Town through after 5-star performance
Enfield Town 5 Staines Town 1
Town progressed to the Second Knock-Out Round of the Velocity Trophy with a 5-1 victory on Tuesday, after a first half rout saw off a Staines side who fought hard to the end writes Charlie Baker.
In the sides’ first meeting since March 2018, when Staines won 4-3 at the QEII, it was the lower division opposition who started the brightest, forcing a few set-pieces which were all dealt with comfortably. But Town kicked into gear, and their first real chance of the game fell to Ken Charles which he confidently converted after 10 minutes. Collecting the ball on the edge of the Swans’ box, he twisted and turned to make room for himself before firing a powerful effort past Jacob Adams to open the scoring and settle any nerves.
Town began to gain control of the game, and the second wasn’t far away. Capitalising on a defensive mix-up, Ryan Blackman surged through to confidently slot past Adams and make it 2-0 with just 13 minutes on the clock. The hosts’ attacks were now becoming relentless – Lyle Della-Verde the next to have an effort on goal, this time saved, however.
The constant pressure was eventually rewarded on the half hour mark; Blackman once again finding himself in a good position before superbly firing first-time past the helpless Adams, who again couldn’t be blamed when faced with another inch-perfect finish.
The hosts were hungry for more and, just three minutes later, they added a fourth. Billy Bricknell this time was played through on goal, and his partially saved shot was swept up by a sliding Bobson Bawling close to the line to open his Town goal account and make Staines’ evening go from bad to worse.
Staines did have a chance, this time with a one-on-one of their own, but Klajdi Cani’s shot was straight at Nathan McDonald. However, they were immediately punished for this miss as, at the other end, four became five. Blackman, who seemed to be everywhere on the pitch, collected the ball twenty yards out and brilliantly rifled another first time shot past the diving Adams to complete his hat trick, and seal one of the best halves of football that the Town faithful had witnessed this season.
Half-time: Enfield Town 5 Staines Town 0
It would have been hard for the hosts to live up to the standards that they set themselves in the first 45 minutes, however straight from the off they were hammering the visitors’ goal again. Swans goalkeeper Adams, who was the star man of the second half, did well to prevent Charles and Bawling from doubling their tallies, and Joe Wilson also played his part, acrobatically clearing Town substitute Kezie Ibe’s effort off the line.
After a string of fine saves from their busy keeper, Staines went up the other end of the field and got a goal of their own – Cani tucking home a cross from Wilson on the left and grabbing a consolation 15 minutes from time. By now Town had lost their sharpness in front of goal – Charles, Ibe and Junior Mubiayi all blazing chances over – but this was all excusable as the necessary work had been done earlier.
Enfield Town*: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne (Lewis King 46), Nathan Livings (Jack Hockney 78), Marc Weatherstone, Jon Muleba, Lyle Della-Verde (Sam Youngs 71), Ryan Blackman (Junior Mubiayi 46), Billy Bricknell (Kezie Ibe 60), Ken Charles, Bobson Bawling. Booked: Livings.
Staines Town: Jacob Adams, Joe Wilson, Dennis Gorman (Tristan Noel 46), George Ede, Ali Omar, Joe McEvoy, Wraynel Hercules, Calvin Barreto, Klajdi Cani, Arif Hattabi, Jean-Luc Kinsaba. Unused subs: Angelos Theophilou, Junior Edson.
* for each competing team all five substitutes may be used in the 2019-20 Velocity Trophy