Walthamstow added another victory to their pre-season as they saw off the challenge of Eastern Counties League Division One South side Barkingside at Wadham Lodge.
Right from the off, Stow were on the front foot. Courtney Homans looked to cross the ball in the opening minutes, but the cross was headed behind by ‘Side, with nothing coming from the resulting corner. The hosts continued to pressure the Barkingside backline in the opening minutes, but weren’t able to profit; A shot from Homans was deflected just wide, before Ollie Sotoyinbo went close with a header from the resulting corner, but it was just over.
Sotoyinbo had another shot at goal, this time from the edge of the box, but his shot was just over, before the deadlock was broken a couple of minutes later. Yemi Adelani found himself through on goal and slotted the ball beyond the keeper. The goal only gave Walthamstow confidence as they continued to come forward. Harrison Carnegie made a good run towards goal, but dragged his effort wide as Stow sought a second goal. It didn’t take long through and in the 13th-minute, the lead was doubled. A cross was aimed towards the back post and headed beyond the keeper by Sotoyinbo.
A minute or so later, it was almost three as Carnegie made another great run, but his shot, aimed at the top corner, was superbly saved by the ‘Side keeper as he clawed it off the line. Despite being on the backfoot for the first 15-minutes, Barkingside finally had a flurry forward as they looked to get back in the game, but Stow cleared their lines with relative ease. Former Stow-man James Peagram had the visitors first effort on target as he received the ball in the box, turned and fired towards goal, but it was comfortably held by the keeper.
Normal service resumed as Stow come forward once again and came close again to adding a third as Jason Beck got on the end of a corner ball, but his header was just wide. Walthamstow looked to be cruising until the former frontman, Peagram, pulled one back for the Thurlow Nunn side against the run of play as he finished well.
Minutes later, the Barkingside forward looked to bring the game level as he attempted to lob the keeper from distance, but the ball was caught comfortably on the line. Stow looked to see the half out with the lead. A cross from Carnegie was cleared by the visitors before Beck wondered how he hadn’t scored as he volleyed a rocket of a ball towards the goal, but his effort was off the upright.
The hosts had looked to make another fast start to the second half, but the communication was off as passes were overshot. They went close 5-minutes into the second period as Harrison Carnegie looked to curl the ball into the top corner, but his effort was inched wide. Playing through the ‘Side defence wasn’t coming off for the hosts and the frustration was there as Tommy Spillane tried his luck from distance, but his shot was fired over.
As the second-half grew older, the tempo had dropped. ‘Side seemed content with sitting behind the ball, while Walthamstow worked out how to get it beyond the suddenly stubborn defence. The away side had a couple of flurries forward; A corner was swung in, but the resulting header was just wide before the keeper pulled off a superb save to deny them from close range, but it continued to be Stow who dominated the play. A cross was taken down well by Beck, but his shot at goal was pushed away by the keeper before Joe Wright looked to sneak the ball in the bottom corner, but his effort was dragged inches wide.
As the game reached the last 10-minutes, Barkingside looked to test the Stow defence. The keeper managed to push a ball clear before ‘Side could have a shot at goal before they drove forward, but the shot that followed was just wide of the target. Without any luck, Walthamstow looked to extend their lead with 3-minutes to play. Homans made a good run towards goal, but his shot from outside the box was fired over before a superb effort from Sotoyinbo was matched by the save as the keeper crawled away another effort in the 90th-minute.