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Noah’s Ark

At today’s game versus Potters Bar, Noah’s Ark Charity will be carrying out a collection

The club are proud to support Noah’s Ark Childrens Hospice. They provide essential support to children and families in the local area and beyond. Please give generously to this fantastic charity.

www.noahsarkhospice.org.uk

Italy Bound!

We are excited to announce details of the Fenix Trophy Final Four which will be over the weekend of the 10th to 12th May.

The semifinals (yet to be drawn) will be played on the Friday 10th (first game is at 6.30pm and the second at 9.30pm). A third-place decider between the two losing semifinalists will be held on Sunday 12th at 2pm with the final at 4.30pm.

All games will be played at the Stadio Tre Stelle in Desenzano del Garda on the banks of Lake Garda.

For those wishing to travel and support the Town at what will be a great celebration of football, the nearest airports are Verona or Milan Bergamo. Ryanair fly direct from Stansted to both. Alternatives are Easyjet or British Airways (Verona only) from Gatwick.

Desenzano del Garda is then approximately 30 minutes journey time by train from Verona and one and a half hours from Bergamo. Details of train times and fares can be found here – EN – Trenitalia

Accommodation packages are being provided by Fenix. There is a range of options and all include tickets for matches. If you do book one of these packages please ensure you highlight Enfield Town as your club as we will receive a commission on each booking made by our supporters. Details and Registration is here – registration.fenixtrophy2024.com

See you in Italy!

Town Face Scholars Test

Our penultimate home league game of the regular season takes place tomorrow with the focus very much on trying to cement our play-off place as well as seeking that all-important home semifinal draw.

Visitors Potters Bar may have played both Tuesday and Thursday this week but derbies are always unpredictable affairs and Max Mitchell’s Scholars will be in no mood to give us anything in front of what will hopefully be another bumper attendance.

An 11-game unbeaten league run has put us in a fantastic position to dream of Step 2 football next season after what can only be described as a miraculous campaign.

Two wins out of four will get us over the line in terms of a definite playoff place while four points might well be enough. But dreams are often shattered and Gavin and his management team will be at pains to stress that even though we are third, nothing has been achieved yet with three more extremely tough fixtures on paper after tomorrow, two of them against playoff-chasing rivals.

With a good number of players left at home on Tuesday rather than travel to Wales for our Fenix Cup game, fitness should not be a problem but this is when everyone has to pull together to keep the momentum going.

“I’m not sure that Potters Bar playing twice this week will give us that much of an advantage,” said Gavin.

“They’re a young energetic side and are capable of beating anybody if opponents are not on it. We’ll have to be mindful of that. I know they’ve lost a couple in a row but not so long ago they  went and put together five or six on the spin.”

“They’ve got some pace in the side, some willing runners and hungry players. But we’re looking forward to it.”

“I can’t look too far ahead in terms of where we finish. The main thing right now is making sure we get there as quickly as we can mathematically. If you’re not in there, you can’t get promoted. Then you start thinking about home advantage.”

AW

The Perfect Send-Off

No-one attending Dave Bryant’s funeral on Thursday can fail to have been moved by the sheer outpouring of love and affection for the man who was, quite simply, “Mr Enfield Town.”

The fact that there was standing room only at Enfield Crematorium, with everyone and everything bedecked in blue and white,  said everything about Dave’s popularity — not only among those connected with the club but also his former colleagues at Unison and, most of all, his family and friends.

Whilst an incredibly sad and emotional occasion, the service covering Dave’s remarkable life was full of heart-warming tributes about how he always had time for everyone as well as several humour-tinged anecdotes about his obsession not only with ETFC but also his other great passion, fishing.

Dave, as we all know, was a pioneer of non-league clubs and without his vision and determination, there would be no Enfield Town FC.

Before the service, the hearse went on a lap of honour around the pitch at the Dave Bryant stadium watched by close family and friends, a fitting tribute to our founding chairman.

The final address at the ceremony itself was made by Dave’s great friend, current ETFC vice-chairman Paul Millington, who described him as “simply the nicest guy I’ve known” as he recalled Dave’s relentless “positivity towards everything in life”,   sense of fair play and the “fantastic legacy” he left by creating the country’s first fan-owned club.

After the service, a celebration of Dave’s life was continued at Butler’s Bar, where glasses were raised aplenty in memory of the great man and his unique contribution in so many ways.

RIP Dave

AW

Towners Clinch Italy Trip

Llantwit Major 1 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

In a howling wind and on a pudding of a pitch that made passing and control nigh impossible, Enfield Town secured the point they needed to guarantee a trip to Lake Garda next month for the Fenix Trophy Final Four.

In conditions more akin to a Sunday league parks game, Town fortunately came away from Wales unscathed from our final group fixture and can now concentrate fully on cementing our league playoff place before thinking about the climax of our European tour.

Perhaps the only downside was that having fielded  somewhat of an experimental scratch side, Gavin Macpherson was forced to throw on the big guns to up the pace and avoid defeat.

But that’s, of course, exactly why the likes of Marcus Wyllie and Sam Youngs were on the bench in the first place and the risk in the end proved fully justified.

In front of a crowd of 456 – roughly double their usual attendance and including a healthy Town following  – Llantwit made things awkward for us in the opening half as we played into a ferocious gale-force wind that blew even some of the most well-intentioned passes back over our heads.

That, nevertheless, was not entirely fair on our hosts who, in their final home game of a generally disappointing league season in the second tier of Welsh football, played the conditions on their own patch far better than us.

Llantwit’s Matthew Kimmins headed over from three yards out when the offside flag stayed down but on 16 minutes, the hosts took a shock lead with what can only be described as a speculative worldie, Sean Kelly almost bursting the net with a 30-yard, wind-assisted screamer.

On the spongy, bobbly surface, we found it hard to respond and almost went further behind when Adi Connolly spilled a freekick, only for the rebound to be  put over the bar.

Jonathan Hippolyte almost restored parity but the conditions were proving a great leveller at the break.

H-T 0-1

Gavin wasted no time in introducing Youngs and Bernie Tanner and moving defender Sam Robbins – signed on a dual registration with Bishop’s Stortford —  from left to right as we reverted to a back three.

With the wind now behind us, Connolly was virtually a spectator in goal as the chances began to come our way.

It took until the 70th minute, however, to get back on level terms. Wyllie, who had just come on, saw his shot parried but not held and when it seemed harder to miss, Hippolyte just managed to squeeze the ball over the line off the post (pictured).

Despite players on both sides struggling to find their footing as the pitch cut up even more, in the final stages we could easily have gone on to win it before everyone retreated to the bar for some friendly exchanges with our hospitable hosts amid several renditions of  “Que Sera Sera…We’re Going to Italy.”.

“It was tricky to navigate for so many reasons,” said Gavin after we topped our group with 10 points from four games. “You’re leaving half your squad at home and then you have to factor in the pitch which was as bad as I’ve ever seen.”

“We had a team thrown together so you expect it to be a bit disjointed. But we completely changed things at halftime knowing they would have to contend with the same conditions. We didn’t really have our shooting boots on but where I’m coming from is that we’re home and dry and now we can now put this competition to bed until May.”

Town:

Connolly; Filho (Tanner, 45), Okotcha, Adeoye (Youngs, 45), Robbins; Adjei-Hersey, Soulya-Osekanonko (Thomas, 85), Turner, Onyeagwara (Wyllie 65); Hippolyte (Davies, 90), Alves.

Fenix Finale Awaits Town

 Enfield Town’s final group game in the Fenix Trophy takes place tomorrow as we head to Wales to face Llantwit Major (kickoff 5pm) needing to avoid defeat to guarantee a place in the eagerly anticipated “Final Four” on Lake Garda in May.

Whilst we are virtually qualified anyway following our 3-2 win in the corresponding fixture, giving us maximum points from three games and a healthy goal difference, mathematically we still need to get something on Tuesday to avoid the group going down to the last match between the Welsh club and already eliminated BK Skjold at the end of the month.

With our all-important playoff place in the league taking priority, Gavin Macpherson seems likely to go deep into the squad  whilst at the same time fielding a side to get us over the line.

Town’s visit represents Llantwit’s final home game of the season with two away league fixtures to come as they battle for survival in Cymru south, the second tier of Welsh football.

With the competition having generated huge publicity for us in the national as well as local media, qualifying for Italy would be a wonderful way to cap off the season. But first we have to make sure.

“Some of our bigger players are not available Tuesday so there are bound to be changes,” said Gav. “Based upon our position in the league, it’s a massively difficult fixture now to navigate and I’m going to have to try and piece things together.  I’ve got to look at it really carefully.”

AW

Dave Bryant’s Funeral Details

Our founding Chairman Dave Bryant will be laid to rest this Thursday 11th April following his recent passing on the 17th March.

Dave’s family have asked for donations to be made to the Enfield Town FC Community Sports Development, which is a Charity very close to Dave’s heart, in lieu of flowers.

We have set up a Just Giving page for this purpose.

Thank you in advance

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/davebryant?fbclid=IwAR3U77uNt1fPWTsKe5JdEYqHufVbE9eYefURauXnGqtpmP6rSHWYo9m9tt0_aem_AWpLAd1o6Bv-m6_I-ov__LQlfqjX2QPvdy0YJyqwbq0BQTZHx5HmQp8fv24_sftsBO2vVh1i0Carlm37HJ1gO3Ft

For the live stream of the service, please see below:

NameDAVID RICHARD BRYANT
LocationEnfield Crematorium – South Chapel
Date & TimeThursday 11/04/2024 11:30
RequesterRoya Collins – Roya Collins, Celebrant (A Way With Words)

Use the PIN number below to access your webcast

Webcast Login PIN298-4540

https://www.wesleymedia.co.uk/webcast-view

Webcast Viewing Instructions are available here.

Please note that by sharing the secure PIN number you give full access to view the service and access the on-demand features. Your PIN number will be activated no earlier than 14 days before the service date.

Event Number1319953 – please quote this on all correspondence and when calling

Fab Four For Towners

Dulwich Hamlet 0 Enfield Town 4

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Sensational, electrifying. One could run out of superlatives to describe just how good Enfield Town were in demolishing Dulwich as we stretched our unbeaten league run to 11 matches with arguably the best all-round performance of the season.

Yes the hosts lost their top central defender to injury in the warmup, reducing them to a shadow of the team that had put themselves in the playoff mix in recent weeks.

But if Gavin Macpherson was worried that being named Manager if the Month would end up being a curse, he needn’t have. He and his team are building something special and the fact that Dulwich, in front of a 3,300-plus sellout, didn’t lay a glove on us or have a single shot on target from start to finish says everything about our momentum as we edge closer to the finish line.

 With one of two other results going for us, finishing third and getting a home semifinal playoff draw is now very much in our own hands whatever Horsham do in their two games in hand. Even finishing runners-up to newly crowned champions Hornchurch has suddenly  come into the equation.

If that smacks of getting ahead of ourselves, Gavin will certainly not let that happen. With four games to go, it’s still incredibly tight with any unexpected loss of form potentially proving catastrophic.

