Month: March 2022

Onwards and Upwards

Merstham 1 Enfield Town 3

Report by Martin Bentley

A fifth consecutive win, this time at struggling Merstham, that was far more convincing than the scoreline suggests and might easily have improved our goal difference had we converted more chances.

On a hard, bumpy pitch that demanded a direct approach, an unchanged Town started the game at a gallop, with Adam Cunnington and Mo Faal having shots saved by home keeper Patrick Ohman in the first 10 minutes.

Lewis Taaffe and Rian Bray were also narrowly off target as the Towners threatened to overrun their hosts.

The first goal finally arrived after 25 minutes, when Faal dispossessed a home defender 10 yards from goal and passed to Sam Youngs, who shot low into the net, much to the relief of the travelling faithful.

Taaffe then had two further chances to extend the lead, shooting wide when well-placed on 29 minutes and having a shot well saved by Ohman 10 minutes later.

Annoyingly, Town then conceded an equaliser a minute before the break, Tahjae Anderson heading in a right wing corner at the far post. This was a touch unfair on the Town, who really should have been out of sight by then.

H-T 1-1

But we began the second half in the same vein. Manny Maja had a goal disallowed for offside just after the restart before Town regained the lead on 49 minutes. Again Faal provided the assist, rolling a square ball into the path of the outstanding Youngs (pictured), who banged it gleefully into the roof of the net.

Still Town pressed forward. The luckless Taaffe managed to hit the crossbar from three yards; Faal fluffed a far-post header; and Taaffe’s right-wing corner somehow made its way unmolested through a crowded goalmouth.

The insurance goal finally came on 77 minutes courtesy of Mo, shooting low from the left into the far corner of the net.

Only hours earlier Town’s top scorer had made a guest appearance on Sky’s Soccer AM show, great publicity for both himself and the club on what was billed as Non-League Day.

Although the home side never gave up, Town played out the remaining few minutes without undue difficulty, successfully retaining third place in the league.

“Another solid professional performance to keep us on track,” said Andy Leese. “We dominated the game until we scored, then allowed Merstham some space and they took advantage.”

“We altered our shape at halftime and it worked, with Mo alongside Adam and a narrow midfield to get us on the ball more.”

“The only disappointing aspect is that we didn’t take more of the numerous chances we created. I think we will need to win most of our games to get to where we want to be.”

Town line-up: McDonald, Chappell, Kirwan, Thomas (Kiangebeni 81), Bray, Gyebi, Youngs, Taaffe (Smith 77), Faal, Cunnington (Della Verde 83), Maja. Unused subs: Joseph, Sayoud

Mo On TV

Our own Muhammadu Faal is scheduled to make a guest appearance on Soccer AM on Sky tomorrow morning.

As you may know, there is no Premier league or Championship football this weekend because of the international break. Saturday has been designated as non-league day and Mo, who has scored 31 league goals this season, is being featured as part of Sky’s coverage.

Mo will be on the show some time between 10.30 and noon before travelling to our game at Merstham

Tanners Tamed In Tight Encounter

Enfield Town 1 Leatherhead 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Four straight wins have put us within touching distance of the playoffs after yet another tight, nail-biting encounter against a Leatherhead team that played way above its relegation-threatened status.

In a game of precious few chances, the points were won after just seven minutes courtesy of yet another of those near-post headers by man-of-the-match Sam Youngs who ghosted in to convert a Lewis Taaffe corner (pictured).

Sam clearly relished the occasion and put in another outstanding shift but it was our defence – not always our strong point – which really caught the eye against opponents who took the game to us for long periods and will perhaps feel they deserved more.

Special mention has to go to the seemingly ageless Lee Chappell whose two vital interceptions soon after we took the lead almost certainly prevented an equaliser.

Lee, like his colleagues at the back, put on a superb “Thou Shalt Not Pass” display as we managed to snuff Leatherhead out whenever they threatened.

He made another fantastic block late in the first half and moments later a low cross was fizzed into our box but fortunately found no Leatherhead player.

For all their possession, however, the Tanners might well have fallen further behind when Mo Faal spooned a terrific chance over the bar after taking advantage of defensive hesitancy.

H-T 1-0

Leatherhead, who have had three managers this season, are unrecognisable from when we played them earlier in the season and in fact had only one player in their squad who featured back October.

With a brand new team, they are banking on a great escape and showed commendable passing ability though to be fair Nathan McDonald hardly had a notable save to make, largely due to being protected by those in front of him.

