Walthamstow faced their first defeat of their pre-season schedule as they were beaten by Isthmian League North side Romford. The East London Derby was far from friendly as both sides battled hard and flew into plenty of challenges.
Both sides made strong starts to the game, but neither could find the back of the net. The hosts saw a shot tipped over the bar by the Stow keeper, before the Romford keeper also pulled off a good save to deny the visitors.
Walthamstow found a foothold in the game as they fashioned the most chances, but Romford did well to keep the scores level. Casey Nolan-Samuels ran through on goal, but sent an effort inches wide of the post, before a cross from Nolan-Samuels found the head of the Stow forward, but his effort was inches wide of the upright.
Both sides weren’t treating this as a pre-season friendly as challenges flew in all over the pitch. Neither side could find the back of the net though with their respective set-pieces, before Steven Carvell tried his luck from distance, but his effort curled wide of the target. Stow had a huge chance to take the lead as the referee pointed to the spot after Ollie Sotoyinbo was brought down. Adalberto Pinto stepped up, but saw his effort well saved.
The deadlock was broken in added time at the end of the first half as Romford scored. L’Heureux Menga was played through on goal and tucked the ball beyond the keeper. That lead didn’t last long though and a minute or so later, Stow were level. Similar to the hosts goal, the forward was played through and poked the ball beyond the keeper.
Walthamstow made a bright start to the second half as they piled forward looking for an early goal, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. A couple of crosses were fired in, but the defenders and keeper did well to clear their lines. Despite finding themselves on the back-foot, it was Romford who scored their second of the evening. Boro were awarded a penalty, and Menga stepped up to put the Isthmian League side ahead.
Stow were almost level immediately as the ball fell to Pinto in the box, but his shot was blocked before the effort that followed was fired over. The visitors had a foothold once again as they sought to bring themselves level. Pinto headed the ball towards goal, but his effort was just over before Nolan-Samuels swung a corner ball into the box, but Jason Beck’s header was well held by the keeper.
The referee pointed to the spot for the third time, for Romford’s second spot-kick as another challenge saw a Boro player down in the box. Menga was given the responsibility once again and he scored his hattrick as he send the keeper the wrong way and put Romford two goals ahead. In what seemed a bizarre game, Walthamstow were awarded their second penalty a minute later as Casey Nolan-Samuels was brought down. Boro’s keeper made another superb save to deny Stow their second goal.
The last 10-minutes saw Walthamstow look for more goals. A shot from the edge of the box rattled the crossbar, before the defence cleared the ball just as Stow were set to fire into an empty net and an acrobatic effort was fired well over the bar, but their efforts weren’t enough as Walthamstow’s night ended in defeat.