Enfield Town 3-0 Canvey Island
Town Clip Gulls’ Wings
Report by Andrew Warshaw
On a perfect day for football and front of a healthy 600-plus crowd, Enfield Town moved back up to second in the table on goal difference after sweeping aside last season’s play-off semi-finalists to make it three league wins from four.
Once again it was a terrific team performance – marked by a first clean sheet in 11 games — against a Gulls side that was at times pleasing on the eye but lacked composure in front of goal and stability at the back.
Beaten, perhaps undeservedly, by runaway leaders Hornchurch a week ago in between two thumping wins, we were in the mood straight from the off and were ahead inside 60 seconds, Sam Youngs following up his own half-cleared header to prod the ball over the line. Canvey had a couple of optimistic penalty shouts turned down but it needed a superb Josh Okotcha block to keep out Bradley Sach.
In truth the first half was relatively even; Canvey using diagonal balls on the counter but without really testing Rhys Forster. Having said that, skipper Conor Hubble had a great chance to equalise with a diving header he put just wide.
At the other end, James Richmond almost scored with a downward header from a corner while Joe Payne rifled a shot inches past the post. We could well have had a spot kick of our own when Jaden Crowhurst placed a less than welcoming arm around Reece Beckles-Richards but on 33 minutes we duly doubled our lead.
Marcus Wyllie’s weakly hit pass to Beckles-Richards was cut out but Youngs, whose vision all game was exemplary, was quickly on hand to score his 13th goal in all competitions. Not bad for a central midfielder in mid-November!
Five minutes later Sach had the ball in the net, only to be ruled narrowly offside. Cue our fire alarm briefly going off accidentally as if to warn Town not to get complacent!
We certainly heeded that advice with a far more dominant second-half display despite the half time score. Canvey actually had the first decent chance of the second period as Forster was forced into a smart save but Town quickly snuffed out any chance of a comeback with a peach of a third goal. In a lightning raid, Ollie Knight found Wyllie charging down the left and his pinpoint cross was beautifully executed by Beckles-Richards (pictured). Canvey now lost their way and were lucky not to further concede on numerous occasions, most notably when a Payne long throw found Beckles-Richards in space, his shot beating Sam Jackson but falling outside of the post.
“Really pleased with the performance,” said Gavin Macpherson who, once we were three goals up, moved Mickey Parcell into central midfield for a 20-minute cameo to see how it would work. “When we get it right as a team, we’re a difficult proposition.” The 4-0 Lewes debacle already seems a distant memory. “It’s still early-ish in the season and to be honest, Lewes was part of my learning curve at this club,” admitted Gavin insightfully.
“You never stop learning and it taught me that we were better on the front foot than we are lower in the pitch.”
“I want to acknowledge the fact that I want to make this place difficult for any visiting team. The supporters are pivotal. Fan-owned clubs invest in it more than most and I always walk away with a quiet satisfaction seeing them happy.”
Town: Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Sykes 68’), Thomas (Bailey 81’), Youngs, Knight; Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Keeya 77’)
|11/11/2023||3:00 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2023-24|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
KO 68 77 81 89 FT