An opening day point
Lewes 1 Enfield Town 1
A game of two halves, but it wasn’t quite that straightforward, not least as both goals were scored facing the strong, blustery wind rather than with it.
Kicking into the wind in the opening period, Town’s line-up looked solid and there were some early signs of some good, no frills interplay and build-up from the back.
For Lewes, Jordy Mongoy found himself in a promising position inside the Town box early on but his attempted cut-back was well anticipated by Nathan McDonald, who gathered relatively comfortably. McDonald, looking as though he had never been away, then gathered a dangerous hanging cross from Kieron Pamment while, for Town, James Potton found Lewis Taaffe, but his shot was saved without undue trouble by Nathan Stroomberg.
Dayshonne Golding, who looked the stand-out Rooks performer of the first half, crossed well from the Lewes right, but Ola Adayemo headed over. Two snapshots from Sam Youngs were a sign of Town coming to grips with the conditions and looking dangerous on the break.
Mongoy fired over when well placed, and both teams were making a decent fist of it given the conditions. The best chance of the half for the Rooks came in the 14th minute when the ball fell to Michael Dome-Benwin, who tested McDonald with a low shot which the visitors’ keeper pushed around the post.
Pamment tried his luck from distance twice as both sides looked to shoot early to perhaps take advantage of the conditions. The first effort whistled past the woodwork; the second was watched by McDonald all the way to grab underneath his crossbar. On 25 minutes a Taaffe corner on the right was met by Ken Charles, making his competitive debut and looking very lively, but his firm header was well saved by Stroomberg. Charles had another effort saved before Charlie Coppola cut inside and fired with his left foot towards McDonald, who did well to react and grab the ball at head height.
Mongoy attempted an audacious wind-assisted lob from distance which drifted narrowly over the top, and Coppola was off target following another corner. Town’s best moment of the half, and indeed of the match, arrived on 38 minutes when Charles latched onto the ball in the inside-left channel and accelerated away from the attentions of couple of defenders. With Billy Bricknell free to his left, the ex-Colchester youngster kept going and slid the ball past Stroomberg for an impressive debut goal.
A James Hammond free kick in a dangerous central position, after Marc Weatherstone had been adjudged to have committed a foul, hit the wall and bounced to safety before a teasing low cross in from the right from Golding just eluded the sliding Adeymo and Mongoy.
Just before the break Glenn Wilson looked to have tweaked a hamstring, falling to the ground indicating to the bench that he couldn’t continue. He was replaced by Dan Rumens at the break.
Half-time: Lewes 0 Enfield Town 1
With the wind at their backs, Town set about netting that all-important second goal., but it was to elude them.
On 51 minutes, Bricknell found himself inside the box with sight of goal but his carefully placed effort to Stroomberg’s right lacked sufficient power and the keeper got down to save. Five minutes later, Lewis Taaffe’s free-kick forced a last-second tip over from Stroomberg, and there were further efforts from James Potton (low drive just past the post) and Dan Rumens (off-target header from a corner). With time running out and Lewes not creating a great deal, Rooks manager Darren Freeman introduced three substitutes and Stefan Ilic, in particular, caught the eye with his freedom of movement.
In the 83rd minute, the former Tooting & Mitcham United striker was needlessly fouled by Youngs some 25 yards out in a central position and McDonald did well to grab the consequent swerving freekick from Hammond. But parity was eventually restored when Ilic picked the ball up 25 yards out and moved the ball onto his right foot to hit a sweet low drive beyond McDonald’s right hand.
The equaliser set up a nervy last few minutes for Town to handle as the hosts pressed hard for a winner but, in the end, a point apiece was probably about right.
Team: McDonald, Muleba, Payne, Thomas, Weatherstone (c), Wilson (Rumens), Taaffe (Livings), Youngs, Bricknell, Charles (Cathline), Potton.
|10/08/2019||3:00 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2019-20|