I don’t want to jinx the fact that Walthamstow have gone unbeaten in the first six games but at the same time, it’s too much of an incredible run not to share.
The unbeaten run this season really and truly started from pre-season. Even then it seemed incredible but 6 games into the season, it shows the hard-work put in by Ryan Maxwell, his staff and players.
Pre-season saw Walthamstow play six “home” games against the likes of Heybridge Swifts, Coggeshall Town and Canvey Island with a record of played 6, won 3, drew 3, lost 0, whilst scoring 7 and only conceding three. What made it even more impressive for the Stags was the fact that the majority of the teams that Stow faced in the month of July were a league above.
Right from the start of the 2019/20 season, Walthamstow have been one of the favourites for the Essex Senior League title and rightly so with a very good squad and more notably, one of the most passionate managers you will see in non-league football.
A 7-0 triumph against Tower Hamlets (who were tipped to finish bottom from the very start) kick-started a run of 5 wins and 1 draw in 6 games. The goal total was up to 12 when Sporting Bengal visited the Lodge in the FA Cup’s Extra Preliminarily round but that wasn’t the end. After the 5-0 win, it was Stansted’s turn to face a confident Stow side and despite “Parking the bus” for the majority of the game, a single goal was enough to come away with the three points.
If you think Stow beating three Essex Senior League sides was standard then their next opponents would make you change your mind. For the first (but not the last) time this season, Stow were the underdogs when Great Wakering travelled to East London in the FA Cup. Ryan’s ‘blue and white army’ went to battle against the Isthmian League North side and guided the team to a 2-0 victory over another team in the league above.
The run continued and it was back to league action to face an in-form Hadley side. To be fair to Hadley, they were the team that came closest to beating Stow but a 1-1 was what we got. Former Stow forward Solomon Ofori tormented the Stow defence but James Bransgrove did enough to deny them the goals and a Samrai Gebrai (that nearly took the net off) gave Stow a draw but a still unbeaten run.
With confidence flowing through the veins of everyone connected with the club, it was the first away trip of the season and one to Chesham United’s ground, the Meadow, to take on ground-sharers Aylesbury United. Anyone think we were going to lose? Ryan Maxwell certainly didn’t think so. He stated in an interview with myself, when asked his prediction, “we’ll win”. And win they did, comfortably beating Aylesbury 3-0 in the FA Cup to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round.
The stats so far this season for Stow are incredible.