Late equaliser gives Town derby draw
Enfield Town 2 Wingate and Finchley 2
Town moved into the play-off zone on a chilly afternoon in North London after scoring a last-minute equaliser against a spirited Wingate side who remain in the bottom three writes Charlie Baker.
Many were expecting early excitement, with Mo Faal having scored within the first minute in Town’s previous two matches. On this occasion, however, although he didn’t carry on his streak, he did have the first opening of the match, slicing over the top after five minutes.
In what was already turning out to be scrappy affair, it was then Wingate’s turn to come close – Oluwaseun Akinsanya curling just wide of the right-hand post after Billy Bricknell had lost possession high up the pitch.
Blues goalkeeper Shane Gore then got down spectacularly to deny captain Marc Weatherstone a goal against his old club following a corner, but it was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 36 minutes. Following a free kick on the left hand side, and a half-clearance, Akinsanya calmly controlled the ball with his chest, got past Glenn Wilson and flicked it past Nathan McDonald.
In comparison with previous matches, the opening 45 minutes had been a lacklustre showing by the hosts.
Enfield Town 0 Wingate and Finchley 1
There were no signs of panic, but it was clear than Town needed to create something sooner rather than later. But, on the contrary, further misery was piled onto the hosts in the 51st minute. Another slick break away down the left and cross into the box ended with a cross from Charley O’Keefe and Akinsanya tapping into the net from close range at the back post for his and his side’s second.
Town needed a very quick reply now and, five minutes later, Faal was on hand to deliver. In what has been a familiar sight this season; he escaped the attentions of his marker and fired through Gore to half the deficit with his 19th goal in all competitions this season.
But, despite this lifeline, Town never really looked like getting back on terms. Faal was once again looking to make an impact, twisting and turning and finding Ken Charles in the box, who mistimed his shot completely.
Bricknell then went close – the ball agonizingly rolling past the post having got the slightest of touches from a defender, but the visitors still posed a significant threat on the counter; McDonald getting down quickly to prevent Alan Fleming from sealing the three points for Wingate.
The committed visitors’ defence continued to limit Town to half-chances only but, just when it looked as though they were going to go away with an invaluable three points, the equaliser arrived in added time.
In the last minute of the six minutes added on by referee Ian Bentley, Bricknell’s free-kick was partially blocked by the wall. The ball bounced up and, following a scramble in the box, left back Joe Payne was in the right place at the right time to volley powerfully past Gore and get Town out of jail.
Town pushed forward for one last attack with an outside chance of three points but, before it could come to anything, the referee blew his whistle and the points were shared.
Overall, Town were sloppy in possession for much of this match against a well-organised, hard-working Wingate outfit, and it was largely a game to forget with a midweek visit to Bognor Regis Town looming.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone (Sam Hatton 72), Glenn Wilson, Sam Youngs (Junior Mubiayi 79), Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal, Ken Charles (Bobson Bawling 70). Unused subs: Kyle Lynch, Samson Esan. Booked: Payne.
Wingate and Finchley: Shane Gore, Luke Ifil, Charley O’Keefe, Ahmet Rifat, Christian Forino-Joseph, Mason Hall (Sean Grace 60), Alan Fleming, Olumide Oluwatimilehin, Olu Akinsanya (Alex Read 65), Charlie Ruff (Henry Ochieng 70), Tage Kennedy. Unused subs: Tanasheh Abrahams, Tommy Tejan-Sie. Booked: Oluwatimilehin, Fleming, Read, Ifil.
|30/11/2019||3:00 pm||ISTHMIAN LEAGUE||2019-20|
|Wingate & Finchley||2|