Town make their point
Enfield Town 1 Hornchurch 1
A top four Isthmian League clash graced the QEII on a cold and clear Tuesday night as Town shared the points with Hornchurch writes Jack Quantrill. Enfield looked the better of the two sides in the opening exchanges exposing the Urchins down the flanks despite their defensive 5-3-2 formation. It didn’t take long for the first goal of the night to arrive; persistent pressure led to a long throw from Joe Payne which Sam Youngs brought down near the penalty spot, promptly firing a rasping half volley into the top left corner. Hornchurch’s Joe Wright was left motionless in between the sticks.
Goals sometimes come too early for a side and this looked to be the case for Town who began to sit deep, ceding possession to the visitors looking to play on the break. George Saunders tested Nathan McDonald eleven minutes in, whilst Mickey Parcell was having room to make his familiar runs down the right-hand side.
Joe Payne superbly pinged a ball fully 70 yards into the path of Ken Charles who surely would have scored but for some proactive goalkeeping from Wright who swept the ball away in the nick of time.
As the first half came to a close Hornchurch ramped up the pressure. In the 38th Captain Marc Weatherstone gave away a free kick on the edge of the Enfield penalty box. Saunders who caught the eye on the night for the Urchins, whipped the ball around the wall, but his accurate strike was brilliantly kept out by spectacular acrobatic save from McDonald. Goalkeeping heroics couldn’t stop Hornchurch from equalising in the 45thminute, however. Saunders and Parcell progressed the ball at blistering pace down the right-hand side, Parcell fired the ball low across the face of goal and right back John Muleba was unfortunate to head into his own net. A late chance in added time nearly saw the Urchins take the lead but McDonald stole the ball away from the feet of left back Remi Sutton before he could get in a shot at goal.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Hornchurch 1
A half time substitution saw big striker Marvin Morgan come on for George Winn. The Urchins consistently went long in the second half and Town struggled to deal with it for much of the time. A couple of minutes into the second period the visitors had another great chance to take the lead. Tricky striker Chris Dickson struck a half volley from the right-hand side of the six yard box, but McDonald pulled off another fantastic reflex save to keep the scores level.
Hornchurch set up camp in the Enfield half for a spell, firing in crosses from both flanks which the hosts’ back line defended admirably; Saunders in particular made his way down Town’s left hand side with alarming regularity. The pressure eventually subsided, though, and the game became as scrappy affair, with Town in particular struggling to create a great deal. Bobson Bawling, who had looked electric in the opening half an hour, was subbed off for Billy Bricknell around the hour mark but that didn’t really change anything in terms of chances.
With 15 minutes to go Hornchurch nearly secured the points when Dickson controlled a ball from the sky and turned quickly to volley at goal, but a deflection sent the strike just past the post. Two minutes later the same player broke through, getting the better of Glenn Wilson, but Town man of the match McDonald pounced to grab the ball, saving the day.
Nathan Livings had to go off in the 87th minute having only been on the pitch for ten minutes or so; he came off worst in one of a number of increasingly brutal 50-50 tackles towards the end. Town negotiated the final few minutes to secure what could be a very valuable point in due course.
Town didn’t quite look themselves on the night, but a point ensures that they will be in a very strong position if they can get something from their games in hand. Hornchurch may have clinched all three points on another day; it looks odds on that both these two sides will be sitting high in the table come April.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Ryan Blackman, Sam Youngs, Ken Charles (Nathan Livings 73, Junior Mubiayi 86), Muhammadu Faal, Bobson Bawling (Billy Bricknell 61). Booked: Muleba. Unused subs: Alex Read, Callum Ellesley.
Hornchurch: Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell, Remi Sutton, Joe Christou, Rickie Hayles, Matt Johnson, George Saunders, Chris Dickson (Charlie Stimson 80), Daniel Uchechi, George Winn (Marvin Morgan 46), Arthur Lee. Booked: Christou, Winn, Parcell. Unused subs: Dominic Green, Jordan Clark.
|22/10/2019||7:45 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2019-20|