To make sure of the points, the management team switched to three at the back late on as we made it four wins on the spin after those three back-to-back defeats to move to within one point of second-placed Bishops Stortford.

Winning without playing at your best is the sign of a team with spirit and confidence and we have made a habit of that over the last couple of games.

More of the same and a playoff spot seems assured though no one is yet taking anything for granted.

“Another valuable win which came the hard way,” said Andy Leese. “Leatherhead belied their league position, were well organised and competed for everything. We were fantastic defensively  and limited them to few opportunities. We were having a terrible little run and to bounce back the way we have shows what we are about.”

Town

McDonald; Chappell, Bray, Gyebi, Kirwan; Maja, Thomas, Youngs, Taaffe (Smith, 77); Faal, Cunnington

Kraig for Grenada

We are delighted to report that our own Kraig Noel-McLeod has been called up for Grenada’s Senior Men’s National Team for two upcoming friendlies against Gibraltar and Andorra during international week

The games take place this Wednesday and on March 28 after which Kraig is due to return to the club.

Kraig, who can play at centrehalf or leftback,  joined us in January having previously represented Brightlingsea Regent and Clacton this season. He spent time with QPR and Norwich City in his early career.

Congratulations Kraig on being called up for your national team

Town Edging Closer

Enfield Town 2 Corinthian Casuals 1

Report from Andrew Warshaw

Whisper it quietly, with seven games to go we are getting ever closer to ensuring a playoff spot and achieving the goal we set as a club at the start of the season.

It may be a cliché but at the business end of the campaign it’s not necessarily about being pretty, rather about racking up the points, no matter how you get them.

So it was on Saturday when we should probably have killed the game when leading reasonably comfortably. But no team in this division just lies down and Casuals were no different, running us close just as they have done with other leading contenders.

 With Folkestone well beaten at home, we are now in third spot. The top five seem to be pulling away and there is no doubt we are handily placed.

But there is no room for complacency because we are not there yet. The likes of Lewes and Cheshunt are very much still in the mix.

 We want to finish as high as we can to try and ensure a home draw in the playoffs. All of which makes for a nail-biting run-in.

Against opponents missing no fewer than eight players, we were unchanged from the win against Hornchurch and got off to the perfect start with the strong wind behind us,  Adam Cunnington converting with a sweet volley from Lewis Taaffe’s fourth-minute corner.

Not much happened from then on until we doubled our lead. Sam Youngs was brought down inside the box and Mo sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot.

Sam himself then narrowly missed the target with a neat shot and turn while Manny Maja fired over and although Casuals started to have more of the ball, we seemed in control.

H-T 2-0

Right at the start of the second period Mo broke clear down the left, only for keeper Daniel Bracken to grab the ball off his feet. But 2-0, they say, is a dangerous scoreline and Casuals, now playing with the wind, were suddenly a different proposition, showing more purpose and intent.

A deep freekick into the box almost caught us napping at the far post before Lee Chappell stooped low to clear the next effort off the line. But it was third time lucky for the visitors as Scott Thomas bundled over Misha Djamili and Kieron Cadogan drilled the penalty into the corner to halve the deficit.

Just as momentum switched and we had difficulty clearing our lines, so Town had a glorious opportunity to restore their two-goal advantage with eight minutes to go.

But in a game of three spotkicks, this one was missed as Mo drove his shot wide after being hauled down by Bracken as he raced through on goal.

It could have proved costly but fortunately we held on to grind out a third straight win.

“I was pleased with the first half and how we set about them,” said Andy Leese. “No matter who you play, the opposition are always going to have a spell. I’m not pointing the finger at Mo but the second penalty could have been a lifesaver and would have put the game to bed.”

“There are no easy games in this league. Nearly everyone has got something to play for.The conditions meant it wasn’t going to be a pretty game – we’ll take the points and move on to Tuesday against Leatherhead.”

Town

McDonald; Chappell, Bray, Gyebi, Kirwan; Youngs, Thomas, Maja, Taaffe (Sayoud, 71); Faal (Kiangebeni 89), Cunnington

(end)

Pre-Game Walk

Enfield Town FC have joined forces with Tottenham Hotspur for a walk/talk/exercise around Enfield Playing Fields before this Saturday’s home game and again on April 23 – our final league game of the season.

Meet outside the QE11 gates at 12.30pm.

