Town retain Brian Lomax SD Cup
Enfield Town 3 FC United of Manchester 1
Town and FC United provide memorable pre-season opener – writes Aaron Patel
On a muggy evening plenty of passes were exchanged early on by both sides feeling their way into the game.
Six minutes in, there was a defensive mishap in the FC United defence when keeper Paddy Wharton’s attempted clearance fell to Josh Davison, who tapped home from 12 yards for the opener. Two minutes later, Billy Bricknell latched onto a through ball and managed to time his run to avoid an offside flag and slot past Wharton.
Jake Lenehan’s effort was blocked and out for a corner. Seconds later, Louis Myers’s header from a corner shaved a post.
A quick break from Town in the 13th minute had FCUM Backpedalling, Bricknell’s low cross into the area remaining untouched, however. Moments later, the visitors lost possession, but on this occasion Bricknell lashed over from just outside the box.
With a quarter of an hour played, FCUM were beginning to look stronger. Mike Potts won possession in the middle of the park, lofted a ball to Myers, whose chipped effort was tipped over by the returning Nathan McDonald.
Town had the ball in the back of the net after 20 minutes when Lewis Taaffe’s free-kick was parried into the path of Bricknell but he was adjudged offside.
A brilliant curling Michael Donohue effort from a short corner routine was saved by McDonald. The visitors at this point were having the greater share of possession, but Town’s back line stood firm. Ten minutes before the break, Sam Bantick (more on this newcomer to follow) delivered a fine cross onto the head of Bricknell for a 3-0 cushion (see photo). But FCUM were immediately back in it when a clever run into the box from Regan Linney followed by a cool finish reduced the deficit. Then, moments before the break, Myers found himself through on goal but he snatched at his effort which cleared the bar.
Half-time: Enfield Town 3 FC United of Manchester 1
FC United were dominant in the early stages of the second period, and, after a number of substitutions, the game turned into a scrappy affair, with individual battles in midfield and very few chances created by either side. On the hour mark McDonald superbly tipped over Rhain Hellanell’s free-kick, although the subsequent corner came to nothing.
Fifteen minutes before the end Mo Faal broke into the box and beat a defender but his effort was parried away by Wharton, then in 77th minute, Hellawell’s effort from Nialle Rodney’s pull-back was saved by a trialist who had replaced Nathan McDonald in the 64th minute.
The pace of the opening 45 minutes had evaporated by now, and Town’s trialist keeper did well to keep out David Moli’s close range effort with an instinctive save. There was just enough time for Rodney to have the ball in the net but from an offside position and FCUM to hit the Town bar, but ultimately Town’s promising first-half display proved to be enough, and the cup was presented to Ryan Blackman afterwards.
The FCUM supporters in the crowd of 403 stayed in the bar for some considerable time after the game, and there may well be one or two sore heads en route to Sussex for their second game in quick succession at Lewes FC!
As already mentioned, there were a number of substitutes used by both side, but the starting line-ups were:
Town: Nathan McDonald, Jon Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, A trialist, Lewis Taaffe, Sam Youngs, Billy Bricknell, Josh Davison, Sam Bantick.
FC United of Manchester: Paddy Wharton, Salou McDowell-Jallow, James Joyce, Curtis Jones, Tom Dean, Mike Potts, Regan Linney, Jack Lenehan, Louis Myers, Michaal Donohue, Adam Dodd.
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