Town lined up in  a highly effective 3-5-2 formation but were fortunate not to go behind early doors. Scott Thomas lost control near halfway but Josh Shinibare wasted a golden chance to capitalise  by shooting wide when clean through on goal.

It was the Hamlet’s best chance of the entire match, a measure of just how comfortable we were thereafter.

Ollie Knight and Marcus Wyllie both tested Will Lakin before Marcus lost his footing when presented with a fantastic opportunity by Bernie Tanner’s long clearance.

The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when Dulwich failed to clear a long throw and Sam Youngs powered home a sublime half-volley on the edge of the box for his 22nd league goal of the season.

Whenever Dulwich did foray forward,  they were thwarted by a defensive togetherness in which Tanner, newly nicknamed “the Enfield Maldini”, was superb.

With Dulwich dangerman Luke Wanadio largely kept quiet, it was only a matter of time before we tightened  our grip on the game. Knight saw another goalbound effort pushed away and on 43 minutes we doubled our lead as Marcus, played in by Jake Cass, rode two tackles before placing his shot in the corner for league goal number 28.

H-T 0-2

Any belief left in Dulwich was quickly extinguished and within nine minutes of the restart we were home and dry.

Lakin had already come to his team’s rescue once again by saving with his legs from Marcus but in the very next move he was beaten again. Youngs headed a corner against the woodwork and when the ball rebounded to Cass, he made no mistake with a sweet left-foot strike through a ruck of players (pictured), peeling away in joy – understandable given the type of season he has had.

Only now, far too late, did Dulwich show any genuine intent, largely through substitute Anthony Jeffrey, though without really troubling Rhys Forster.

A tiring Jake and a limping Dylan Adjei-Hersey were both replaced but we weren’t finished yet. On 84 minutes Marcus latched on to a fantastic Tanner ball, got the better of his marker and tapped home.

There was still time for Bernie to go on a surging run and flash a shot narrowly wide as the hosts were again badly exposed, their playoff hopes crushed for good.

“We did our analysis and  went with a bold system but the boys still had to carry it out,” said Gavin.

“You rely on the personalities out there to put their trust in us. If they do that and it goes wrong, it’s my fault but today we got it spot on.

“Dulwich have a very experienced squad and management team and are a side we all thought would be challenging not only for a playoff place but perhaps the title.”

With four games left, Gavin reserved particular praise for the central defensive partnership after a second straight clean sheet. “Bernie and Taylor both have different attributes but have formed an excellent relationship.”

“I don’t like looking at the table and we’re not there yet. This is a massive step obviously but we still have work to do against some very good teams.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner; Adjei-Hersey (Beckles-Richards, 80) , Thomas, Youngs, Taaffe, Knight; Cass (Turner 69), Wyllie (Hippolyte 88)

Town Primed For Dulwich Challenge

Thirty-seven played, five to go.

Gavin Macpherson will hope  his thoroughly deserved manager of the month award for March does not end up being the proverbial curse when we visit Dulwich Hamlet tomorrow in front of what will surely be by far the league’s biggest gate.

Gavin and his team have steered us into a 10-match unbeaten league run but Dulwich, one of the division’s big hitters and relegated from Step 2 at the end of last season, are still very much in with a shout of a playoff place if results go their way and will be a tough nut to crack on their own patch.

Despite losing both their Easter fixtures, the Hamlet were in strong form up that time, winning five of their previous seven as they bid for an immediate return to National League South under Hakan Hayrettin.

“It’s another in a long line of very tough games,” said Gavin as we prepare to make the trip to Champion Hill stadium.

“There are very few teams in the league as it stands who don’t have anything to play for and Dulwich are still very much in the mix.”

“Hakan has assembled a very experienced squad with plenty of quality in the ranks. We understand the task ahead but see it as quite simply as another step towards our aim no matter the opposition. The boys have worked hard all season and will continue to do so.”

AW

Record Crowd Sees Town March On

Enfield Town 3 Cheshunt 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Dave Bryant would have been so proud. In front of our record league gate of 1,271 and despite only 48 hours’ preparation, Town swept aside neighbours Cheshunt in the so-called A10 Classico to complete a maximum six-point haul over the Easter weekend.

In what was a case of breathtaking finishing at one end and a “thou shalt not pass” mentality at the other, Town stretched their unbeaten league run 10 games with five fixtures remaining.

With all the main playoff contenders winning, it’s very much a case of “as you were” as we battle to stay in the top three and secure that home semifinal draw, nothwithstanding Horsham’s two games in hand.

Much of the post-match chat was about which goal was the best. It’s rare enough to have one worldie in a game, let alone three, as we put the game to bed by halftime to bury any chance of an Ambers comeback.

Even before kickoff, there was a buzz of excitement around the ground with the teamsheet showing Jake Cass in a starting role – his first since that terrible injury back in August.

Joe Payne went for goal with an early freekick that totally deceived Cheshunt keeper Woody Williamson  before hitting the side netting but on 11 minutes we took the lead. Off his line, Williamson directed a miskick  straight into the path of Lewis Taaffe who showed wonderful skill in curling an audacious lob into the far corner of the net from 25 yards (pictured celebrating).

Skipper Scott Thomas, on his 34th birthday, rifled a corner narrowly over the bar before we doubled our lead on 23 minutes when Taaffe squared for Sam Youngs to unleash a sublime side-foot finish.

With only two changes from Saturday’s 4-2 win at Bognor, it was inevitable we would not have things all our way but a combination of two excellent saves by Rhys Forster and several last-ditch blocks by the back four snuffed out Cheshunt’s goalbound efforts.

As we continued to be a threat going forward, Marcus Wyllie flashed a header wide before extending our advantage with another stunning goal, putting one Cheshunt player on his backside before sidestepping another and bending his shot into the net.

In the final action of the half, the excellent Mickey Parcell cleared off the line from Antonis Vasiliou whose team must have realised it was never going to be their day.

H-T 3-0

With some tired legs out there, it was now a question of managing minds and bodies as well as the scoreline.

Jake completed 65 minutes before being substituted and after Cheshunt missed a golden chance to pull a goal back, a glorious rainbow provided the perfect backdrop to our first home game since Dave Bryant sadly left us.

With such fierce rivalry between the two sets of fans, the usual mutual goading was to be expected but there was no need for flares being thrown on to the pitch at the Cheshunt end which briefly held up proceedings.

Eight minutes of stoppage time were added on accordingly during which Cheshunt, who had previously played the game in a good spirit,  were reduced to 10 men.  Vasiliou was upended by Taaffe who duly received a yellow card before the Ambers front man was shown a straight red for what looked like a punch in retaliation.

There was still time for 10-man Cheshunt to carve out and promptly miss another chance to reduce the arrears. But it was anyway too little, too late.

“Great goals and a clean sheet but there were still things I thought we could do better, particularly  from long throws and set pieces,” said Gavin Macpherson, ever the perfectionist. “I didn’t want us conceding scrappy goals.”

“People may have been surprised by Cassy starting but it gave us that extra ability to secure the ball and he brought a physicality this particular game needed. I also felt that after Saturday it would have been a long day for Marcus being up there on his own.”

“Given such little time between games the players had to understand, if you like, a  training session on the tactics board and they deserve huge credit for putting it into practice. If Horsham win their games in hand and end up above us, so be it.  But we’re in a good place.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner, Payne (Okotcha, 73); Knight, Youngs (Alves 83), Thomas, Taaffe; Wyllie, Cass (Turner 65)

Town Climb Over Rocks

Bognor Regis Town 2 Enfield Town 4

Report by Andrew Warshaw

A sublime Marcus Wyllie hat-trick and a Sam Youngs penalty ensured three momentous points on the Sussex coast that extended our unbeaten league run against a Bognor side that had only lost twice at home in the league.

The celebrations at the end of a pulsating encounter showed just what it meant to the players as we remained in third spot with six games remaining.

Bognor may have been without four key players but have been excellent at home and the management’s game plan of splitting the central defenders where possible worked a treat.

It was always going to be a case of outscoring the opposition and even though they equalised twice and battled hard even when pegged back to 4-2, we were committed to a man and ran out deserved winners to set up a blockbuster of a derby with Cheshunt on Easter Monday – our first home league game since the death of our beloved Dave Bryant.

With Lewis Taaffe unfit, Ollie Turney came in for his starting debut and we were ahead within four minutes as namesake Ollie Knight’s penetrating cross was diverted home by Marcus.

It was clear early on that Bognor’s dangermen were Lucas Pattenden on the wing and Matt Burgess in midfield and they set up the large majority of the Rocks’ openings.

In a whirlwind start by both teams, Rhys Forster had already saved from Pattenden when the referee adjudged the Bognor man had his shirt pulled by Joe Payne. Up stepped  Tommy-Lee Higgs to shoot low and hard and in off Forster’s diving boot

That was on 11 minutes and goals kept coming. Ten minutes later, a routine Bognor clearance was blocked by Ollie Knight and although the ball fell kindly to Marcus, he still had an awful lot to do as he rounded Joe Rabbetts before keeping his composure to fire past Ryan Hall (pictured).

Mickey Parcell went into the book for a late challenge but the entertainment continued. Three times we tried to lob the keeper and twice Marcus got himself into a shooting position, only to stray offside.

But Bognor aren’t strong at home for nothing and once again restored parity on 31 minutes as  Harvey White, on his return from injury, stormed forward unmarked to smash home a corner as we switched off.

Once again, however, it wasn’t long before we caught the hosts out again as Sam Youngs shouldered the ball into the path of Marcus who this time was onside and slotted home.

Right on halftime, a glorious cross-field ball from Turner picked out Dylan Adjei-Hersey but his 40-yarder  was always rising before Bognor’s Whyte had to come off deep into stoppage time with a foot injury.

H-t 2-3

Every Town fan in the ground knew we needed a fourth to take the sting out of Bognor  and it duly arrived on 51 minutes.  When no Bognor outfield player reacted fast enough to an Ollie Knight run, Hall tried to block him but instead proceeded to bring him down.  Youngs of course made no mistake from the penalty spot but had to strike it perfectly beyond the keeper’s diving reach.

Marcus so nearly had his fourth when Bognor were again exposed in a dangerous area but despite beating the keeper shot against the post.  In fact he may well have had five, hitting the other post when it seemed harder to miss.

As Bognor rallied with a decent spell, Pattenden’s cross flashed across the goal with no teammate to convert, the same player then blazed over the bar with the goal at his mercy and Forster spread himself to keep out Higgs.

But with a two-goal cushion Town were not to be denied, switching to five at the back late on to see out the game, a credit to players and management alike for a terrific team effort especially in the first half.

“We looked at their home record and it’s a massive performance,” said Gavin Macpherson. “Sometimes the players don’t listen properly, sometimes the management team get it wrong. Today, everyone came together having done our homework and Marcus’ goals typified how we wanted to go about things.  We knew they were an expansive side and it was no fluke.”

“Bognor have a young talented side especially down the flanks so we needed to be right at it.  Okay there were a couple of bumps in the road but offensively we did the job we came to do.”

