FA Cup match report by Aaron Moore.

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Stags dump Stow out of the FA Cup!

A historic day for Buckhurst Hill was made even sweeter as the FA Cup debutants caused an upset, knocking Southern League opponents Walthamstow out of the competition in the Extra Preliminary Round. Both sides had opportunities throughout the match, but it was the hosts who took their chances, progressing to the Preliminary Round and preparing to face fellow-Essex Senior League side Stansted.

It was a conservative start from both sides, with neither wanting to make the first mistake. Stow came down the right hand side as Demary Anyadike looked to get the ball into the centre, but the resulting header was off target before the hosts had looked to send the ball through, but it ran straight through to Stow’s keeper. The visitors got a foothold in the game as they threatened the Hill goal, but they couldn’t find the breakthrough. A huge shout for a penalty as the ball clipped the hand of a Buckhurst defender was waved away by the referee before a shot from Samir Bihmoutine was blocked and another shot from outside by Michael Osei was well held by the keeper.

Anyadike came close to opening the scoring as the winger got the ball on the right hand side, but his shot was blocked on the line before Buckhurst Hill looked to take the ball down the other end, but the through ball was straight through to the keeper once again. 

The opening goal came the way of the hosts as they broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. Jake Moss cut inside and fired the ball into the far corner to give the Stags an unexpected lead against their Step 4 opponents. With the wind in their sails, the hosts almost had a second minutes later, but the Stow keeper was out quickly to deny them another goal. The visitors looked to dominate the remaining 10 minutes of the half as they sought an equaliser. Anyadike fed the ball to Bihmoutine, but the latters shot was well saved before Callum Ibe had the ball in the back of the net, but the ball was adjudged to have gone out of play before the cross came in.

The away side continued to dominate as Bihmoutine saw his shot hit the side-netting, but it was the hosts who got their second just before the half-time whistle. A header was put into the back of the net by Keaton Moore to the delight of the home fans. There was still time for Walthamstow to have the ball in the back of the net, but again it was ruled out for offside as Ibe tapped home from close range.

Both sides looked to come out quickly in the second half, but it was Walthamstow who had the foothold, looking for a way back into the game. The addition of Connor Scullly at the half-time interval gave the visitors another option on the left, but they couldn’t find a goal back. 

Anyadike looked to get the ball into the middle, where Callum Ibe awaited, but Buckhurst Hill did well to block any progress their opponents looked to make. The hosts looked to come forward on the odd occasion, but Stow defended well to prevent any further goals for the Step 5 side. The pressure eventually paid off as Stow pulled one back. Connor Scully did well to open himself up and fire the ball beyond the Hill keeper, giving Stow some belief. 

Despite continuing to dominate, the task was made tough for Walthamstow just 4 minutes later as they were reduced to 10-men. Second-half substitute Bradley Empson was adjudged to have been the last man as he brought down a Buckhurst Hill forward just outside the box, giving the Stow man his marching orders, but the resulting free-kick came to nothing. 

The final 10-minutes was a frantic rush from Stow as they sought the equaliser. Reece Monsoya looked to join in on the attacks, but still Stow couldn’t find the goal they needed. It wasn’t all one way traffic though as Buckhurst Hill looked to kill off the game with a third themselves, but they could only hit the post before the match was ended with Stow dominating without finding the back of the net again.
By Aaron Moore @aaron_moore25

Images courtesy of @BillBadger1976

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