Walthamstow welcomed Stansted to the Lodge for their second league game this season as they looked to continue their unbeaten start to the season. It was a tight game as both sides looked for points with new-signing Callum Ibe making his debut against his recent former team for the home side.
It was Stow who started the quickest with the earliest chance coming from the new-boy Callum Ibe. Danny McCullock drove a low cross into the box but the ball was directed wide by Ibe. Both sides tried to get on the front foot in the early minutes of the match.
Stansted had a penalty shout 10 minutes into the game for a hand ball when the ball bounced up and struck Jamie Bennett’s arm, but all shouts were waved away by the referee.
Walthamstow began to dominate as the first half went on with Ibe at the forefront of the chances. He dragged a shot just wide before a good one-two with Dwade James gave the latter space but it was a comfortable save for the Stansted keeper James Pellin.
Stansted came closest five minutes before half-time when a cross was flashed across the face of goal with no one close to tap it in before James’ shot was headed off the line on the verge of the half-time whistle. The teams went into the break at 0-0.
Right from the off in the second half, Ibe had another chance as he tried to curl the ball into the net but it flew over.
It didn’t take long for Dwade James to get his 3rd league goal when Ibe slipped the ball into the feet of Dwade after some fantastic play from Kyan Gulliver. James just managed to the get the ball out of his feet and lifted it over the keeper.
The goal certainly gave Stow the confidence going forward and forced Stansted into a tactic change as they needed to get something out of the game. Callum Ibe was unlucky not to score on his debut when he curled an effort towards the top corner but it was headed over by a Stansted defender. Stansted had a rare opportunity themselves when Jack West headed just over.
McCullock had a number of chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. He tried his luck from distance but the ball was tipped over by the keeper before he cut in and had another effort but it was a comfortable save by the Stansted keeper.
Despite pressure from Stansted and an effort from James towards the end of the game, the single goal was enough and the game ended 1-0.
Speaking after the game, Stow forward Emiel Aiken said “It was good. When you play against teams that sits back, especially those who are supposed to be a team challenging for the league, it’s good to just nick something so they go home thinking that it was a waste of a Saturday. It was great to get the win and keep the ball rolling.”
[When asked about Saturday’s FA Cup match] “Preparation is the same as always. We will be at training. We want to keep it going and keep the atmosphere up. Everyone likes each other and that shows on the pitch with another win.”