Waltham Abbey 2-3 Stow

Stow returned picked up a deserved Boxing Day three points against neighbours Waltham Abbey, but left it late.

Nicky Ironton fielded a full-strength team, which featured recent signings from Harlow Town Fabion Simms and Jared Small, who was on the bench.

It was a scrappy opening, but Abbey took the lead after 20 minutes. They worked a free kick well, and when a cut-back came from just outside the box, no one was there to pick up Nathaniel Orafu who calmy side-footed home from the edge of the box.

This spurred Stow into life though, and seven minutes later George Ironton’s first time through ball was perfectly weighted for Demaray Anyadike who coolly lifted the ball over the on-rushing Artur Janata in the Abbey goal.

And four minutes later, the turnaround was complete. Callum Ibe’s long clearance from his own by-line was misjudged by former Stow defender Mark Twumasi, allowing Anyadike to break through and slot home for this second of the game.

Stow were fortunate to lead at the break through, as Abbey missed a sitter shortly after, Carl Mensah able to clear off the line when the score should really have been 2-2.

The introduction of Jared Small on 65 looked like it would tip the game in Stow’s favour. Anyadike delivered to the new signing who volleyed just over at the back post, and minutes later he hit the side netting after danger-man Anyadike had another effort saved.

And Stow’s wastefulness was punished on 74 minutes when Ramiah Mills made the most of a deflected cross, slotting home.

But stow were not done, and with 90 minutes played, Small received the ball on the left wing, cut inside and curled a low effort which was ever so slightly deflected past the reach of Janata to cue wild scenes from the travelling Stow support.

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