For further details, contact  ianchrisham@hotmail.com  or  tel  07949071587

COLLECTING FOR UKRAINE

We will be collecting to help the people of Ukraine this Saturday and every remaining home league game of the season.


Items needed include the following: Tinned/Dried Food, First Aid kits, Blankets, sleeping bags.

Any other items you can assist with are listed below.

Collection point will be underneath the stairs leading to Butlers Bar.



binoculars

metal cups

backpacks

raincoats

socks

thermal underwear

painkillers

bandages

antiseptics

Used smartphones with internet access

Enfield Town FC Proudly stands with the people of Ukraine during these difficult times.

Double Over The Urchins

Hornchurch 1 Enfield Town 2

Report from Andrew Warshaw

Forget about the few chances to either side. Forget about lack of entertainment value.

Make no mistake, this was a potentially landmark victory against a side who had gone 16 games without defeat – including 13 wins – and was reward for an all-round team performance which, without getting carried away, represents a huge confidence boost going into our final eight league games.

The fact that our top-five rivals hadn’t lost since November – against us, no less, in the corresponding fixture – says everything about the result in what was a tight, often physical game which, for long periods, we managed to slow down and control at our own pace.

Wearing our yellow and blue strip, which seemed somewhat appropriate given events unfolding in Ukraine, we were without the unavailable Lyle Della-Verde but were otherwise close to full strength with Manny Maja especially eye-catching in midfield with a series of timely interceptions.

After a cautious opening by both sides we took the lead with one of the strangest goals you will ever see.

Lee Chappell decided to go short with a throw-in and Maja’s 40-yard floated cross totally deceived former Towner Joe Wright, who for some reason declined to wear a cap despite having the sun in his eyes and didn’t even move.  He apparently didn’t even see it.

Lewis Taaffe needed lengthy treatment after a strong challenge from Tom Wraight who then did the same to Sam Youngs without being booked.

As halftime approached, Wraight curled an effort wide but the hosts, last season’s FA Trophy winners,  had hardly had a first-half shot on target.

H-T 0-1

The Urchins were almost back in it straight after the break as Charlie Ruff brought a superb save from Nathan McDonald and headed the resultant corner over.

Ryan Kirwin and Mo Faal were the next two victims of rough play with no action taken by the referee and right on the hour Hornchurch broke through to equalise.  Micky Parcell, another former Towner, was given too much space on the right-hand side and his cross was headed home by Wraight.

Despite the disappointment there was no sense of panic as we continued to execute our game plan. Taaffe almost squeezed the ball home at the near post and on 66 minutes we restored our lead as Adam Cunnington (pictured) headed a Taaffe corner low and hard into the corner through a ruck of players.

This time, there was no Hornchurch comeback as we held firm at the back and cleared our lines at every opportunity. The only downside was a straight red card in stoppage time for substitute Jack Cass who had come off the bench to replace Mo and now misses three crucial fixtures.

Whilst Jake’s challenge on Parcell was late, the Hornchurch defender was ever so quickly up his feet and given what had gone before to our own players, the referee’s decision seemed questionable to say the least.

However, onwards and upwards. Eight games to go and the playoffs loom ever closer.

“A proper team performance against a strong Hornchurch team” was how Andy Leese summed up matters. “We had a plan which the players executed. We had to defend under pressure late the game  but we do that better with Manny back in the team. The result keeps us in the mix but that’s all it does at this stage.”

Town

McDonald; Chappell, Bray, Gyebi, Kirwan; Youngs, Maja, Thomas, Taaffe (Kiangebeni, 84); Faal (Cass, 75) , Cunnington

Can we tame the Urchins?

The anticipation is mounting. There is only one place to be at 3pm tomorrow and that’s at Hornchurch for a mouth-watering six-pointer in the race to make the playoffs.

Since we beat last season’s surprise FA Trophy winners back in November, they have not lost in the league and are arguably the form team of the division.

Most recently the Urchins – featuring a good number of former Towners — came from behind to win 2-1 at Potters Bar on Tuesday with goals from Tom Wraight and Liam Nash.

Nothing will be decided of course  tomorrow but who knows, this could well be a rehearsal for a play-off clash at the end of the season.

Town expect to be close to full strength against opponents who are level on points with us with a game in hand and, on paper at least, represent the toughest challenge of our remaining nine games of the regular season.

Ticket information and directions to the ground can be found here