“It’s still in our hands which is very different to chasing.  Hopefully we can get into the playoffs with momentum and give ourselves a chance.”

Now on to Cheshunt who will have had far longer to prepare, their Saturday fixture having been called off whilst we have only 48 hours to get ready.

“It obviously doesn’t work in our favour but I can’t change it. It’s the way the cards have been dealt,” said Gavin. “But if Cheshunt are focussing their entire season on playing us, then it’s not been a great season for them.”

Town:

Forster; Tanner, McKenzie, Tanner, Payne; Adjei-Hersey, Turner (Okotcha, 77), Thomas (Alves, 86), Youngs, Knight; Wyllie (Cass, 91)

Rocks Stand In Town’s Way

Following last Saturday’s draw at Margate and the postponed fixture at Whitehawk in midweek, Town face another long away trip tomorrow as we visit Bognor Regis Town, weather once again permitting.

With just a month to go before the end of the regular season, a top-5 playoff place is very much in our own hands though to gain a home semifinal draw we will need to finish second or third, the latter being more realistic barring a late Chatham slip-up.

With Horsham and Wingate also battling for that home draw and the likes of Dulwich, Carshalton, Billericay and Hastings tucked in just behind and pushing for a playoff spot, every one of the seven remaining games are cup finals, every point vital given how tight things are.

 Even 10th-placed Bognor are still in it and are unlikely to give an inch judging by their comeback against Wingate in midweek.

To be where we are at this stage of the season represents a massive achievement by the players and management team alike when you consider the resources at some of the chasing pack.

The key now is to keep the momentum of our eight-game unbeaten league run going, not just at Bognor but 48 hours later with the tasty Easter Monday derby at home to Cheshunt.

“We’ve got plenty to think about with a longer injury list than we’ve seen all season but the boys are in good spirits and trained well last night,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“The bank holiday weekend will be a massive test of our resolve and it starts against a very good Bognor side. 

“We have two very different but difficult tests, as a management team we’ve been working hard to plan and prepare, we’re unbeaten in a few games so the lads are really upbeat.”

AW

Dave Bryant

Just to let you all know that Dave’s funeral has been arranged for 11.30 am at Enfield Crematorium on Thursday, April 11.

More details to follow when we have them

RIP Dave

Whitehawk Rescheduled

Unfortunately, tonight’s game at Whitehawk has fallen foul of the weather and, following a pitch inspection, has had to postponed — for a second time.

The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 23. Third time lucky!

10-Man Gate Frustrate Town

Margate 1 Enfield Town 1

Report By Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town extended their unbeaten league run to eight games but left the Kent coast largely frustrated after playing 84 minutes against ten men.

A mixture of wrong options, the woodwork and Margate throwing bodies on the line prevented us leaving with another maximum haul though in truth the home side had their chances as they battled for their lives in  a thoroughly absorbing contest fully worthy of Non-League Day.

Having played just 41 hours earlier, Town rested just two players and needed all the breaks they could get.

They appeared to have a huge one very quickly. As debuts go, Margate’s new signing from Dover Destiny Oladipo had one to forget – sent off for two yellow cards inside six minutes.

First he was cautioned for an over-the-top tackle on Taylor McKenzie, then was handed another yellow for a high studs-up challenge in the face of the same player whether or not it was intentional, giving Town an early one-man advantage.

Unfortunately we couldn’t make the most of it and despite hitting the post twice, on balance a draw was probably fair given 10-man Gate were coming up against a side third in the league.

Early doors, Ollie Knight volleyed over after a neat exchange with Joe Payne and his next contribution on 16 minutes put us in front, finishing coolly (pictured) after being set up by Marcus Wyllie turning his marker and feeding the ball through.

As the hosts tried to rally, the home crowd cheered their every counter-attack and to be fair, for long periods of the first half it didn’t look as if we had numerical advantage.

Indeed the Gate had the two best chances, first when Ben Greenhalgh somehow shot wide, then when Rhys Forster pulled off a fantastic save

Margate’s efforts paid off just before half-time, however, as attacking substitute Steve Cawley sent Forster the wrong way with a penalty, awarded after Sam Youngs caught ex-Towner Lewis Knight with a flailing leg in trying to clear.

In first-half stoppage time, Jonathan Hippolyte so nearly restored our lead as his shot across goal struck the upright and bounced to safety.

H- 1-1

Whatever was said at halftime, we came out with more urgency and the chances came one by one.

Payne lashed wide and over, Knight hit the side netting and on as sub once again, Jake Cass drove past his marker, only to see his shot blocked on the line.  Then, on 68 minutes, the post rescued Margate again as Youngs’ sublime curling effort had Harry Seaden in goal beaten all ends up.

Margate, needing the points just as much for different reasons, still threatened on the break.

 Forster got a strong hand to another Greenhalgh drive and with two minutes of normal remaining the Gate midfielder he had a golden chance to win the game yet again missed the target when we were exposed at the far post.

Cue a final Town foray in seven minutes of stoppage time during which both Teddy Perkins and former Towner Lewis Knight heroically cleared off the line.

 And there was still time for one more chance each, Lewis Knight firing inches wide and Seaden tipping a fierce Wyllie drive over.

“Two dropped points no question but we could also have lost the game,” said Gavin Macpherson.  “We created enough chances and second half got some structure into the game.”

“You have to give Margate credit. They put in a hell of a shift for their manager but when you play against 10 men you have to try and make the pitch big. It’s a collective responsibility and at times we had a bit of a mental block. There were some very tired legs out there after playing Thursday night. Hence some tired final balls but we’re not losing games at the moment. I’m not too down because it’s in our own hands.”

Town

Forster; Payne, Tanner, McKenzie, Parcell; Knight, Youngs, Alves (Turner, 81), Taaffe; Hippolyte (Cass, 60), Wyllie

Afternoon Charity Gig

A quick reminder that our club photographer Phil Davison will be playing a charity gig at 4pm today at the Little Green Dragon pub in Green Lanes, Winchmore Hill.

As well as taking photos, Phil is also a seasoned musician so get yourself down to support him in raising money for the ETFC Community Sports Development charity, a hugely important arm of what we do.

“It’s free entry, just money in the jug to help the charity,” says Phil who has been playing gigs for years and recently performed for the fans during our recent trip to Copenhagen.

“I’ve got two one-hour sets, a mix of covers and my own songs – including at least one singalong song that everyone will know.”

AW

Ollie Joins Town

We are delighted to announce the loan signing of 20-year-old central midfielder Ollie Turner from Aldershot.

Ollie started his career in the Tottenham under-18 ranks and has latterly been on loan at Step 2 Eastbourne Borough.

With the immediate future of Orient loanee Manny Harvest still uncertain, Ollie fits into an important area of the pitch.

“Ollie is both left-footed and versatile so we are delighted to have him,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“There is going to have to be some rotation over the next couple of weeks and Ollie will be an important part of that.”

Welcome, Ollie

Margate Next In Heavy Schedule

Gavin Macpherson is under no illusions just how tough Saturday’s fixture at Margate could be given that we will take the field just 41 hours after beating Concord Rangers.

Thursday’s 1-0 win pushed us back up to third but although  Margate, who currently sit in 19th place, have lost five of their last six games, much could depend on how much Thursday’s excursions have taken their toll on Town’s players in a gruelling schedule and how many changes need to be made in the starting line-up.

“Margate have a distinct advantage in that they haven’t played for a week,” said Gavin. “We’ve had less than two days’ recovery and have another journey to make. It’s far from ideal.”

“I’ve heard for years about how players should be able to do this and that but modern-day football has changed unbelievably. The speed is totally different.”

Non-league players also, of course, have jobs to go to and are not mollycoddled like some elite footballers.

“There are so many factors why this is a really difficult one to navigate,” said Gav as we approach  the second of four successive away games.  “Realistically we probably need nine points from the four games. Whether we can get them, we’ll see.”

It’s a tough ask but the mood in the camp is strong and is boosted by the loan signing of central midfielder Ollie Turner from Aldershot who started his career at Spurs and has been on loan at Step 2 Eastbourne Borough.

There are still spaces on the coach and tickets for that are available below

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/travel15/coach-travel-to-margate

Saturday is Non-League day, and in celebration of that Margate are offering half price entry for the game.  Tickets already purchased at full price will be half refunded to ensure you can still get the offer!

AW

Town Sink Beach Boys

Concord Rangers 0 Enfield Town 1

Report By Martin Bentley

Enfield Town extended their unbeaten run to an impressive nine games with victory at Concord Rangers that fully merited the description ‘hard-earned’.

The win also took Town back into third place in the League, with their recent form suggesting that a play-off place should now be comfortably within reach.  

The evening did not, however, start well, with players and supporters alike being delayed by some horrendous traffic congestion on the road leading onto the Island.

 The game eventually kicked off slightly late and Town enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in the first half. Shots on target were at a premium at both ends, with only a Marcus Wyllie header and a Sam Youngs long-ranger troubling home keeper Mason Terry.

The remainder of Town’s efforts, from Lewis Taaffe, Ollie Knight and Wyllie all ended up sailing harmlessly over the bar.

 For the home side, pacy striker Bryan Ifeanyi troubled the right side of Town’s defence all night, although their best chance fell to Montrell Deslandes, who fluffed his shot horribly wide after Town had failed to deal with a high bouncing ball.

  H-T 0-0

Town continued to dominate possession after the break, again without troubling Terry unduly as the home defence, marshalled by the dominant figure of Mert Apat, coped comfortably with most of our efforts.

Wyllie drove a shot inches wide from Knight’s cross and Youngs had a header well saved but clear-cut chances remained at a premium.

A string of corners and Joe Payne’s long throws were putting the home side under increasing pressure though and Town finally cracked it after 69 minutes when Mickey Parcell’s left-wing corner was met by a Youngs header into Terry’s left-hand corner.

Two minutes later Wyllie slalomed into the box and rolled a shot against the post but Town were unable to kill the game off and found themselves under pressure in the closing minutes, when an increasingly desperate home side threw the proverbial kitchen sink at them.

Rhys Forster was twice forced into action to deny Emmanuel Martin from distance and Harrison Day from close range, but Town succeeded in clinging on for an invaluable three points, especially given the nightmare run of games ahead.

“We made desperately hard work of it if I’m honest,” said Gavin Macpherson, who bemoaned the horrendous traffic congestion that left the team precious little time to prepare.

“When it’s only 1-0, the opposition will feel they’ve got a chance.  They went four up top and Reece had to be called into action late on.  We should have put it to bed earlier but it would have been a travesty if we hadn’t won the game.”

Town: Forster, Parcell, Payne, Thomas, Tanner, McKenzie, Adjei-Hersey (Cass 67), Youngs, Taaffe (Beckles-Richards 88), Wyllie (Alves 90+2), Knight. Unused: Hippolyte, Okotcha

Town Hoping For Good Vibrations

Our postponed fixture at Concord Rangers takes place tonight (koff 7.45) at the start of  gruelling period of five games in 11 days.

