Walthamstow picked up their first home win since mid-September against bottom of the table Stowmarket Town, in the first game since the departure of manager Nicky Ironton.
There was a recall for Ashlee Jones in the starting line-up, while Tamas Amgbaduba and Emmanuel Dasho also returned to the squad. Forward Brian Moses also made the bench, seven years after his first spell at the club and Harrison Carnegie returned after a little over a year away.
Stow started the game on the front foot, looking to play the ball on the ground a bit more than in previous weeks. Everything was coming down the right hand side, with Bilal Sayoud and Jared Small both seemingly playing in an attacking midfield role at points.
The breakthrough came on 17 minutes from the opposite flank, though it was again Sayoud who was key. He floated in a free kick to the back post which Ollie Sotoyinbo nodded back across goal for Jordon Watson to head home.
Despite controlling the ball, Stow were looking a little disjointed. But that changed on the half-hour mark when a passing move which started from Jones in goal ended with Small crossing and Sotoyinbo nipping in between defender and goalkeeper to squeeze the ball home at the front post.
Comfortable at the back for most of the half, Stow almost shot themselves in the foot when Te Wihongi’s clearance fell straight to a Stowmarket player on the edge of the box, but his tame effort was easily blocked.
Ibe and Sayoud both had chances before the half was up, but it was Sotoyinbo who extended Stow’s lead early in the second half, picking up a hopeful ball out of defense, driving towards goal and lashing home.
That should have been that, but when Jack Newman pulled a goal back for Stowmarket in spectacular fashion on the hour mark, there were a few squeaky bums around Wadham Lodge.
Stow’s inability to hold onto a lead had cost them dear so far this season, but save for Stowmarket hitting the post in the 66th minute, they always looked in control of this one.
Carnegie almost made a dream return, finding himself one-on-one in the 95th minute, but his shot was well saved and Stow had to settle for a 3-1 victory.