Walthamstow’s newly formed youth team within the Ryan FC set-up went up against the Woodford Town U18’s in the FA Youth Cup. The away side came away with an good win whilst it was a good experience for the Walthamstow players.
Speaking to Woodford’s Lloyd Duddrigde before the game, it was clear the Woodford’s youngsters had already acquired first team experience and it would come to show. Although Ryan Maxwell had given a few of these players a chance at senior level against West Essex, the Woodford Town set-up was clearly more experienced.
It was the visitors who got off to the best start with two very early goals. A ball was squared to the attacker who had time to slot it past the Walthamstow keeper after 3 minutes before a similar attack saw Woodford lead 2-0 within 10 minutes.
Despite being 2-0 down, Walthamstow had a few chances but couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net. A couple of practiced free-kick routines saw the ball fly just over the bar before one of Stow’s players had his shot blocked by the keeper who collected on his second attempt.
Just after the 30 minute mark, Stow found a goal when the player had time and smashed it past the keeper. It wasn’t long after the home side looked like they would get back into it, that Woodford Town scored a 3rd. Another well worked move saw them score into an almost open net.
Right before half-time, Stow tried to get another goal but it was Woodford who increased their lead to make it 4-1 and the teams went into the break with the visitors well ahead.
With the freedom of being able to go out and express themselves, Walthamstow started the second half well and it didn’t take them long to get a goal back. 3 minutes into the second half, a good move saw a Stow player calmly take the ball over his opponents head and finish with a good shot past the goalkeeper.
The goal gave Walthamstow confidence as they began to put good moves together and came close to scoring a couple more goals. A free-kick was deflected over the bar before the Woodford keeper kept out a shot with his legs to deny Stow.
As the half went on, it seemed like everything was going Woodford’s way. After seeing a shot rattle the crossbar, Woodford had a 5th. The keeper did well to keep the ball out of the net but their was only so much he could keep out and a simple tap-in was enough to all but kill off the game.
The pressure continued and a couple of minutes later, Woodford had a sixth of the evening. Another well worked move saw an easy goal scored by Woodford to deflate the Walthamstow lads. The chances continued and Woodford Town kept coming close before a composed shot allowed Woodford Town to increase their lead.
Despite a shot from Stow, the game ended 7-2 to the Visitors.
It was a good effort from the home side and it’s clear that experience will do this team good but on the night, Woodford were the better team and have many players to watch for in the future. Good luck to Woodford Town in the next round.