Bishop’s Stortford 1-1 Enfield Town
Enfield travelled to the Prokit UK stadium to face a Stortford side who had been buoyed by a recent 2-1 win against Wingate & Finchley writes John Dolan. The Towners were looking to get back to winning ways after a hard fought 1-1 draw midweek against Hornchurch.
Enfield having not played their best stuff on Tuesday night kicked off the first half showing real intent from the get go. Barely a minute in a neat passing move lead to Sam Youngs breaking into the Bishop’s box ball at his feet, poised to shoot a last-ditch tackle from Stortford captain Ryan Henshaw prevented the Town from scoring.
In the 6th Enfield’s left back Joe Payne fizzed a cross along the wet surface that Mo Faal was inches away to connecting with, then 60 seconds later Payne again found Faal this time with a raking cross field pass that Faal controlled swiftly only to fire his half volley just wide. But the opening 10 minutes suggested it was only a matter of time before Enfield would breach the Bishop’s defence; Blackman and Thomas were recycling possession well, Payne and Muleba provided wide threat from full back and the front three looked a step to quick for the Blues but a 15th minute sucker punch changed the nature of the game. Henshaw aimed a long ball for the channels which Bishop’s big man Shomari Barnwell gave chase to. Glenn Wilson was caught out at the back losing a 50/50 with Barnwell who lobbed an exposed Nathan McDonald from 20 yards out to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The goal shocked Enfield and Stortford created two further chances in quick succession. Jordan Chiedowsie missed first with a scuffed strike and then he had a free header from six yards out which really should’ve been converted. Enfield continued to control possession but the goal had clearly given the home side confidence. They were looking to hit Town on the break and knock it long to Barnwell having identified an Enfield weakness for dealing with high balls much like Hornchurch had in the midweek game.
Both sides had a few more half chances before half time, Faal and Youngs both tested the keeper at his near post, both chances emanating from the Enfield right hand side as Town targeted Stortford left-back Alfie Mason who had a tough afternoon dealing with a flurry of attacks down his touchline.
A minute prior to half time one of the more bizarre events of the season occurred, when Enfield assistant manager Mario Noto was accused of tripping Aaron Greene as he went to take a throw on the halfway line. From the stands it looked to be a clear accident, but referee Eliott Kaye interpreted it differently, sending Noto off down the tunnel a couple of minutes early.
Half-time: Bishop’s Stortford 1 Enfield Town 0
Early in the second half Youngs tried to curl an effort into the top right forcing home keeper Fred Burbidge into action. Stortford quickly replied as Greene’s effort from the top of the box was turned wide for a corner.
In the 55th the home side should have secured a win as Payne who ultimately had a good game failed to deal with a long ball allowing Mycroft-Edwards to go through one on one. Not for the first time this week McDonald showed off his shot stopping ability getting a hand to Edwards’ strike to keep it at 1-0.
Just beyond the hour mark, Enfield had three chances to get back into the game, the first of which was turned wide by Ken Charles who latched onto Payne’s looping cross to the back post only to head just past the post. Charles tried to atone for his miss whipping an effort towards the top right that Burbidge turned wide. The third chance saw Bricknell chest a ball to the overlapping Youngs who fired a well hit volley on target which was again kept out by Stortford’s number 1.
In the 75th Charles, who had a good game himself, was subbed off for Bobson Bawling whose 15-minute cameo earned his side a replay at the QEII. 10 minutes from time Bawling flew past two home defenders on the left wing before pulling it back to unmarked Faal who uncharacteristically scuffed his first time strike wide. Town didn’t let their heads drop though and in the 85th minute they had their equaliser. Bawling played a one two with Youngs and an excellent dummy allowed him space to pull the ball back again this time to Billy Bricknell who fired home from six yards. The goal was no more than Enfield deserved for their performance and despite a few late corners for Bishop’s the game ended 1-1.
Bishop’s Stortford: Fred Burbidge, Ben Sampayo, Billy Mycroft-Edwards (Olly Miles 76), Jack Thomas, Sam Robbins, Ryan Henshaw, Alex Warman, Aaron Greene, Jordan Chiedozie (Louie Johnson 86), Alfie Mason, Shomari Barnwell. Unused substitutes: Jamie Cureton, Jack Johnson, Reece Simpson, Louie Johnson. Booked: Mason, Henshaw, Greene.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Ryan Blackman, Sam Youngs (Junior Mubiayi 90), Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal, Ken Charles (Bobson Bawling 75). Unused substitutes: Ed Thompson, Samson Esan, Alex Read, Callum Ellesley, Sam Hatton. Booked: Weatherstone, Blackman.