Stansted rose to second in the Essex Senior League as they inflicted Woodford’s first loss at their new home on Friday Night!
There was little between the two sides in the first half, but Stansted would have felt they should’ve been ahead having hit the post twice while they had just enough quality in the second half to seal the win.
The hosts almost had the perfect start to life at Ashton’s Stadium as they came forward in the early moments of the match, with an effort just deflected wide before the resulting corner was swung in, but a header was just over. The visitors first attack of the evening came a couple of minutes later, but the shot fired towards goal from distance was well held by Lee Haylock.
The first half seemed a level affair as both sides had chances, but those chances came and went without much impact. The hosts had looked to come forward, but struggled to get beyond the Stansted defence before a shot from outside the box was fired wide while the away side looked to round the keeper, but Haylock did well to recover and the Town keeper managed to hold onto the ball, despite being pressured by a visiting forward.
Stansted were left wondering how they hadn’t taken the lead as they hit the post twice in quick succession; the first effort hit the inside of the post and rolled across the face of goal, with no one close enough to tap home, before the second came from the Airportmen rounding the keeper, but hitting the post on what seemed like an open goal. Despite the golden chance for the away side, there remained little between the two-sides as the game approached half-time. Town managed to clear the ball from their area before they looked to come forward themselves, but the pass in the final third was short and collected by James Dillon. The hosts had a chance to take the lead as Georges Kebi fired a shot towards the bottom corner, but the effort was tipped round the post by Dillon, before the resulting corner came to nothing.
The hosts had looked to end the first half strong as they came forward, but they couldn’t break the deadlock. After a little scramble in the Stansted box, a goal-bound effort was safely into the hands of the keeper before they fired a number of crosses into the box and delivered a long throw, but the visitors managed to clear their lines.
Both sides had looked to start on the front foot in the second half, seeking an early goal. A shot from distance was fired over from Woodford before a cross was swung in down the other end, but Haylock caught the ball well in the air.
The visitors came close just 5-minutes into the second half as a corner was met by the header of Billy Coyne at the back post, but his effort was cleared off the line. The pressure from the Airportmen paid off as they broke the deadlock two-minutes later. A cross was floated towards goal and headed home by Nick Reynolds. The lead didn’t last long through and almost immediately, Woodford had found themselves level. The hosts had won a penalty, with Ramiah Mills stepping up and sending the ball beyond Dillon.
The hosts had looked to come forward, but couldn’t make their pressure count as Stansted defended well while the visitors applied the most pressure as they looked to reinstate their lead. Connor Hammond cut inside and looked to fire an effort into the top corner, but his shot was over the bar before a free-kick was floated into the box, but the resulting header also sent the ball over the bar. That pressure paid off though as Stansted retook the lead in the 69th-minute. A ball was crossed towards Hammond at the near post, with the forward firing the ball into the top corner.
As the game approached the final 15-minutes, both sides looked to come forward, but both defences stood firm. Both sides came close in the final 10-minutes; Reynolds looked to flick the ball home, but sent his effort inches wide of the far post while Woodford also saw an effort go just wide of the target. The Airportmen had looked to relieve the pressure with another goal in the 90th-minute, but Hammond’s effort was sent over the bar once again.
Despite Woodford looking to come back in injury-time, the game ended in defeat for the hosts, condemning them to the foot of the table.
Photo: Woodford Town FC (@woodfordtownfc)