It was the perfect opening day for Walthamstow as they kept a clean sheet and got off to a winning start by thrashing Tower Hamlets 7-0. The home side won the physical battle and created the better chances as they brushed the visitors aside.
Right from kick-off, Walthamstow were on top. They had a couple of early chances in the opening minutes when Dwade James tried an acrobatic effort but saw the goalkeeper save comfortably before Emiel Aiken dragged a shot just wide and Billy Jones saw his effort rebound off the post.
The referee awarded Stow a penalty as Billy was upended in the box by the keeper in the run-up to his effort and James made no mistake from the spot, putting Walthamstow ahead less than five minutes into the game.
Tower Hamlets’ earliest chance came a minute after the first goal when they had a swing at a shot in a crowded area but the ball was wide of the target.
The pressure continued for the home side but somehow couldn’t find the back of the net. Samrai Gebrai managed to steal the ball of a Hamlets defender but sent his shot just wide of the target before some good play on the left-hand side from James allowed him to pull it back to Aiken but he poked wide too.
Walthamstow were 2-0 up after 28 minutes when Benji Crilley headed in from a corner moments before Aiken saw his header rattle of the crossbar.
By the 31st minute of the game, Stow were three to the good when Billy Jones closed down the keeper and saw his deflected shot bounce into the goal.
The home side continued to threaten the Tower Hamlets goal when the goalkeeper managed to tip the ball just over the bar from Aiken’s effort from distance and Jones fired a corner towards the goal which clipped the top of the bar before going over.
Right at the end of the first half, Billy Jones had his second of the game. Samrai Gebrai did well on the right-hand side before Jones had the audacity to take a touch over the keeper and tap the ball into an open net. The first half finished 4-0.
The second half continued in the same manner as the first. Walthamstow had a couple of chances in the opening minutes when Crilley saw his shot tipped over the bar and James a header from a corner was caught on the line by the goalie. Tower Hamlets carved out a couple of rare chances but their shots were saved and held onto comfortably by James Bransgrove.
Dwade James had his second of the game and Walthamstow had their fifth when Aiken pulled the ball back, allowing James to smash the ball into the net. The scoring continued and with 15 minutes left to play, Jack Grosvenor joined in on the scoring, headed the ball in from a corner to put the home side 6-0 up.
Both James and Jones had opportunities to score their hattricks but neither could find the back of the net before Ryan Reed scored the 7th and final goal of the game in the 90th minute from a good cross.
Speaking after the game, Stow Captain Vinny Murphy said “To be honest, I don’t feel like we ever got out of second gear. We took our chances well but also missed a few with shots hitting the crossbar and post. We have a specific type of way to play and if we execute the game plan then we are going to be a handful for anyone.”
[When asked about winning 7-0 but not being top of the league] “We can’t look at that and have to focus on personal performances. We take what we can from today’s game and built on it. We are only as strong as our previous game so we will be looking to go into Saturday’s game looking to replicate the performance.”