Town preserve 100% home record going into Lockdown 2
Enfield Town 3 Brightlingsea Regent 2 – match report by Jack Quantrill
Goals from Neville Nzembela, Percy Kiangebeni and Lyle Della-Verde made that the Enield faithful were treated to an entertaining clash on a chilly Tuesday night down at the QEII as Town moved up to 3rd in the Isthmian Premier table prior to their enforced winter break.
Captain Marc Weatherstone (suspended) and midfield cog Scott Thomas (injury) were still missing for the home side, and Ryan Blackman continued in a holding role. Town started the game the brighter of the two sides. 5 minutes in, some excellent hold up play from Billy Bricknell put Josh Urqhart in down the right hand side. Playing higher up than usual, Urqhart produced a wicked low ball that 19 year old Neville Nzembela, Bricknell’s strike partner on the night, was inches away from converting.
It was Percy Kiangebeni’s turn to set up Nzembela on the 10th minute. Having picked up the ball isolated on the left flank, he twisted and turned to create a yard of space before delivering an arching ball to the near post, Nzembela’s first touch set him up for a left footed volley that flew just wide.
But a dominant Town were pegged back by the away side after a quarter of an hour, much to the surprise of most in the ground. Captain Pip Boyland’s sweeping switch of play found the R’s most talented player, Lewis Byrne-Hewitt, one on one with Lee Chappell on the right hand side. Hewitt toyed with Chappell before cutting in onto his stronger left foot, his arrowed strike found the bottom left corner leaving Town custodian Nathan McDonald with no chance.
Enfield showed resilience pulling themselves level in the 22nd minute. McDonald launched the ball deep into enemy territory and Bricknell chased down a seemingly lost cause. His determination paid off as Zach Walter-Smith’s clearance deflected off him to Lyle Della-Verde, who swept the ball across the 6 yard box to Nzembela who converted. 4 minutes later, Enfield completed an excellent team move, with latest recruit Harold Joseph hoisting the ball into the right half space where Bricknell, who fully justified his man of the match award on the night, battled with Boyland before laying the ball out to Sam Youngs, deployed on the right for this game. Youngs delivered a Beckhamesque cross from out wide and an arriving Kiangebeni applied the finishing touch, sliding the ball home on the volley.
The hosts continued to play some good stuff until the end of the half. Bricknell’s audacious overhead attempt would’ve sent fans into rapture had it nestled in the top corner as it threatened to do. Della-Verde should’ve made it three before half time having been played in by Bricknell only to blaze his one on one effort over the bar when a square pass to Nzembela might have been a better option.
Half time: Enfield Town 2 Brightlingsea Regent 1
As the second half commenced Enfield were looking to produce much of the same but sloppy set piece defending threatened to overshadow what’d been an impressive final performance before their month off. 10 minutes into the half Brightlingsea equalised from a corner when Cadel Fraser-Robinson delivered an inswinger from the right which was met by high flying Charlie Durling who’s seemingly free header flew past McDonald.
Skipper Blackman showed brilliant skill on the hour mark, taking down a high ball from a Brightlingsea long throw and playing a ball to the back post where Youngs could only head into keeper Charlie Turner’s arms.
Town’s winner wasn’t quite as glamorous as their first two but it was more than welcomed by the by then almost freezing Town support. Lee Chappell launched a long throw from the left hand side which was contested at the front post. Brightlingsea managed to partially clear to the edge of the box but Della-Verde atoned for a couple of earlier misses by lashing home a venomous half volley on his sweeter left foot right into the roof of the net. It was no more than Andy Leese’s side deserved.
After the winning goal went in quality seemed to drop on the pitch as Brightlingsea became frustrated at the predicament they’d found themselves in. There were handbags at points in the closing stages but referee Michael Smith kept the proceedings running smoothly until the very last minute. Having played 95 minutes, Town were sure they’d won the game but one last R’s attack caused them trouble. Having cleared a set piece to the edge of the box Chappell conceded a foul right on the edge of 18 yard line, and home support fretted that their side had given away a late, late penalty – predictably the majority of the 22 players on the pitch crowded round the ref to argue their case. But a free kick it was, and responsibility fell to Kane Gilbert, a left winger who’d had a relatively quiet game, to rescue a point for the traveling side. As Town held their breath Gilbert whipped the ball around the wall, his strike pure and advancing towards the bottom right corner but McDonald sprung to his left hand side to push the ball to safety and with that the ref blew for full time.
Supporters sang players names for minutes after full time knowing this was their last chance to see their team in action for a while and Leese’s men greatly appreciated it. Hopefully they can continue to produce football of that sort of quality away from home as well after the winter break.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Josh Urquhart, Lee Chappell, Ryan Blackman, Harold Joseph, Adam Pepera, Sam Youngs, Percy Kiangebeni (Lewis Taaffe 74), Billy Bricknell, Neville Nzembela (Jared Small 79), Lyle Della-Verde (Jeremiah Gyebi 88). Unused subs:Junior Mubiayi, Jon Muleba.
Brightlingsea Regent: Charlie Turner, Zach Smith-Walter, Cadell Fraser-Robinson, Charlie Durling, Pip Boyland, Jamie Bennett, Kane Gilbert, Adam Topley (Khris Oti 87), George Bugg (Joe Heron 68), James Crisell (Jordan Barnett 67), Lewis Byrne-Hewitt. Unused subs: Joe Heron, Elwin Lartey. Booked: Bennett.
|03/11/2020||7:45 pm||Pitching In Isthmian League Premier||2020-21|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
KO 74 79 88 FT