Having fielded a second-string side in the Fenix Trophy on Tuesday, Gavin Macpherson can once again call on his leading players for the visit to the Beach Boys but with one eye very much on Margate on Saturday as we bid to negotiate two games in 48 hours.

We are on a decent run, unbeaten in six, and tucked nicely in fourth place ready for the run-in.

But Kingstonian’s win over Dulwich Hamlet yesterday shows just how tight this league is and with Concord fighting for their lives, nothing is a given despite them having lost their last five – including two days ago when beaten by Potters Bar.

“Llantwit Major was somewhat of a no-brainer in terms of personnel but the difficult bit was always going to be how to manage today and Saturday,” said Gavin.

“When you look at this league top to bottom as a collective of teams, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, you have to be on your game.”

“We’ve got four successive away games which is a hell of a schedule. It could make our season if we can come through it with the points required.”

AW

We’re Virtually There!

Enfield Town 3 Llantwit Major 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Don’t pack your bags or make your bookings quite yet. But barring an unexpected turn of events, we look almost certain to be heading to Italy in May for the Fenix Trophy Final Four.

Tuesday’s 3-2 win over a Llantwit Major side that played their part in a highly enjoyable spectacle put us on nine points from three games, with the return in Wales to come.

Only if Llanwit win their final two games and overhaul our vastly superior goal difference can they pip us to the post. So while it’s not mathematically done and dusted, no surprise that there was an air of optimism following our latest Fenix outing.

Before proceedings got under way, there was a poignantly observed minute’s applause in memory of Dave Bryant (pictured). The presentation of a bunch of flowers in David’s memory from our visitors was a extremely thoughtful touch.

With league games to come both Thursday and Saturday, the management team had some difficult calls to make and went with a mixture of first-team squad experience, triallists and academy boys.

On 16 minutes, Hernon Alves struck the underside of the bar and it was little surprise when we went in front a couple of minutes later, the highly promising Osa Otote capitalising on a mistake at the back with a gorgeous finish.

Llantwit, lacking both physicality and composure on the ball, worked hard to keep us out for the rest of the half yet so nearly levelled on the stroke of halftime when Chris Bell burst into the box unchallenged and was clearly furious with himself for firing wide.

H-T 1-0

Town lost Obi Onyeagwara shortly after the break with what looked like an ominous hamstring injury. He was replaced by Ebraima Davies before a huge roar greeted the appearance of Jake Cass for the last 35 minutes.

Cassy’s first action was to drive 30 yards upfield and set up a chance for Davies before Jonathan Hipployte missed a glorious chance to double the lead by shooting wide. Davies then got even closer when he fluffed his lines with the goal at his mercy.

 Suddenly our visitors began to threaten after making a flurry of substitutions and duly equalised on 70 minutes, Josh Morgan heading in at the far post.

Briefly, the momentum was with the Welshmen but on 83 minutes we were back in front courtesy of a somewhat harshly awarded freekick. Ryley Allen in goal could only parry and Alves was first on hand to smash the rebound into the net.

Two minutes later and what a moment as Cass, with his back to goal, made it 3-1 with a sublime scissor kick but to their credit Llantwit never gave up, reducing the arrears in stoppage time through Sean Williams.

With live music in the bar afterwards, there was a noisy celebratory atmosphere enjoyed, among others, by four young Finland fans who had flown in to watch Thursday’s Wales-Finland Euro 24 play-off but came to watch our game first because of Enfield Town’s “cult” status, as they put it.

Gavin Macpherson was delighted with both the result and performance. “We had people who had never played with each other, young academy lads and trialists. For me it’s a fantastic result and as much as I could have hoped for,” said Gav. “If we judge a possible trip to Italy on Copenhagen, it’s going to be immense.”

Gavin reserved particular warm-hearted comments for Dave Bryant.

“Without Dave, there’s an argument to suggest we wouldn’t be playing in this competition. The round of applause was so fitting. I’ve had to understand in a short space of time just what that guy has done for this football club.”

Town starting line-up

Connolly; Filho, Okotcha, Adeoye, Tanner; Onyeagwara, Soulya-Osekanongo, Beckles-Richards, Otote; Hippolyte, Alves

Town Pushing For Fenix Finale

Ahead of a frantic series of leagues games, it’s back to Fenix Trophy duties tonight when we entertain Llantwit Major (kickoff 7.45) following our recent memorable visit to Copenhagen.

Llantwit, whose supporters are known as the ‘Windmill Army’ and who play in Cymru South in Tier-2 of the Welsh pyramid,  have played one game so far in the competition, when they defeated BK Skjold 1-0 in February.

While victory tonight for Town – who so far have six points from two games — wouldn’t mathematically seal a place in the Final Four in Italy, it would take a major turnaround to prevent us from getting there.

There will be a minute’s applause before the game in tribute to Dave Bryant. Just a reminder too that we have live music courtesy of the brilliant Acoustic Fidelity after the game so do stick around and soak up the atmosphere in the bar.

Advance tickets for the game are available here

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/fenix2/enfield-town-vs-llantwit-major

Dave Bryant Obituary

Dave was born in 1960 in Enfield and lived there for the majority of his life. Football was always his passion. His mum was an avid West Ham fan but it was after being taken to watch Enfield beat Woking at Southbury Road in 1968 that he found his true football love. There wasn’t too much to dislike about watching one of the best non-league teams in the country during the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Frequent league winners, countless county and league cups, plus of course visits to Wembley in the FA Amateur and FA Trophy finals, and Dave rarely missed a game home or away. A decline set in during the 1990’s that culminated in the sale of the Southbury Road ground. Dave was instrumental in setting up a supporter pressure group to try and stop the sale. He made an impassioned speech at the council planning meeting turning some of the committee to go against the recommendation of the sale. Sadly, the chair’s casting vote carried the day but the supporters had someone to take us onto the next challenge of keeping senior football in Enfield.

For his day job Dave worked at Nalgo, now Unison, the trade union that represents public sector workers. He had a deep sense of right and wrong. He hated racism and detested discrimination of all kinds. That may have evolved from his work at the union but he always had a sense that injustices should be overturned. He certainly had a stubborn streak and so when it came to righting the wrong of the borough losing its football club he had the bit between his teeth. It wasn’t just his desire to put things right that made this fight ultimately successful it was also his ability to bring people with him and reason with those who objected to the road taken. He did that through his wonderful personality. Always generous, always having a joke and an ability to turn bad situations to ones you felt could be overcome. A testimony to his personality is that those who strongly disagreed with the formation of a new club were always on the best of terms with Dave. Always approachable, it was difficult for anyone to dislike him.

At the time the new club was formed Dave managed to also look after a young family. His first wife Linda and daughters Amy and Clare shared Dave’s love of nature. He enjoyed his fishing and bird watching and really loved trips to the Wye Valley with Amy and Clare over the last year. He loved his dogs: firstly Clough named after manager Brian Clough, then Benn (named after his political hero Tony Benn), D’Arcy (who Dave insisted was named after Alf D’Arcy the Enfield England international), and currently Lucifer.

Dave tackled his illness with typical bravery and was supported by his wife Rizete, daughters Amy and Clare and Claire’s husband Ollie, who all gave him so much care. Thoughts are with them and his step daughter Barbara.

I was fortunate to visit Dave several times in the last days of his life. He asked questions as to what games we had coming up and really wanted to stress how important the fans were to the team and how supporters should encourage them when things were tough. I can think of no better way to celebrate Dave’s life than asking all fans to make that extra noise when needed. He would love that.

Rest in peace mate.

Paul Millington

Dave Bryant

The club sadly have to report the passing of our founding Chairman, Dave Bryant.

Dave had been bravely fighting cancer but passed away earlier today. Our deepest sympathy to his wife, daughters, and friends and family.

The club will always be indebted to Dave. His role in forming our club and making fan ownership a reality was recently covered in an article in the Non-League Paper. This loss will be keenly felt by all that knew him.

Rest in peace Dave.

Town Clip Hornets’ Wings

Enfield Town 2 Horsham 1

Report From Andrew warshaw

All wins are vital but some have that special ring about them – and Saturday was surely among the latter.

With games in hand after their FA Cup and FA Trophy exploits, Horsham arrived at the QE firmly in the playoff places and unbeaten in the league away from home in 2024.

So ending that sequence courtesy of our demon duo Marcus Wyllie and Sam Youngs, in the process leapfrogging the Hornets to move up three places in the table to third, says everything about the togetherness of Town’s come-from-behind display.

Added to last weekend’s win over Lewes, it was even more important given our ferocious upcoming fixture list, with Tuesday’s Fenix Trophy game followed by – wait for it – five league games in 11 days.

Adopting a 4-1-4-1 system, Town began on the front foot but found themselves chasing the game on 19 minutes.

Lewis Taaffe appeared to be clearly fouled by Horsham skipper Lee Harding but when nothing was given, Harding found Daniel Ajakaiye, Horsham’s most dangerous player, who got the better of Taylor Mackenzie and finished coolly.

As we responded quickly, Ollie Knight saw his looping header just clear the bar with keeper Lewis Carey wong-footed but on 31 minutes we were level.

Joe Payne opted to go short with a throw-in and when he received the ball back from Scott Thomas put in a delicious cross that was expertly glanced home by Marcus Wyllie for his 22nd league goal of the season, putting him level at the top of the charts with David Rodari of Hastings.

The next goal proved all-important. With  virtually the last kick of the half, Carey spilled Payne’s low freekick and when Wyllie clipped the ball back in, Youngs headed into to an unguarded net.

H-T 2-1

Horsham had a great chance to level with the first move of the second half following a rare mistake by the otherwise imperious Bernie Tanner, a candidate for man of the match.

Luckily, Harding chose the wrong option, declining to go for goal and squaring to Ajakaiye who got his feet in a tangle.

Marcus so nearly made the visitors pay, first drilling a shot inches wide, then just unable to convert a glorious Youngs pass as the flag stayed down.

The game was now beautifully poised and although Horsham had a 15-minute spell late on, they didn’t pass the ball well enough and their attacks were invariably closed down.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Jake Cass, who came off the bench for the last three minutes after seven and half months out with that crippling injury.

It was heart in the mouth stuff when Isaac Philpott almost cleaned him out with a horrendous challenge that saw yellow instead of red. Luckily Jake saw it coming and managed to turn away, then almost completed what would have been the perfect return by having a goalbound shot blocked in stoppage time (pictured).

“I said before if we kept standards high, we could win the game and psychogically it’s a huge boost being in front of teams like Billericay ,” said Gavin Macpherson. “We are massively achieving but  I don’t get too high with highs or too low with the lows.”

“To see Cassy back was immense.  He may not yet be fully fit and we have to treat it very carefully but his very presence on the pitch and in the dressing room gives everyone a lift.”

“Now it’s a question of how we navigate Llantwit Major on Tuesday because we don’t want to undo what we’ve been doing in the league when we’re back action again two days later.”

