Town up to sixth after 8-goal thriller

Enfield Town 5 Haringey Borough 3

Enfield Town and Haringey Borough served up a veritable Christmas cracker of a goal fest as Town ended the year on a much-needed high with a scintillating 5-3 Boxing Day derby win writes Andrew Warshaw.

After four straight defeats, three of them in the league, this was always going to be a vitally important fixture against local rivals who had several games in hand and were also searching to regain form. The fact that Town were pegged back three times before finishing off opponents who refused to lie down said everything about the attacking intent of both sides.

One might have expected that on, a rain-soaked pitch in blustery conditions (all credit to the ground staff for working miracles to get the game on), goals might have been at a premium. Instead, Town fans and Haringey’s healthy following were treated to the game of the season.

Not for the first time the hosts started slowly, and Haringey had a decent penalty shout waved away when Chidubem Onokwai went down under a clumsy challenge by Sam Hatton. Hatton was in action again, this time  to clear the danger after a long ball out defence found Dan Akindayini but, on 15 minutes, somewhat against the run of play, Town went in front. Man-of-the-match Ryan Blackman, back in the side after suspension and whose industry shone like a beacon throughout, finished sweetly after a neat move down the left.

Within six minutes, Haringey were level. This time their appeals for a penalty were granted as Onokwai, who troubled the Town defence all afternoon, went down after tangling with Marc Weatherstone. It was arguably less clear cut than the previous call, but Onokwai picked himself up and coolly sent Nathan McDonald the wrong way.

As both teams sought supremacy, Enfield new boy Lyle Della-Verde, who signed forms just before Christmas, needed several minutes of treatment after being clattered by Coby Rowe. Valery Pajetat pulled off an excellent save to thwart Mo Faal while, at the other end, Michael O’Donoghue could not believe his luck – or lack of it – as he headed a curling cross straight at McDonald when it looked easier to score.

Town were becoming frustrated at so many of their attacks being caught offside when they regained the lead  just before the break. For once the flag stayed down as Faal took advantage of hesitant defending, swivelled and shot home.

Half-time: Enfield Town 2 Haringey Borough 1

If the first half was easy on the eye, the second 45 minutes were positively pulsating as further goals came thick and fast. Seven minutes after the restart, McDonald saved brilliantly with his legs but Akindayini was quickly on hand to fire home the rebound.  Faal dragged a shot high and wide as Town pressed again but, within a couple of minutes, they were back in front; Della-Verde marking an impressive debut out wide with a superb left-foot finish.

It was breathtaking, end-to-end stuff and the visitors were not finished. With both defences stretched,  the unmarked Jorge Djassi-Sambu somehow headed wide but, in a crazy spell it didn’t take much longer for Haringey to equalise for the third time – the dangerous Onokwai finishing off a classy breakaway move.

Onlookers could have argued that both back lines were far too open, but it made for a wonderful spectacle and, on 67 minutes, Town scored the seventh goal of the game as Billy Bicknell expertly turned inside two defenders and found Faal to nervelessly notch his second of the game with a sublime side-foot finish.

This time there was no Borough comeback. Jon Muleba came off the bench to tighten things up at the back and Scott Thomas so nearly made it five for Town, only for Pajetat to claw the ball away from of danger.

In the dying seconds, however, Town finally put the fixture to bed as Bricknell, having just ballooned a shot over the ball over with the goal at his mercy,  showed far more typical composure by rifling the ball home to send Town up to sixth in the table and set up another eagerly awaited local derby at Potters Bar on New Year’s Day, following a Middlesex Charity Cup match at Uxbridge on 28th December.

Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Lyle Della-Verde (Junior Mubiayi 58), Sam Youngs (Jon Muleba 80), Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal (Ken Charles 89), Ryan Blackman. Unused subs: Kezie Ibe, Bobson Bawling.

Haringey Borough: Valery Pajetet, Callum Ismail, Michael O’Donoghue, Rakim Richards, Stelios Demetriou, Coby Rowe, Jorge Djassi-Sambu, Georgios Aresti, Chiduben Onokwai, Danilt Akindayini, Anthony McDonald (Paris Panagiotou 68). Unused subs: Anthos Solomou, , Konstantinos Alexandrou, Ramiah Mills, Quamil Dervishan. Booked: Rowe.

Attendance: 411.


Date Time League Season
26/12/2019 3:00 pm Pitching In Isthmian League Premier 2019-20


Queen Elizabeth II Stadium
Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield EN1 3PL


Enfield Town5
Haringey Borough3