Town brought down to earth

Enfield Town 1 Horsham 4

Town’s euphoria following the 5-0 midweek rout of Bishops Stortford gave way to acute disappointment four days later when they were ultimately well beaten by newly promoted Horsham on Saturday writes Andrew Warshaw.

Memories of defensive deficiencies from last season came flooding back in the last quarter, despite the hosts deservedly getting back into the game after trailing at half-time and looking as though back-to-back victories would be secured. From the previous game, Nathan Livings replacing James Potton – carried off against Bishops Stortford with a ligament injury – and Lewis Taaffe, who was injured in the warm-up, gave way to Junior Mubiayi. Injuries and enforced absences are part and parcel of the game, but Town have had little luck in the opening couple of the weeks of the season. Nevertheless, confidence was high and visiting keeper George Bentley was forced into an early tip-over save from Sam Youngs who was also on the end of another good move that was cleared away.

Ben Dyatt was booked for a rash challenge on Youngs and the Horsham defender was lucky to stay on the pitch minutes later when he went straight through the back of Billy Bricknell. Incredibly, the referee took no action but Bricknell almost made Horsham pay when a sublime overhead kick flashed just wide. Horsham had their own moments of danger when Charlie Harris struck a freekick narrowly wide and Chris Smith broke clear only to shoot straight at Nathan McDonald.

With five minutes to go in a scrappy first half, an excellent Youngs cross somehow evaded not one but two Enfield players but it was the visitors who struck first on the stoke of halftime. Lea Dawson combined well with Smith and, although McDonald parried his first shot, Smith followed up to score at the second attempt.

Half-time: Enfield Town 0 Horsham 1

The Hornets had drawn their first two matches and it looked like it could be three in a row when Town levelled nine minutes after the break. Jon Muleba, once again arguably Town’s most effective player on the day, swung in a pinpoint cross and Ken Charles timed his header perfectly for his fourth goal in three games.

The next goal was always going to be crucial and it should have gone to Town when Bricknell’s free header narrowly missed the target. But, against the run of play Horsham, despite being without their top striker Rob O’Toole, suddenly grabbed the lead with a terrific strike on 67 minutes. Harris pulled the ball back on the edge of the box, expertly turned inside his marker and unleashed a ferocious drive that gave McDonald no chance.

A Dan Rumens 35-yard piledriver flashed wide and the introduction of Mo Faal was a welcome sight. But a lack of concentration and alertness was evident as Horsham struck twice more. With twenty minutes left, Keiran Lavery’s free kick was parried by McDonald and, as the home defence hesitated, Smith pounced on the rebound to complete a timely brace.

The dangerous Smith should have added a fourth, only for his shot to be saved at point-blank range by McDonald, but Zak Newton soon piled on more agony when he collected a pass in central midfield, ran on unchallenged and lashed the ball home to the delight of the travelling fans.

Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Dan Rumens, Sam Youngs, Nathan Livings, Billy Bricknell, Ken Charles, Junior Mubiayi (Mo Faal 67). Unused subs: Alex Cathline, Steve Wales, Callum Ellesley, Sam Hatton. Booked: Livings.

Horsham: George Bentley, Jerry O’Sullivan, Steve Metcalf, Charlie Harris, Ben Dyett, Will Miles, Lea Dawson (Alex Kelly 83), George Hayward, Kieran Lavery, Chris Smith (Harry Mills 76), Zack Newton (Jared Rance 90). Unused subs: Jack Brivio, Sebastian Oldham. Booked: Dyett.

Attendance: 333.


Date Time League Season
17/08/2019 3:00 pm Pitching In Isthmian League Premier 2019-20


Queen Elizabeth II Stadium
Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield EN1 3PL


Enfield Town1