Town

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner, Payne; Thomas (Alves 64); Adjei-Hersey (cass, 87), Taaffe, youngs, Knight; Wyllie

Towners Bid To Sting Hornets

It’s one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the season against a side that haven’t lost a single game away in the league so far in 2024.

Saturday’s sixth versus fifth clash with playoff rivals Horsham is nothing if not a mouth-watering affair as we bid to build on last Saturday’s win over Lewes.

In the corresponding fixture earlier in the season we gained a valuable point and as the business end of the season intensifies, so does the anticipation.

Our win over Lewes, allied to the Hornets’ home defeat  to Carshalton Athletic, saw us close the gap to a single point albeit having played a game more.

 But with three league games in a week, and Llantwit Major tucked in the middle, we are going to need all the resources we can muster for a guelling schedule as we bid for a third playoff place in seven years.

Although we have beaten Horsham on their last two visits, their away form, along with their FA Cup exploits, speaks for itself.

“We had a really tough challenge last week against a good side, I’m really pleased with the win when you look at the entire picture,” said Gavin Macpherson. “There were positives, we know we can play better and will strive to do so.”

“Horsham will be every bit as tough but we have the opportunity to build on last week. We will need another positive response from the players and a Copenhagen spirit from the supporters. We’ve had a really good working week in training but Horsham will certainly be tricky opponents.”

AW

Game Off

Tonight’s away game at Concord Rangers has been postponed following a pitch inspection because of a waterlogged pitch.

We can already confirm that the match will now take place on Thursday, March 21.

Battling Town Edge Home

Enfield Town 1 Lewes 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Sometimes you have to grind out results to get what you want and that’s exactly what Enfield Town did as we maintained our push for a play-off place on Saturday.

Marcus Wyllie’s 21st league goal of the season after just seven minutes settled a game in which Lewes had bags of possession and fair few chances but ultimately couldn’t break us down.

While the Rooks had a week to prepare, Town travelled to Copenhagen in midweek to play in the Fenix trophy, most of the team not returning home until 48 hours before yesterday’s game.

For non-league players, that kind of arduous trip was bound to take its toll but Town, employing an unusual but effective system of 3-2-4-1 partly to give the defensive midfielders protection, stuck to their game plan, in the process gaining sweet revenge for that 4-0 drubbing in Sussex in the reverse fixture.

Former England manager Peter Taylor, who also as it happens managed Enfield over 30 years ago, was among the crowd in a scouting role.

He could have been watching any number of players but saw only one goal, Wyllie quickest to react (pictured) after Joe Payne’s curling effort was parried but not held by Nathan Harvey.

As Lewes responded Keiran Murtagh was a toe poke away from levelling, then fluffed his lines with an even better chance. Ryan Gondoh’s miscued close-range volley could only find thin air but the Rooks’ possession-based game wasn’t quick enough as we closed off the spaces.

 Indeed Marcus might well have doubled our lead as he sneaked in to dispossess Elliott, only to come off second best in a one-on-one with Harvey.

H-T 1-0

The visitors re-emerged looking far more penetrative and proceeded to push us back. Marcus Sablier’s header struck the post while Luke Dreyer saw two goal-bound efforts somehow kept out, first by a fantastic Lewis Taaffe block, then by Rhys Forster’s smart stop.

Town, with only two fit players on the bench, were now playing on the counter but still had good chances of their own as  Wyllie netted again, only to be ruled offside, and Sam Youngs drilled a shot agonisingly wide.

Taking everything into account, this could be considered among our best wins of the season in the circumstances, a fact Gavin Macpherson acknowledged after setting the team up to try and nullify Lewes’ strengths, especially off the ball.

“After the massively difficult week we’ve had with all the travelling, it’s an incredible result,” said Gavin.

“We weren’t blessed with options and are on our knees so all in all, I’m absolutely delighted. Yes we looked leggy and it wasn’t vintage but  the boys worked unbelievably hard and there’s only one stat that matters.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Tanner; Thomas (Gucchi  Soulya-Osekanongo, 80) Taaffe; Adjei-Hersey, Youngs, Knight, Payne; Wyllie

Town Hoping For Rooks Revenge

Following our incredible exploits in Copenhagen, it’s back to the bread and butter of league action tomorrow when we take on one our bogey teams, Lewes, as we simultanously celebrate International Women’s Day.

A reminder that all women and girls are admitted for free to see us attempt to seek revenge and redemption for the 4-0 defeat we suffered in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Everyone knows how unpredictable Lewes can be on their day. Although they drew 2-2 with Canvey Island last time out, their 3-1 win at high-flying Horsham – their most recent away outing — spoke for itself.

In their two previous league outings to that, they lost 3-0 at home to Chatham yet that came after an impressive 3-1 win at Hastings, again proving how strong they can be on the road. With just three points between the Rooks and us, Saturday promises to be a highly competitive affair.

Whilst our superb win at Skjold may have taken something out of the players’ legs, it also created a fantastic bond that will hopefully augur well for the rest of the season as we continue to push for a playoff place.

With the focus on energy levels, everyone is raring to go again, pending a few niggles.

“On the back of Copenhagen, everyone’s in good spirits,” said Gavin Macpherson. “We’ve had a great week and everyone is upbeat. If we don’t reach certain levels, we could lose the game but I’m expecting a much better performance than we produced down there.”

AW

Celebrating International Women’s Day

As we have done in recent seasons, the club are are marking International Women’s Day by offering free entry to women and girls for tomorrow’s huge match at home to fellow playoff-chasers, Lewes.

We will be joined at Saturday’s game by members of our ladies’ teams, who will be showcasing their section of the club, as well as music from a great local duo and some fun from our new partners at Hertfordshire Zoo.

Enfield Town FC currently runs 13 teams for women and girls with a range of agea and abilities, from Under 10s to our senior women’s sides, with over 200 playing members at present. Drop them a message if you are interested in joining the club!

Stadium artwork: @theamyverse

Memorable Night On European Tour

BK Skjold 1 Enfield Town 4

Report By Andrew Warshaw

The rain lashed down relentlessly, at times turning to hail, the wind blew like crazy and it was bitterly cold.

But none of that could dampen the spirits of upwards of 200-plus Town fans who made the trip to Copenhagen to see us secure a resounding 4-1 win over Fenix Trophy holders BK Skjold on Tuesday night and take a massive step towards the Final Four in May.

Following our 3-1 victory in the reverse fixture in November, this was expected to be a far tougher challenge, with Skjold playing a far stronger side.

But we never gave them a sniff, roaring into a three-goal lead by halftime and running out comfortable winners, eliminating the Danes in the process.

Despite the atrocious conditions, the travelling Town faithful were in full voice, belting out song after song before finally taking refuge afterwards in the Skjold clubhouse where the ear-splitting celebrations went on long into the evening.

If the sheer number of Town fans did the club proud, the players certainly matched them.

It took us just 16 minutes to break through on Skjold’s artificial pitch, Marcus Wyllie linking up with Sam Youngs before the latter drew his defender, feinted and slotted home with a composed finish.

Amid the atrocious conditions, it was a credit to Town that they managed to move the ball so effectively and as halftime approached, we put the game to bed.

First a right-wing cross evaded the entire Skjold back line and Lewis Taaffe rifled home a terrific strike.  Then Marcus followed up his own headed flick with a piece of twinkle toes skill that gave the Skjold keeper no chance (pictured, celebrating with fans).

While we took our chances with clinical precision, Skjold scuffed theirs, playing some nice stuff box to box but lacking concentration at the back and composure in the final third, invariably missing the target either high or wide.

H-T 0-3

Town were forced into a halftime change, Taylor McKenzie suffering a groin issue and Mickey Parcell moving into central defence.

Inevitably we took our foot slightly off the gas but still managed to go further in front on 66 minutes through a trademark Sam Youngs glancing header from a corner.

Skjold finally got on the scoresheet with five minutes to go through a direct freekick but it was little more than a consolation.

With maximum points so far, one win from our final two group fixtures — both against Lllantwit Major — should in all likelihood get us over the line and seal an historic trip to Lake Garda for the Final Four. Four points certainly will.

“When the tournament was first introduced to me I didn’t quite get the magnitude of it for this club,” said Gavin Macpherson. “For a club at our level, Step 3 of non-league football, I defy any other club to do what we have tonight in terms of the phenomenal passionate support.”

“You can only look at this and say it’s probably unique given the publicity. It’s a milestone for a club that has come a long way in a short space of time. If we can get to the last four, we’ve a hell of a chance.”

Starting Lineup

Forster;  Parcell Tanner McKenzie Payne; Thomas, Youngs,  Taaffe, Adjei-Hersey,  Wyllie, Knight

Copenhagen Here We Come

“We’re all going on a European tour!”

That’s been the refrain at recent games and becomes a reality tomorrow when we make history by playing our first ever overseas competitive fixture.

Over 80 Town fans are believed to be making the trip to Copenhagen to see us take on the current Fenix champions BK Skjold in Group A of the 12-team, four-group tournament (kickoff 6pm local time, 5pm uk).

As most of you will know, we won the corresponding game 3-1 in late November and also have to play Welsh side Llantwit Major FC twice for the right to reach the final four in Italy in May.

Those not travelling to the Danish capital should be able to watch the  live stream of the game through the competition’s YouTube channel.

“I think everyone connected with the club is massively looking forward to the game in Copenhagen,” said manager Gavin Macpherson.

“We have the chance to compete in a competition beyond our usual boundaries that most clubs at our level won’t ever experience.”

“After Saturday’s difficulties it gives all of us the chance to focus our energy on the Fenix Trophy.  I’m always in awe of our travelling support who will be there in numbers again, just the extra boost for the players to more than embrace the challenge ahead which will be a difficult one. We will need to be at our best.”

AW

Town Fightback Deserved More

Enfield Town 2 Wingate and Finchley 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town staged a stirring second-half fightback yet will ultimately rue not taking all three points in a highly entertaining derby between fifth and fourth.

On a pitch passed playable only four hours before kick-off largely thanks to the work of our volunteers, it was a credit to both teams that they put on such a watchable encounter though that will be of little consolation to the pair of them – Wingate squandering a two-goal lead and Town doing more than enough to win the game.

Gavin Macpherson promised a better performance after Tuesday’s drab draw with Kingstonian and kept his word, going with a back three and making a string of changes that gave us a more cohesive look.

Mickey Parcell skippered the side in the absence of injured Scott Thomas, playing on the right of a three, while Lewis Taaffe took Scott’s place in defensive midfield and Jonathan Hippolyte was given a start up front.

Dylan Adjei-Hersey and Herson Alves also came into the side but in front of a healthy crowd of almost 650 – including a noisy throng of Dave Bryant’s special guests (inset) –  we didn’t get off to the best of starts.

Town have conceded some questionable penalties of late and there was another soft one as Taylor Mackenzie was penalised for a push after just seven minutes and Anointed Chukwu made no mistake from the spot.

Town’s response was immediate as Blues keeper Ben Goode came off best in a one on with  Marcus  Wyllie, only for Hippolyte to somehow screw the rebound wide.

