Walthamstow’s fairytale FA Cup run continues on Saturday when fellow step 5 side Abbey Rangers travel to Wadham Lodge in the 2nd Qualifying round. The time for this one is 3pm.
Come late afternoon on Saturday, Walthamstow could be one of the lowest ranked teams (if not the lowest) still in the competition and this tie marks the fact that at least one step 5 side will be in the hat for the 3rd Qualifying round and only two wins away from a place in the first round proper.
Walthamstow are yet to have conceded a goal in the FA Cup, despite playing two opponents in the league above. It was a solid victory over fellow Essex Senior League side Sporting Bengal United that began Stow’s journey before they faced Great Wakering of the Isthmian League North but came away with a 2-0 victory over a strong side. The club’s first away day saw them travel to Cheshum United’s The Meadow to take on ground-sharers Aylesbury United and it was the Stags who defeated the Ducks with a much-deserved 3-0 scoreline.
Stow’s opponents, Abbey Rangers, forced Southern Combination side Loxwood into a replay after a 1-1 draw and beat them 2-0 in the replay. Like Walthamstow, Abbey Rangers have faced two teams in the Leagues above and defeated them to reach this stage of the competition. It was a tough test against East Grindstead in the Preliminary round but Rangers overcame them by a 1-0 scoreline before they faced Isthmian League South East side Whitehawk, also beating them 1-0.
The stats of both clubs have been incredible so far. For the home side, it’s 3 wins, 10 goals scored and none conceded whilst Abbey Rangers have won 3, drawn 1, scored 5 and conceded only 1.
Although both sides are Step 5 and a similar level, Walthamstow will be the favourites for this one and will certainly fancy this tie. Ryan Maxwell’s side has confidence flowing through their veins after a great win over Aylesbury United and will want to take the opportunity whilst it’s there – no disrespect to Abbey Rangers. Should Samrai Gebrai be involved in this tie, then he’s a player to watch as his pace and silky skills frighten even the biggest of defenders. He has been one of the standout players of Stow’s FA Cup campaign so far and will hopefully continue that run in the next round.
It should be a fantastic game, so get down to the Lodge and sing for the Stow. Up the Stow!