Battling Town Edge Home

Enfield Town 1 Lewes 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Sometimes you have to grind out results to get what you want and that’s exactly what Enfield Town did as we maintained our push for a play-off place on Saturday.

Marcus Wyllie’s 21st league goal of the season after just seven minutes settled a game in which Lewes had bags of possession and fair few chances but ultimately couldn’t break us down.

While the Rooks had a week to prepare, Town travelled to Copenhagen in midweek to play in the Fenix trophy, most of the team not returning home until 48 hours before yesterday’s game.

For non-league players, that kind of arduous trip was bound to take its toll but Town, employing an unusual but effective system of 3-2-4-1 partly to give the defensive midfielders protection, stuck to their game plan, in the process gaining sweet revenge for that 4-0 drubbing in Sussex in the reverse fixture.

Former England manager Peter Taylor, who also as it happens managed Enfield over 30 years ago, was among the crowd in a scouting role.

He could have been watching any number of players but saw only one goal, Wyllie quickest to react (pictured) after Joe Payne’s curling effort was parried but not held by Nathan Harvey.

As Lewes responded Keiran Murtagh was a toe poke away from levelling, then fluffed his lines with an even better chance. Ryan Gondoh’s miscued close-range volley could only find thin air but the Rooks’ possession-based game wasn’t quick enough as we closed off the spaces.

 Indeed Marcus might well have doubled our lead as he sneaked in to dispossess Elliott, only to come off second best in a one-on-one with Harvey.

H-T 1-0

The visitors re-emerged looking far more penetrative and proceeded to push us back. Marcus Sablier’s header struck the post while Luke Dreyer saw two goal-bound efforts somehow kept out, first by a fantastic Lewis Taaffe block, then by Rhys Forster’s smart stop.

Town, with only two fit players on the bench, were now playing on the counter but still had good chances of their own as  Wyllie netted again, only to be ruled offside, and Sam Youngs drilled a shot agonisingly wide.

Taking everything into account, this could be considered among our best wins of the season in the circumstances, a fact Gavin Macpherson acknowledged after setting the team up to try and nullify Lewes’ strengths, especially off the ball.

“After the massively difficult week we’ve had with all the travelling, it’s an incredible result,” said Gavin.

“We weren’t blessed with options and are on our knees so all in all, I’m absolutely delighted. Yes we looked leggy and it wasn’t vintage but  the boys worked unbelievably hard and there’s only one stat that matters.”


Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner; Thomas (Gucchi  Soulya-Osekanongo, 80) Taaffe; Adjei-Hersey, Youngs, Knight, Payne; Wyllie