It looked as though Marcus had left his scoring boots at home as three more  presentable chances came and went, the last of them drilled inches wide after a fabulous passing movement.

But the visitors, marshalled at the back by Ben Frempah and swift on the counter-attack, continued to pose a threat.

Rhys Forster saved superbly from Elliot Long and three minutes before the break, the Blues doubled their lead.  A slip by Mackenzie allowed Mathew Achuba to find Zack Newton who produced a sublime first touch before firing past Forster.

H-T 0-2

Town now had a mountain to climb on the rain-lashed surface but came out with all guns blazing and quickly reduced the deficit as Marcus showed that class is permanent  with a moment of magic, taking the ball on his chest before unleashing an unstoppable volley in a single movement (pictured).

Now there was only one team in it, aided by the fact that Frempah, after needing lengthy treatment, at last looked vulnerable.

Alves and Adjei-Hersey both went close before, on 73 minutes, we finally broke through again as the quick-thinking Youngs  outfoxed the Wingate defence to steer home Wyllie’s left-wing cross.

As we pushed for the winner that would have enabled us to leapfrog our opponents,  Wingate clung on though it needed an outstretched leg by Forster at the other end to keep out Long after the otherwise impeccable Youngs was uncharacteristically robbed in possession.

“Early in the season we ran, we harried and we hassled and the change of system today allowed us to regain some of those energy levels,” said Gavin.

“We all recognise that in recent weeks we let the fans down and obviously I’m disappointed with the result today because we deserved to win the game handsomely.”

“There was a clearly foul on Youngy in the build-up to their second goal but we can only control what we control.  I never thought at half time the game was over. We played a very good team today and at times made them look ordinary.”

Town

Forster; Parcell, Mackenzie, Tanner; Adjei-Hersey (Onyeagwara, 85),  Taaffe (75), Youngs, Alves, Payne; Wyllie, Hippolyte (beckles-richards 65)

Town Braced For Blues Challenge  

Gavin Macpherson has urged the crowd to get behind us in our latest derby against Wingate and Finchley tomorrow (kickoff 3pm) and fully accepts they should expect a far better performance than Tuesday night’s goalless draw with Kingstonian.

Weather permitting, it’s fourth against fifth with both sides needing the points to cement playoff places, making for a potential mount-watering fixture with the prospect of us leapfrogging our opponents.

Only two points separate us from the Blues, both after 30 games with 12 remaining, with the likes of Horsham and Hastings breathing down our necks.

With no local afternoon Premier League fixtures to worry about,  the Dave Bryant stadium will be very much the place to be on what has been designated “bobble hat and scarf” day, making for a colourful occasion.

Our visitors are unbeaten in their last four league games including a 4-2 win over high-flying Chatham.

“They’ve got some good players and with competition for places, we are expecting a really tough game,” said Gavin.

“They do both sides of the game very well so we will need to be so much better than Tuesday. I’m well aware that the energy coming from the terraces is often a product of what’s happening on the pitch.

“We’ve got to give the supporters something to get excited about. They understand that the application against teams like Carshalton was excellent but against K’s it fell short. One thing I’m sure of, our support can make the difference.”

AW

Town draw blank against K’s

Enfield Town 0 Kingstonian 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Gavin Macpherson cut a frustrated figure admitting  he was embarrassed and apologising to fans after an sluggish off-night against the league’s bottom club.

At times it looked like we were the side battling against relegation and they were the team in playoff contention as we lacked drive and cohesion across the pitch and composure in front of goal.

That’s the downside. The fact remains that despite our first goalless draw of the season, we are still fifth in the league and very much in the mix though the dangerous Horsham are only one point behind having played three games fewer.

And we didn’t lose the game, unlike cash-rich Billericay at Concord Rangers, a stark illustration that nothing can be taken for granted in this league.

Town made three changes from the starting line-up at Carshalton, with Ollie Knight returning from suspension, Josh Okocha in central defence with both Jimbo and Taylor McKenzie injured, the latter on the bench, and Lewis Taaffe coming into midfield.

From the opening minutes it was clear Kingstonian, fresh from their first league win since October at the weekend and under new management, had not just come to sit back.

Using the left flank in particular to their advantage, they were quick on the break and had several excellent early chances, one of which fell to former Towner Tom Collins who was a whisker away from converting Freddie Price’s centre.

With the shackles off despite their perilous position, the visitors should have gone in front on 15 minutes, only for Sam German’s bullet header from a corner to be superbly headed off the line by Taaffe.

Eddie D’Sane was another player who troubled us with pace as two goalbound shots were blocked.

Town were far too predictable without the vision of the injured Manny Harvest and took an age to get going, our first shot on target not coming until the 35th minute as Kingstonian’s debutant keeper Daniel Cruz Domench held on to a Sam Youngs shot.

Things began to improve as halftime approached with back-to-back Marcus Wyllie efforts. First his half-volley was just the wrong side of the crossbar, then he got even closer as Mark Waters cleared off the line.

H-T 0-0

Town needed a radical shake-up but Kingstonian had the first big chance of the second half, Collins thankfully only managing to roll a pull-back into the arms of Rhys Forster.

Only now did we push Kingstonian back as a flurry of substitutions gave us fresh legs and greater impetus. But we still couldn’t get past man of the match German, on-loan from Bromley and a powerhouse at the back for the K’s.

A brilliant cross from Mickey Parcell found the boot of Wyllie who volleyed over and although there were further half-chances for Okotcha (pictured) and, twice, Jonathan Hippolyte, there was no happy ending to round off the first game at the newly-named Dave Bryant stadium.

“The first 30 minutes was without doubt the worst I’ve ever seen us play,” said Gavin who kept the players inside the dressing room for almost 30 minutes afterwards. “We just had a frank chat and agreed we couldn’t make the playoffs if our form doesn’t get better.”

“As a manager you rely on the players to bring some quality to the table but that was severely lacking.  We couldn’t pass the ball five yards which is hard for me to legislate for. It’s unrecognisable from earlier in the season.”

“The second half was better but I actually feel quite embarrassed and absolutely sympathise with the supporters who know the side is capable of a lot more. It’s not what they pay their money to see.”

Town: Foster, Parcell, Okotcha, Tanner, Payne; Thomas (Alves, 75) , Youngs,  Taaffe (Onyeagwara, 66), Knight, Wyllie,  Beckles-Richards (Hippolyte, 66)

Rescheduled Fixture Tomorrow Night

Our recently postponed home fixture against Kingstonian takes place tomorrow night, Tuesday, kick-off 7.45.

Kingstonian are bottom of the league but gave themselves a mighty confidence boost with a 3-2 home win over Bognor Regis on Saturday under interim manager Tutu Henriques —  their first  league success since  October.

The K’s parted company with Simon Lane earlier this month, the two sides issuing somewhat conflicting statements.

No-one will underestimate our opponents on Tuesday but the fixture gives us a terrific chance to cement our playoff position with another home game to come against Wingate and Finchley on Saturday.

Late Marcus Strike Earns Point

Carshalton Athletic 1 Enfield Town 1

Town snatched a point at fellow play-off hopefuls Carshalton Athletic in a game of few chances.

We were looking for revenge after the Robins took the points in a 3-0 win earlier in the season but went into the game without Taylor McKenzie and Manny Harvest, both injured, as well as Ollie Knight who was still suspended.

It left us with only four on the bench but changing our usual formation to 3-5-2 with the impressive Bernie Tanner making his debut in defence (pictured) and Mickey Parcell on the right of a three, we began on the front foot.

Reece Beckles-Richards blazed over after being set up by Marcus Wyllie, then Sam Youngs dragged a shot wide but it was promising play from Town.

Joe Payne’s hopeful punt was the only other chance of note for Town in the first half and as the home side grew into the game, a header over the bar was the Robins’ first attempt on goal.

As if our injury problems weren’t enough, Josh Okotcha had to replace James Richmond who suffered a freak injury on 37 minutes.

To make matters worse, in added time, the deadlock was broken with the first shot on target of the match. 

From a Carshalton freekick, the ball bounced around in the box before Oluwabunmi Babajide swept it into the bottom right corner when our defence switched off.

It was perhaps harsh on Town but in truth we hadn’t created enough.

HT 0-1

Carshalton started the second half how they ended the first, on front foot, with Kwaku Frimpong shooting just wide.

Babajide continued to cause problems for Town, forcing Rhys Forster into a low save from the edge of the box.

Town now started to apply more pressure, but still hadn’t sufficiently tested Aaron Jones in the Robins goal.

Then out of nowhere, Wyllie delivered as he has done so many times this season, losing his marker to head home at the back post from a rare Town corner for his 19th goal of the season.

Obi Onyeagwara’s introduction injected life into a pretty flat game, giving the home defence more to think about.

And just as it looked destined for a draw, Town substitute Jonathan Hippolyte’s cross fell to Beckles-Richards in the six-yard box, but he couldn’t sort his feet out at the vital moment.

With the Hastings game called off, we moved back into playoff places on goal difference ahead of a rearranged home game against Kingstonian on Tuesday night.

“We were without three of our very important players so overall you have to pleased with a point though in a way I was slightly disappointed it wasn’t all three because they hardly caused us any problems,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“The system change was planned a week ago to deal with the way Carshalton exploit certain areas of the pitch. It was very a tight game but on clearcut chances – and there weren’t many — we might have won it.”

Town: Forster, Parcell, Richmond (Okotcha, 37), Tanner, Payne, Alves (Hippolyte, 74), Thomas, Adjei-Hersey (Obi Onyeagwara, 63), Youngs, Beckles-Richards, Wyllie

Charlie Baker/Andrew Warshaw

Robins Pose Strong Challenge

After two weeks without a fixture, Enfield Town visit Carshalton Athletic tomorrow hoping to maintain a return to the kind of form shown in our excellent 3-0 win at Canvey Island following somewhat of a downturn.

Carshalton surrendered a two-goal lead at Hashtag last Saturday and although their last home game resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Cray, the previous two yielded four points from Hornchurch and Hastings.

Four points behind Town having played two games more, the Robins are nevertheless dangerous opponents on their day – as their 3-0 win at our place earlier in the season illustrated.

And the fact that they have lost only one of their last nine games says everything you need to know about the challenge ahead.

 “Having two weeks without a game is not ideal but we’ve worked hard in training,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“ Carshalton will be tough, especially on their own patch which is not our natural surface. But after a good solid win at Canvey we should be in good spirits, I’ve asked the players to increase their levels and I’ve been pleased with how they are applying themselves.”

AW

Unmissable Gig – March 15

We are delighted to bring the brilliant singer/songwriter Charlotte Campbell to Enfield Town FC in the latest of our musical evenings.

Often found busking along the river Thames and in London’s busiest train stations, Charlotte’s street performances have led to sold out shows across the capital and slots at Henley and Glastonbury festivals. 

She will be making her third appearance at Butler’s Bar but her first for several years.

​Building an online fanbase through street art, Charlotte recently performed at Twickenham at the Six Nations tournament and can also be seen playing at Premier League clubs, including Arsenal and Brentford, on matchdays as well as at some of London’s most prestigious clubs and bars.

