It seems like an age ago now, but Junior Appiah’s first-time back-heeled finish against Walsham-Le-Willows in the FA Cup showed the kind of quality that really shouldn’t be in the Essex Senior. Ditto Correy Davidson’s first-time finish with the outside of his boot away to Enfield.
Our FA Cup journey took us to Felixstowe & Walton, of the Bostik South Division. A recently redeveloped ground, it was perfect for their level of football. A shock 1-0 win with nine men, chips by the seaside and beers on the coach on the way back made for a pretty decent away day. Peagram even kept his clothes on.
A special mention should also go out to the local butcher doing the burger van at Stanway. Caramelised red onion chutney sausage rolls anyone? Stanway isn’t even that posh!
There could only really be one winner here. Woodford Town were easily the best footballing team we’ve played this season, and after going 2-0 up at their place in the first half, it looked like we’d coast to victory. They even had a man sent off! But their young side really turned it on in the second half and came back from the dead to make it 2-2. Up stepped James Peagram to power in a header deep into injury time to send the small number of Stow fans who travelled into raptures. Woodford even had time to miss an open goal even deeper into injury time.
League leaders Stansted visit the Lodge in February, on a 13 game unbeaten run. Leon McKenzie gets sent off ten minutes in for mouthing off to the linesman (who also happened to be the league Chairman’s son). Heavy defeat for Stow? No chance. We dominated with ten men, and when Marcus Bowers flicked on Vinny Murphy’s free-kick with ten minutes to play, the most unlikely of victories was complete.
The two games we played with Saffron Walden this season were just a little heated. At their place, nine minutes time was added on to the second half, in a ‘play until the home side equalise’ scenario, and a customary sending-off. At ours Hussain Jaffa was given a red for lamping Walden’s club captain after he’d kicked the ball at Hussain’s face when we went 3-1 up. Their manager. ‘Nutsy’ as he calls himself spent the entire game telling his players to surround the referee, something their club secretary took great offence to when Stow’s Twitter account pointed this out on Twitter. ‘Inciting the crowd’, apparently.
So Walden could probably hear the Stow faithful’s belly laughs all the way up the M11 when West Essex’s Jack Coker produced a 98th minute penalty save to ensure our East London cousins went away with three points.
This round-up has a Saffron Walden obsession, and rightly so. In the game at our place we went 1-0 up with their left back James Solkhon volleying the ball into the top corner of his own net. He was reminded about this by the Rabble in the second half, just as he was meant to be defending a corner. Ball comes in, defender turns to the crowd, loses Dwade James who volleys in to make it 2-0. Solkhon’s probably still having nightmares.