TOWN PRESS SELF-DESTRUCT AGAIN
Enfield Town 2 Cray Wanderers 3
With 98 league goals between the two sides at kick off, this was never going to be a nil-nil, although it was cagey, cautious stuff for the majority of the first half, with both defences looking fragile under pressure.
Cray adopted a shoot-on-sight from distance policy from the outset. After an effort from Tom Phipp had been blocked, Lee Lewis was way off the mark before, at the opposite end, Billy Bricknell fired narrowly wide with his left foot. Phipp and Jay Leader both blasted way over the top for Cray and, after Ken Charles had scuffed a shot straight at visitors’ keeper Lewis Carey, an overhead effort from Bradley Pritchard was just too high.
Josh Urquhart fired wide after a good run from deep and, in the 24th minute, Nathan McDonald tipped over a Joel Rollinson snapshot. Lyle Della-Verde and Sam Youngs both tested Carey before Cray took the lead in the 38th minute when a high ball over Marc Weatherstone caused problems and Charlie Allen lobbed McDonald from distance.
Just before the break, there was a feeling of déjà vu when Allen once again got clear; this time he manoeuvred himself into a position to walk the ball into the net but, incredibly, he took it too wide and, although faced with an empty goal, the angle meant was unable to double his team’s lead.
Half-time: Enfield Town 0 Cray Wanderers 1
Town began to put some moves together after the break and were level in the 56th minute when Della-Verde cut the ball back for Ryan Blackman to steer home. And it looked good for the hosts when Ben Mundele needlessly brought down Ken Charles for a clear-cut penalty, which was converted by Bricknell, four minutes later. But, as has been the case all too often for Town recently, they failed to build upon their lead. Youngs shot wide and Bricknell blazed over when Della-Verde was well-placed.
The key turning point of the game, however, came in the 77th minute when Blackman picked up a second yellow card – both were cheap and unnecessary – and Town were left with a tough task on their hands to see the game out. And with 8 minutes left a shot from Rhys Murrell-Williamson came off a Town defender, possibly via a handball, for Allen to force the ball over the line from close range.
It looked as though both sides’ efforts in a very even game would earn a share of the spoils, but in the 90th minute Jay Leader, as he had done in the reverse fixture in October, pushed up from his defensive duties late on and headed in a winner from a corner on the right.
This was an exceptionally bitter defeat to take, given that the effort was there, the team had got itself into the lead – and were worthy of that lead – but the chaotic defending at times is continuing. A trip to Margate on Tuesday is not the sort of fixture Town will be relishing in which to sort themselves out.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald. Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Josh Urquhart, Lyle Della-Verde (Junior Mubiayi 77), Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell, (Sam Hatton 88), Sam Youngs, Ken Charles (Glenn Wilson 80). Unused subs: Kezie Ibe, Samson Esan. Booked: Blackman, Della-Verde. Sent off Blackman.
Cray Wanderers: Lewis Carey, Barney Williams, Jay Leader, Mitchell Nelson, Tom Phipp (Karl Dent 46), Lee Lewis (Palace Francis 70), Bradley Pritchard, Ben Mundele (Aaron Rhule 80), Joel Rollinson, Rhys Murrell-Williamson, Charlie Allen. Unused subs: Jerome Federico, Geofrey Okonwo, Booked: Rhule.
|25/01/2020||3:00 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2019-20|