As a teenager, she attended the prestigious BRIT School in South London and went on to study songwriting at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

She soon fell in love with the art of street performance and continues to use London’s pavements as her main platform for promoting her music to new audiences.

Charlotte now has a loyal and growing following as an independent singer-songwriter and in 2023 she celebrated 10 years since her first album, ‘Blue Eyed Soul’, with an innovative show at St Pancras Old Church, imitating her beloved Taylor Swift.

When: Friday 15th March

Where: Butler’s Bar

Time: Doors 7.30, On Stage 8pm

Tickets: £10 in advance using the following link

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/concert2/charlotte-campbell-live-butlers-bar

Alternatively, on the door pending availability.

Contact Christine Hamilton 07949 071587, email: ianchrisham@hotmail.com

Tanner’s a Towner

We are pleased to confirm the addition of centre-back Bernie Tanner. A versatile, left-footed defender, he is no stranger to the management team having spent a couple of years under their tutelage at Met Police, where he also picked up their Club Player of the Year award for the 21-22 season. The 23-year-old has also previously featured for Farnborough, the former Walton Casuals, and most recently Hanwell Town.

“Bernie will certainly add to our defensive options”, explained Gavin. “He’s left footed which provides a balance that we haven’t had. He’s a good defender with pace and is a really good character so for me I’m really happy he’s decided to come over to Enfield.”

Welcome, Bernie!

New Kingstonian Date

We are pleased to announce that our postponed home game against Kingstonian has now been re-arranged for Tuesday, Feb 20, kickoff 7.45.

Game Off

We regret that following a pitch inspection, today’s match against Kingstonian has had to be postponed.

A replacement date will be announced as soon as possible

AGM Says Farewell and Welcome

There was hardly a dry eye in the house at our annual agm when Dave Bryant, the club’s first ever chairman, stepped down as a director and board member.

After it was announced that we would be naming our stadium after Dave for the rest of the season, he gave an emotional, heartfelt farewell speech covering the formation of the club right up until the present day.

The AGM agenda notably included the election of six board members. Re-elected by the membership were John Dolan, Christine Hamilton, Geoff Lee and Andrew Warshaw, all of whom were standing again after their terms had expired. Added to the board were Neil Lutwyche and Graham Dodd who replaced Dave and Les Gold who is also stepping down after years of invaluable and loyal commitment.

There was standing room only at Butler’s Bar for what chairman Paul Reed said was probably the best ever agm attendance, a testament to the growing membership and the work being done on and off the pitch by Gavin Macpherson and his backroom staff and our wonderful team of volunteers.

Paul said 114 members had voted in the election ballot and that Neil and Graham would give “fresh impetus” to the board as we move forward.

Paul admitted there had been a hugely disappointing  end to last season but paid tribute to Andy Leese for all his hard work over six seasons. Four candidates were interviewed for the manager’s job with Gavin being the unanimous choice, joining us despite fighting off interest from another club. Crowds are already up 20 percent under Gavin on the same period last season.

Paul paid special tribute to Dave and Les, to the late Michael Lowe and to ETFC physio John Abbott who recently retired after a generation of service to move to Suffolk.

Paul explained some of the logistics involved trying to balance being competitive with financial realities and also the viability of installing an artificial pitch which was almost certainly unaffordable without external funding.

Before the Q and A session with Gavin, the agm heard from Clare Donovan, ceo of Cooking Champions, our popular new matchday food partner.

Clare revealed how the charity helps 200 people per week with food packages and how much the company aligns itself with our fan-owned ethos.

The audience also heard from John Doyle, who is stepping down as head of our youth section. In his time in charge, the youth section has burgeoned to 24 teams and John invited any would-be successors to get in touch.

Then came Dave Bryant’s emotion-packed address which covered how the club came about, the highs and lows, the passion of creating our own club and the work that went into securing our own stadium.

When he had finished, Dave (pictured), without whom Enfield Town FC as a club almost certainly wouldn’t exist today, received a lengthy and richly deserved standing ovation.

The final session featured a good-natured, respectful and often humourous Q and A with Gavin, accompanied by Sam Youngs.

Gavin paid tribute to the fan base as he did his best to answer a series of probing exchanges about tactics, formations and individual players.

Admitting that losing Jake Cass early in the season was a major body blow, he nevertheless painted a positive picture of where we stand.

“We are in very good place although it’s not lost on me that the last month hasn’t been what we would have expected,” said Gavin, ahead of course of our 3-0 win at Canvey Island.

 “We have a team in the playoff places that’s working very hard to regain our momentum.  I think from a betting perspective we were destined to finish 14th but I don’t mind defying the odds. My mindset is extremely positive.”

Andrew Warshaw

Town Back With A Bang

Canvey Island 0 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

That’s more like it! After a cagey first half, Town showed their true colours as we hit Canvey Island with a second-half goal blitz on Saturday to finally get back to winning ways.

In the 11th hour absence of Gavin Macpherson for personal reasons, Jon Nurse took over the main managerial duties with a starting eleven that saw James Richmond dropped to the bench in favour of Josh Okotcha – albeit for only 41 minutes.

And on a ground that is traditionally unkind to us — not least last season when were well beaten in the league and FA Cup — we ended up worthy winners to remain the playoff places and hopefully re-ignite our campaign after the recent wobble.

Canvey arguably had the better of the first-half exchanges and almost went in front with the first meaningful attack of the game as Conor Hubble struck the crossbar with a 25-yard freekick, the followup also rebounding off the woodwork.

Town responded with Reece Beckles-Richards denied by keeper Sam Jackson but in a scrappy opening period we looked somewhat devoid of ideas, caught for long periods in a game of head tennis.

For Canvey, who lost by the same score at our place in November, Jadon Crowhurst played the ball behind our backline but the dangerous Bradley Sach fortunately scuffed his shot wide.

Ten minutes before the break Okotcha came off second best under pressure from Rio Davidson-Phipps who fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

In trying to shepherd the ball out of play, Josh collided with the metal fencing and after lengthy treatment had to be subbed by Richmond with a nasty facial gash.

H-T 0-0

Talk about a sea change after the break. As we changed shape, made the pitch bigger and radically improved our movement on and off the ball, Beckles-Richards put a sublime Mickey Parcell cross over the bar and at the midway point,  we hit the front.

The on-loan Manny Harvest, becoming an important cog in our midfield with his vision and industry, saw a powerful effort parried by Sam Jackson and Sam Youngs followed up from close range.

Youngs was denied what he thought should have been a penalty, Harvest was forced off with a hip issue and when Sam Higgins, notorious scourge of Enfield Town, came off the Gulls bench with 17 minutes left, Towners fans held their breath.

Within seconds of his introduction, however, we doubled our lead with a classic Marcus Wyllie individual effort, gliding past three opponents before finding space to drill his shot into the corner.

Higgins flashed a header just wide but Town were now very the team in the ascendency and put the game to bed in the 89th minute as the ball fell kindly to Lewis Taaffe who put Marcus through to provide another cool finish for his 18th league goal of the season (pictured).

“It was difficult pitch to play on and we knew it would be a battle,” said Jon Nurse. “It was hard at first to gain any foothold but we’re a team that is capable of going on to win games when we stay in it and things open up.”

“We worked hard in training to try and cut out mistakes. The last few results were hard to take and this is just what we needed to change the tide.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha (Richmond, 41), Mackenzie, Payne; Taaffe (Adjei-Hersey, 89) , Thomas, Harvest (Alves, 68), Youngs; Beckles-Richards, Wyllie

Town Out To Clip Gulls’ Wings

Having taken just five points from seven games, Enfield Town aim to snap out of a disappointing run of form tomorrow with a visit to Canvey Island.

Canvey may sit 13th in the table but they have been impressive at home, winning their last three league games.

Having said that they have had a tough week and just like Town will be looking for a response.

Last Saturday a depleted Canvey lost 5-1 on the road at Chatham Town and then crashed out of the Essex Senior Cup at the 4th Round stage to Buckhurst Hill.

There are a handful of minibus seats remaining at £15 with departure time 12.30 from Donkey Lane. Contact Ram at ram.ismail@enfieldtownfootballclub.com

We may have beaten the Gulls 3-0 at our place earlier in the season but Gavin Macpherson is under no illusions about how challenging it will be to get back to winning ways after our recent blip.

“You always have to be conscious of how you can motivate your players. But for Canvey, it’s about how our mindset is for the game following two defeats,” said Gavin.

“We’ve got to play really well it’s as simple as that. They’re a good team with and without the ball, we’ve got to be better than we have been recently to get a result.

“Some of our lads who attended the fans Q+A (at the AGM) after training will be fully aware just how much our supporters are behind them. That should be motivation enough for us all to be better.”

AW

AGM at Butler’s Bar

Tomorrow’s Annual General Meeting takes place at the stadium, in Butler’s Bar, from 7:30pm.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

  1. Apologies
  2. Minutes of last years AGM
  3. Result of board elections
  4. ETFC Ltd Accounts
    To approve accounts for ETFC Ltd
  5. ETFC SS Accounts
    To approve accounts for ETFC Supporters Society
  6. Board Review/Update
    To include updates on new facility and 3G pitch
  7. Cooking Champions Presentation
  8. Youth Section
  9. Q & A with Gavin Macpherson and others

We look forward to hopefully seeing as many of you as possible. At this stage, we are planning on filming the meeting and sharing the video on our YouTube channel shortly after its conclusion.

Winning Formula Again Absent

Enfield Town 1 Billericay Town 2

Report By Andrew Warshaw

Not the result we wanted, of course, and arguably beaten by the better side.

But we have now played two of the division’s heavyweight pace-setters in the space of four days. The important thing is that we snap our loss of form and momentum as quickly as possible, restore confidence and keep our play-off hopes on track.

To be fair there were a couple of mitigating circumstances against Billericay. Ollie Knight received a three-match ban just a few hours before kickoff (more on that later) while traffic snarl-ups meant Mickey Parcell had to be replaced at the last minute in the starting line-up by Dylan Adjei-Hersey, with Lewis Taaffe moving to fullback.

Not great for planning and there was nothing we could do either by yet another inexplicable penalty award against us that left just about everyone scratching their heads.

In front of a post-500 crowd boosted by children from a local school, Billericay showed us very quickly why they are where they are squad-wise as they started strongly.

Alfie Cerulli pulled the trigger just two minutes in,  forcing Rhys Forster into a brilliant save with his wrong hand.

As the early pressure mounted, Richard Asamoah raced past three players and unleashed a 20-yard shot that Rhys managed to scramble to safety.

But against the run of play and after weathering the storm, Town went in front on 15 minutes with a delightful goal from Marcus Wyllie as he brought down Sam Youngs’ header into the box and netted with a controlled finish (pictured).

Ricay failed to capitalise on an unfortunate James Richmond slip but were soon back on level terms, albeit in the most fortunate of circumstances.

Jimbo was deemed to have handled as he cut out Frankie Merrified’s cross even though his arm was not raised, and Bradley Stevenson equalised from the spot.

