| What a result! After a difficult and often frustrating pre-season, we got off to the best possible start when the new league season kicked off on Saturday with a terrific 4-2 win at Carshalton Athletic, writes Andrew Warshaw.
Despite a wobbly first half when we were outplayed, Andy Leese’s team showed commendable spirit with three second-half goals, two of them from the returning Mo Faal to follow up his hattrick in the final warm-up game against Grays.
We could not have asked for a better start as Carshalton conceded after just 28 seconds, which surely had to be the quickest Step 3 goal of the day.
Rian Bray’s hopeful punt upfield caused total confusion and Robins’ fullback Bobby Price headed over advancing keeper Tyler McCarthy for the most farcical of own goals.
But we were soon brought down to earth by the hosts whose dangerous crosses from both flanks caused us constant problems and who turned things around by halftime.
On 22 minutes, one of our old favourites, Harry Ottaway, who spent four seasons with us, was allowed a free header which he buried in trademark style. We all know what Harry can do and he made us pay for a lack of concentration.
On the stroke of halftime, Carshalton went in front when Luke Read lost his marker to head home a freekick, awarded for a foul by Emanuel Maja-Awesu.
In truth, Carshalton could have been out of sight by then but the way we regrouped, no doubt after some halftime words were spoken, showed fantastic character as we took the game to the opposition instead of backing off.
If our own defending in the first half was bad, Carshalton’s was catastrophic after the break and we took full advantage, spurred on by the indefatigable Scott Thomas and the equally excellent Percy Kiangebeni.
And cometh the hour – 50 minutes in fact — cometh the man as Mo pounced on a defender’s misplaced header to pull us level at 2-2.
As we upped the tempo, the goal of the game came right on the hour when a 25-yard screamer from Lewis Taafe put us back in front.
Four minutes later Mo was in the right place again, seizing on a calamitous collision between the Carshalton keeper and one of his defenders to make a topsy-turvy game safe.
Carshalton still had their moments, one of which resulted in a superb save by Nathan McDonald. Thankfully, a late flurry of Robins’ freekicks and corners came to nothing as we grew in confidence at the back and were determined not to give any more ground.
In a highly competitive encounter, seven players were booked – four from Enfield (including goalscorers Faal and Taafe) and three from Carshalton. We also saw the first appearances since officially registering for us from Andre Coker and substitute Nathan Smith.
The main concern from an Enfield standpoint was when Josh Urquhart had to be helped off the pitch, forcing the management team to re-organise. We wish Josh well as we await news of his recovery ahead of next Saturday’s opening home fixture against Brightlingsea Regent.
Town: McDonald, Urquhart (Youngs), Guebi, Bray, Kirwan (Smith, 55) , Thomas (Sawaneh), Kiangebeni, Maja-Awesu, Taafe, Faal, Coker.