Walthamstow were one of three Essex Senior League sides left in the Emirates FA Cup, along with Saffron Walden Town and Takeley, so the pressure was on to remain in the competition when they took on Beaconsfield Town in the first round qualifying.
Before kick-off you could see the sense of community among the Walthamstow ranks. The fans almost looked like family members who had come together to enjoy a game of football.
While men, women and children filled the ground, an elderly man with a wooden ratchet came out to the stands selling raffle tickets and it was at that point you realised The FA Cup is more than a competition. It’s community, fellowship and fun.
- Emirates FA Cup
- First Round Qualifying
- Saturday 8 September
- at Wadham Lodge
- Winning club to receive £6,000
He said: “When the competition progresses it becomes less about football and more about the glitz and the glamour.
“This is where the real magic is. We make The FA Cup what it is because we carry the magic.”
Within three minutes Walthamstow demonstrated their no-nonsense style of defending as their left-back Lee Flynn blasted the ball outside tache stadium following a Beaconsfield attack.
Ten minutes into the first half a defensive mistake from Beaconsfield provided James Peagram with a decent opportunity to break the deadlock, but he chipped wide when one-on-one.
Beaconsfield were finding luck through the middle of the park, particularly through Louis Stead who was hitting passes left, right and centre. A Beaconsfield attack on the half-hour mark forced a Walthamstow defender to head the ball off the line, a clearance which was met with a huge roar from the fans. This was the final piece of action of the first half.
Beaconsfield Town came out firing after the break and began asserting their dominance.
Their pressing paid dividends when they drew first blood 10 minutes into the second half through midfield maestro Stead.
Not long after, one became two as substitute Alex Cathline finished low into the bottom left corner.
Walthamstow managed some last-gasp efforts in the last 10 minutes but Beaconsfield Town held their nerve and booked their place in the second round qualifying.
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