The pressure continued and Stow went close in the 19th minute as Carnegie made a good run down the right-hand side, but his ball across the face of goal was turned round the post by Orient. The resulting corner produced the opening goal of the game a minute later as Moses Carvalho got his head to the set-piece and put it into the back of the net.
The goal gave Stow more confidence as they continued to come forward. Carnegie send a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but no one was close enough to tap home before Nolan-Samuels had a shot well saved from the keeper after the O’s had looked to scramble the ball clear. The visitors had a brief flurry forward, but they failed to challenge the Stow keeper, before the lead was almost doubled minutes from the break. Joe Wright had the ball in the back of the net as he bundled the ball over the line, but the referee pulled play back for a foul of the keeper.
Both sides looked to make a fast start to the second half, but neither could take their early chances. Orient came closest in the opening minutes of the second period as Smith-Kouassi’s shot was fired just over the bar.
Walthamstow had another foothold in the game as they looked to double their lead. Adelani was played through, but fired his shot inches wide before Ruben Bartlett-Antwi broke through the O’s defence, but the attack was halted by an Orient challenge. A succession of corners followed the attack from the young Stow forward, but they couldn’t make the set-pieces count.
Leyton Orient had almost found themselves level in the 58th minute as Davies made a superb run towards goal, but after feeding the ball to Smith-Kousassi, the forwards shot was flashed inches wide of the far post. A couple of minutes later saw another good chance for the visitors to bring the game level, but A. Trialist’s effort was well saved after he got lucky with the bounce of the ball.
Despite finding themselves on the back-foot, Stow got back on the attack. Adelani came close once again as he latched onto a loose ball, but his shot was deflected wide off the keeper. The resulting corner was fired in and the lead was double minutes later as Ruben Bartlett-Antwi scored for the Stags; the forward creating his own space inside the box and firing the ball beyond the keeper superbly at the back post. The goalscorer played a major role in the third for Stow five minutes later as he was brought down in the box. Yemi Adelani stepped up and slotted past the keeper to give Stow a comfortable cushion.
Orient looked to pull one back as the game approached the last 10 minutes, but they struggled to get it beyond the defence, while Stow continued to seek more goals. The last goal-scoring chance of the game saw Joe Wright almost scored a spectacular goal as he fired an overhead kick towards goal, but the effort was matched by the save as the Orient keeper managed to get down low and tip the effort round the post.