Enfield Town 2 Merstham 0
Town continued to look impressive in both cup and league fixtures this season with 9th placed Merstham the latest team to suffer a defeat at the QEII Stadium thanks to goals from Ryan Blackman and Mo Faal writes Jack Quantrill.
Town set up with an unchanged line up from last week’s cup victory against Braintree. Lewis Taaffe returned to the squad after a short time out with injury, effectively replacing Billy Bricknell, who had to pull out of the Braintree match at the last moment
In the early exchanges this looked a tight affair; both sides had space down the flanks. Merstham left back and captain Peter Wedgeworth’s positioning was more akin to a left winger throughout the game, and he troubled Enfield with a couple of dangerous deliveries into the box in the opening ten minutes. On one occasion he found space at the top of the Enfield penalty area, unleashing a strike heading for the top corner but Nathan McDonald got a hand to it to push over the bar.
Despite offering plenty of attacking options on both wings, Merstham consequently left room in behind for the hosts’ front three to exploit. In the 15th minute Ken Charles beat his man on the left hand side before sliding the ball across to young Charles Brown on the right side of the penalty area. Brown pulled back to find Mo Faal who missed a golden opportunity flashing the ball wide first time from inside the box.
But Town kept threatening to take the lead and in the 18th minute Ryan Blackman shot wide after surging down the middle of the pitch. In the 25th minute Sam Youngs strode past the Moatsiders midfield before finding Brown who bided his time on the right flank before pulling it back to the penalty spot, and Youngs fired straight at the keeper.
After 25 minutes, Ken Charles, who looked bright throughout the afternoon, earnt a free kick which produced the first goal of the game. Blackman stepped up to take it from 20 yards out, firing into the bottom right corner; keeper Matte Pierson would have been disappointed to have been beaten, however. Then, in the 38th minute Mo Faal was taken down in the penalty area but earnt a contentious yellow for simulation which came back to haunt him.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Merstham 0
The second half didn’t really present any clear-cut chances for either side despite both Merstham wing backs continuing to look dangerous. After a quiet spell it was only in the 77th minute that the game sprung back into life. Substitute Lewis Taaffe fed Faal who held the ball for what seems like an age on the left-hand side, fending off a Merstham centre back before chipping it to Youngs who backheeled it back into the path of Faal. One on one with the keeper, he went for power and blazed over the bar; it could’ve been a fantastic goal.
Just two minutes later Faal atoned for his miss, keeping up his recent goal a game record. The ball broke to Blackman who made space on the edge of the box before shooting. The shot itself lacked power, but 6 yards from goal Faal directed it into the bottom right corner with the neatest of flicks.
Euphoria soon turned to anguish as Faal picked up his second yellow just a couple of minutes later; kicking the ball away after he felt he had been fouled by James Richmond. Whilst the second yellow was fair, Faal can feel hard done by as the first seemed like an obvious mistake from the referee.
The final meaningful action came in the 84th minute where Merstham also went down to ten men, Edwin Mensah receiving a red after having strong words with the referee. Town climb to 4th in the table and can look ahead to trips to Brightlingsea on Tuesday and the FA Cup third-round qualifier at Chichester next Saturday.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Jon Muleba, Charles Brown (Junior Mubiayi 78), Sam Youngs, Ken Charles (Lewis Taaffe 70), Mo Faal, Ryan Blackman (Nathan Livings 87). Unused:
Booked: Brown, Faal, Hatton. Sent off: Faal.
Merstham: Matte Pierson, Ellis Brown, Peter Wedgeworth, Edwin Mensah, Sinn’Kaye Christie, James Richmond, Charlie ten Grotenhuis (Bradley Wilson 46), Eddie Dines (Christian Madu 65) Omar Folkes, Great Evans (Barry Hayles 72), Yannick Monga. Unused:
Booked: Mensah, ten Grotenhuis. Sent off: Mensah.
|28/09/2019||3:00 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2019-20|