Preview: West Essex vs Walthamstow

After Tuesday’s FA Cup victory over St Margaretsbury, Walthamstow travel to Barking on Friday to battle against West Essex. It will be the club’s fourth game of the season.

Walthamstow currently sit in 11th after 3 games. The season began with a 3-1 victory over Sporting Bengal United at Mile End before they were defeated 2-1 by Stansted and 3-2 by Southend Manor (both at the Lodge). Stow also had wins in the FA Competition’s. The Stags reached the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup with wins over London Lions, Cockfosters and St Margaretsbury (with the latter being shootout wins) whilst they progressed to the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Vase with a shootout win over Harwich & Parkeston.

Walthamstow were tipped for promotion this season after their push last term. The Stags were third when the season was brought to an abrupt end, sitting two-points behind Hashtag United and 3-points behind leaders Saffron Walden Town (with both Hashtag and Stow having 3-games in hand over Walden). They had won 20, drew 3 and lost 3 whilst scoring 73 and conceding 17.

West Essex are undefeated in the league after 3-games. They have won two and drawn one. The season began with a 1-1 draw with Takeley before they beat Saffron Walden Town and Hoddesdon Town, putting them in 4th-place. West reached the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup with a 6-3 win over Crawley Green but were eliminated by debutants New Salamis, losing 5-1. West Essex also progressed in the FA Vase with an 8-1 win over Haverhill Borough at home.

West Essex had a mixed season last season, finishing mid-table. After 24-games, they had won 9, drew 4 and lost 11 whilst scoring 51 but also conceding 51. They had games in-hand of many of the sides above and could have finished a lot higher as they sat 3-points behind 9th-placed Woodford Town with 4-games in-hand as well as being 10-points behind 7th-placed Hoddesdon Town with 3-games in-hand.

Stow and West Essex played one-game in the league during the 2019/20 season with Walthamstow coming out on top with a 4-2 win. A brace from Dwade James and a goal from Callum Ibe had given Stow a 3-0 lead before West pulled one back. Lewis Francis extended the lead before Callum Bloss scored a second for the hosts but it was too late for a comeback. The sides also played in the First Round of the Essex Senior Cup but it was West Essex who progressed with a 3-1 win.

It will be a tough game for both sides. West Essex will hope they can remain unbeaten and continued their push up the table whilst Walthamstow will hope they can align their cup form with their league form and get back to winning ways in the league.