Town hold on for three points
Enfield Town 2 Carshalton Athletic 1
Town followed up Saturday’s euphoric FA Trophy thriller [4-3 against Maldon] by returning to winning ways in the league on Tuesday night. But they were made to battle by a Carshalton Athletic side also gunning for the play-offs and whose second-half display maybe merited a share of the spoils writes Andrew Warshaw.
Andy Leese made one change from Saturday’s 4-3 win over Maldon & Tiptree by restoring Sam Hatton to midfield in place of Bobson Bawling; and went on to witness the proverbial game of two halves, with Town ultimately clinging on before securing what could prove to be a vital victory come April.
There was little sign of a Carshalton fightback as a confident Town started on the front foot – in fact in very much the same fashion as on Saturday afternoon. With just 45 seconds on the clock, Mo Faal netted his 18th goal of the season as he expertly tucked away Jon Muleba’s cross.
Carshalton had not even touched the ball at that point, but they should have levelled on eight minutes when Tommy Bradford picked it up in acres of space and fed Jerry Amoo, who fluffed a poor chip straight at Nathan McDonald.
Town continued to look the more threatening side, however, and should have doubled their lead on 20 minutes when Ken Charles fired wide with the Robins’ defence all over the place. Moments later, a Billy Bicknell free kick on the edge of the area, awarded after a cynical challenge on Hatton, was well held by keeper Kleton Perntreou.
Carshalton’s defence was being seriously stretched, but they were the victims of their own downfall on 27 minutes. A routine clearance from Joe Payne led to a calamitous mix-up between Perntreou and Carshalton favourite Danny Dudley, and Bricknell was alive to the follow-up for a simple tap-in. To compound Dudley’s misery (he had already been booked), it was the lanky defender’s last contribution as he shuffled off with what looked to be concussion (later reports indicated he was well enough to leave the ground without further treatment) to be replaced not by another defender but by striker Omar Koroma. This brave change promptly worked wonders for the visitors, as Koroma brought the best out of McDonald who brilliantly tipped his snapshot round the post. It was a sign of things to come.
Half-time: Enfield Town 2 Carshalton Athletic 0
Carshalton were a different proposition after the break as they committed more men forward, using both flanks to good effect, and leaving Town looking unrecognisable from the opening 45 minutes. It was no surprise when the deficit was halved on 53 minutes as skipper Paris Hamilton-Downes rose like a salmon to head home a corner. Cue wave after wave of Carshalton attacks, as Town were put under the cosh, hacking away everything that was thrown at them, aided by a string of near-misses from the visitors and two more inspired saves from McDonald. Amidst the mayhem, the tireless Ryan Blackman went down with what initially looked like a nasty head injury but was luckily soon up on his feet.
Carshalton will feel hard done by after seeing all their second-half pressure come to nothing, but defending is part of the game and the Town huddle at the end said everything about how they dug in to hold on for a win to consolidate in sixth place on 31 points, the same number as big-spending Hornchurch in fourth, with a couple of games in hand on some of the teams above them.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Sam Hatton (Sam Youngs 67), Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal (Bobson Bawling 75), Ken Charles (Junior Mubiayi 83). Unused subs: Charles Brown, Samson Esan. Booked: Weatherstone.
Carshalton Athletic: Kleton Perntreou, Bobby Price, Paris Hamilton-Downes, Luke Read, Danny Dudley (Omar Koroma 33), Ernold Haxhiu, Kershaney Samuels, Tommy Bradford, Jerry Amoo, Christie Pattisson (Peter Adeniyi 87), Ricky Korboa. Unused subs: Dario Centenera Parez, Danny Pappoe, Lennart Hein. Booked: Dudley.
|26/11/2019||7:45 pm||Pitching In Isthmian Premier League||2019-20|