Walthamstow travel to Roding Lane on Saturday to take on Essex Olympian Premier Division side Buckhurst Hill in the Essex Thameside Trophy.
The Hillians have only featured in three games this season so far, winning two and losing one but a good 12 month period saw them celebrate a League and Cup double at the end of last season. There was an opening day loss for Buckhurst Hill as early pace-setters Rayleigh Town won by 3 goals to one but they slowly found their form with two wins since. A 4-2 win over Kelvedon Hatch away from home and a 4-0 thrashing of Basildon Town sees them sit in 7th on 6 points.
Walthamstow on the other hand have already featured in 3 different competitions with an impressive record. Stow have featured in the Essex Senior League, Emirates FA Cup and the BBC Essex Senior Cup with a total of 5 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in 7 games played. The first 6 games saw Stow score 19 goals and concede 1 before Ryan Maxwell fielded a young team in the Essex Senior Cup against West Essex on Tuesday. Despite the best efforts of the small number of first team players and some of Stow’s youth players, it was the clubs first loss. With teams playing around them and Stow featuring in several cup competitions, the club have slowly dropped to 7th in the Essex Senior League with 7 points and may end up further down should they continue their run in the FA Cup.
The Essex Thameside Trophy is likely to be another opportunity for Ryan Maxwell to field a young team and players who haven’t featured much. He’s trying to make the most of the link with Ryan FC and give players who are ready the first chance of first team football at senior level. Buckhurst Hill will see this as a great opportunity to get another win under their belt and take a step closer to silverware whilst Walthamstow, although wanting silverware, will not prioritise this contest with the likes of Essex Senior, FA Cup and FA Vase being the clubs main focus this year.
Regardless of the team that Stow field, Buckhurst Hill will take some inspiration from fellow Olympian League side Catholic United who showed that on their day, they pose a threat so must be shown respect.
Get down to Roding Lane and cheer on the Stow!
Credit: Scott W (Twitter: @ScottMHC14)
I’d like to take a brief moment to thank Scott Waple for his help in providing his knowledge on Buckhurst Hill and aiding me in writing this preview. Scott is also a non-league blogger and reporter, focusing mainly on Essex Senior League matches, though he also writes round-ups on the action in the Essex Olympian League, among other articles on matches and the non-league arena. His blog can be found here: survivor16b.wordpress.com