It was tough on Town and Parcell received a booking for dissent from the bench. But we responded well and might have gone in ahead at halftime.

Marcus’ left-foot drive came back off the post while Sam uncharacteristically spurned a great chance following excellent vision by Manny Harvest, who caught eye throughout in central midfield.

H-T 1-1

Those chances bode well for the second half but for some reason we got bogged down and created little more to shout about.

Ricay skipper and former Towner Matt Johnson, who put in a typically commanding display, missed a golden chance as his team regained control but on 56 minutes they regained the lead.

Another defensive mix-up, all too apparent in recent fixtures, allowed Cerulli to break with pace down the left and with an extra player in the box, Stevenson moved the ball on to Asamoah who fired home.

Stevenson could have made it 3-1 when he cut inside but whacked the ball over the bar and despite eight minutes of stoppage time following treatment to blood-splattered Ricay keeper Daniel Wilks, we couldn’t find a way back – much like Hornchurch on Saturday.

After five points from a possible 21, it’s not rocket science to acknowledge we are lacking in confidence.

But we remain in the playoff positions and it’s certainly not a crisis, especially when you consider the two-year plan Gavin Macpherson and his team took on when they arrived. And when you consider we lost Jake Cass early doors. And, perhaps most significantly of all, that we are doing much better than some of those with far deeper pockets.

We also need luck which isn’t running for us. Take the last two penalties against us, for example. But there were no excuses from the manager.

“There was a moment tonight, just as on Saturday, when we contributed to our own downfall,” said a frustrated Gavin. “But they defended better than us and the reality is we’ve played two of the top sides in the league and we’re not quite there. Having said that, I expect better, especially in the previous games.”

“Mickey’s issue with getting here was a total shock and we had to reshuffle but I’m not bemoaning our bad luck. I have to sit down and see whether things are working because I can’t coach mistakes.”

On Ollie Knight’s suspension – as a result of an incident at Kingstonian involving one of their players when he was sent off – Gavin was unequivocal. Having already had a three-match ban at the time, Ollie now serves another several months after the game in question.

“It came out of the blue and I’m disappointed at the time the FA took,” said Gavin. “At first they couldn’t even get the league we were playing in right! Ollie knows he let himself down even though I don’t think he did it deliberately.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Alves 85), Thomas (Hipployte 76), Harvest, Youngs; Wyllie, Beccles-Richards

Town Go Again Against Ricay

The games are coming thick and fast and there’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves after Saturday’s narrow defeat to Hornchurch.

There’s no better way to dust ourselves down than to go again and that’s what we do tomorrow Tuesday against fellow contenders Billericay (k-o 7.45).

It’s a classic six-pointer, arguably bigger than against runaway leaders Hornchurch given the tight race for playoff places.

The Blues are third in the league, three points ahead of us having played one game fewer.

It’s therefore imperative we don’t allow them to get away but having gained a thoroughly deserved 1-1 draw against our Essex rivals earlier in the season, there is no reason why we can’t match or better that result.

Ricay were beaten 1-0 late on at Bognor on Saturday and before that were held at Cheshunt. But 15 goals in their previous four games tells its own story.

It promises to be a mouth-watering occasion under the lights against another big-spending heavyweight opponent and Gavin Macpherson is under no illusions.

“We knew this week would be a tough one, when you play the best two teams in the league in the space of few days it’s demanding,” said Gav. “We must focus more than ever on the job in hand and get us back functioning like I know we can.”

AW

Edged Out By Urchins

Enfield Town 1 Hornchurch 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Five points from six games now but certainly no need to panic.

Town remain fourth after this narrowest of defeats against the runaway league leaders, helped in part by two other leading playoff-chasing sides losing as well.

Much was made of Hornchurch being without a string of key regulars but as their caretaker manager pointed out afterwards, they have invested in a heavyweight squad, arguably stronger than any other team  in the division.

Town made three changes from the 3-3 draw with Hashtag; with Ollie Knight, Dylan Adjei-Hersey, and Mickey Parcell restored to the starting lineup.

It all started very positively as Mickey Parcell’s low cross was headed goalwards by Sam Youngs, only for stand-in keeper Noah Phillips to push it against the post and Quentin Monville to clear off the line.

Ten minutes later a Ryan Scott header at the other end was fortunately powered straight at Rhys Forster.

In truth much of the first half was a scrappy affair, a series of Joe Payne long throws coming to nothing as both sides wrestled for supremacy.

Then, just before halftime, the Urchins took the lead with the most bizarre penalty award for handball, seemingly seen by no-one except the referee and dispatched in the corner by Femi Akinwande.

As Town responded, Joe Payne drilled a freekick wide while Marcus Wyllie’s goalbound shot found a Hornchurch body in the way.

H-T 0-1

In front of our biggest gate of the season (880),  Town discovered some much-needed urgency following a relatively lacklustre 45 minutes during which we were guilty of not enough pressure on the ball.

A foul on Ollie Knight on the edge of box (was it inside?) saw Youngs fire a freekick straight into the arms of 19-year-old Phillips but on 57 minutes parity was restored.

Town were awarded a spotkick of their own, again for handball though this time far more obvious, the otherwise excellent Ryan Scott – scourge of Town in the corresponding fixture earlier in the season — being the culprit (pictured). Up stepped the ever reliable Youngs to blast the ball down the middle.

The equaliser galvanised us but just as we appeared to move into the ascendency, we fell behind again.

James Richmond’s challenge on Muldoon earned him a booking but not before Muldoon’s sublime pass found Sean Scannell who ran on and rolled the ball into the corner.

Briefly we were down to 10 men as Parcell suffered a nasty gash on the face. He was luckily soon back on his feet and we came within  a whisker of levelling. Wyllie did well to keep the ball in play and from his cross Youngs was inches off the target.

Cue a series of substititions as we tried to find the  creativity in open play to open up a physically imposing back line that gobbled up almost every home attack.

Six minutes of stoppage time were added but in the end it wasn’t to be and we go again on Tuesday against Billericay.

“We came up against a very mean defence but I was really pleased with the application in the second half,” said Gavin Macpherson. “Sadly we contributed to our own downfall. Things could be very different in terms of the last few games but sadly they’re not.

“At the moment the boys don’t seem to be functioning as they were in the early part of the season. Maybe they’ve lost a little bit of confidence, I’m not sure. But we need to pep ourselves up.”

Town – Forster;  Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Youngs, Adjei-Hersey (Onyeagwara, 78) Knight (Taaffe, 86), Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Hippolyte, 65)

Hold on to your hats!

Enfield Town go into the first of two massive home games tomorrow as we test ourselves against a couple of the division’s heavyweights.

Billericay are the visitors on Tuesday but first we have the small matter of leaders Hornchurch (ko 3pm) against whom we put up more than a decent show in the corresponding game earlier in the season before running out of a gas and falling to a 2-0 defeat.

The Urchins have lost only once in the league all season and lead the table by six points, 10 ahead of us having played a game more.

Five points from our last five fixtures isn’t exactly playoff form but there is no better way to prove our mettle than to go toe to toe with one of the pre-season promotion favourites, especially since they are now under new management and have shown signs of vulnerability in recent games with three straight draws.

“We all know how difficult the week ahead is, starting with Hornchurch,” said Gavin Macpherson who is looking for our usual passionate support to get behind us.

“As it stands they are the best side in the division and we know how tough our task is. We are underdogs but we don’t mind that, I’m looking for the best of Enfield Town both on and off the pitch.”

“Against the best sides you are looking to find that extra 5 or 10%, our supporters can certainly give us that boost, we all know how crucial they are to us.”

AW

Town Tagged Back Late On

Hashtag United 3 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

In a game that always promised goals, Enfield Town shared six but threw away a 3-1 lead in the process to maintain their stuttering start to the New Year.

Second best for the opening 45 minutes when the hosts had eight attempts on goal to our one, we looked a different side after the break and seemed to be well on course for victory before being pegged back.

Five points from as many games is hardly playoff form and with tough encounters against Hornchurch and Billericay to come, Town need to rediscover their mojo as quickly as possible.

With Mickey Parcell and Ollie Knight both missing through injury, our right flank consisted of Renedi Masampu, making his Town debut, and Obi Onyeagwara in his first league start.

Town also fielded newcomer Manny Harvest in central midfield alongside Scott Thomas as we adopted a flexible 4-2-3-1 system with Sam Youngs pushed further forward

Hashtag were without even more players, including former Towner Percy Kiangebeni, but you would never have known it judging by their early dominance.

But for a couple of magnificent saves from Rhys Forster and several glaring misses by the Tags, we may well have had a mountain to climb.

Instead we went in front against the run of play on the half hour. Reece Beckles-Richards, restored to the starting lineup, played in Marcus Wyllie with a sublime flick and keeper Joshua Strizovic couldn’t do enough to keep the ball out as Marcus got back on the score sheet after a lean patch.

The lead was shortlived, however. Five minutes later, we somehow allowed Camilo Restrepo, who nicked the ball high up the pitch, to burst through the heart of midfield and finish in the corner.

H-T 1-1

It was clear that our right side needed fixing and the management team wasted no time pulling off Masampu, whose preferred role is on the left, and bringing on Lewis Taaffe.

After a stern talking-to, we re-emerged looking far more of a threat, taking the game to our opponents.

Strizovic made two huge saves to deny Wyllie and Beckles-Richards but could do nothing to keep out Taaffe’s sumptuous pinpoint 20-yard freekick on 56 minutes (pictured).

It was the away team now asking all the questions and on 71 minutes, we seemed to have put the game to bed as Onyeagwara latched on to a loose ball and smashed a curling strike into the far top corner.

Hashtag were far from finished, however. Just two minutes later, with the centre of our defence exposed, substitute Alex Teniola headed home a right-wing cross to set up a nail-biting finale.

It gave the Tags fresh impetus at the worst possible time and with nine minutes left, an angled shot by Hassan Sakariya was deflected back into his path and at the second attempt he made no mistake as two points were ripped from our grasp.

Whilst we remain in fourth spot, several of those around us had their games called off and Gavin Macpherson understandably cut a frustrated figure.

“Whether or not we on the back foot in the first half, the fact is we were 3-1 up,” said Gavin. “Renedi wasn’t quite up to speed and that’s my responsibility. But generally they were doing things they were not asked to do.”

“They got a rocket a halftime but whereas we had to work really hard for our goals, they were given theirs on a plate. I’m devastated for the supporters. I know Hashtag score goals but we didn’t manage the game properly. Now they have it all to do in the next two games because otherwise they could be playing catch-up.”

Town:

 Forster; Masampu (Taaffe, 45), McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Beckles-Richards, Thomas, Harvest, Youngs; Onyeagwara; Wyllie

Town Bring In Harvest

We are pleased to announce the signing of holding midfielder Emmanuel Harvest from Leyton Orient on a 28-day loan.

Emmanuel, who signed a professional contract with the O’s in June 2023, is described by his parent club as a ‘combative midfielder’ and started the season with Hornchurch, making 14 appearances before spending the final two months of the year with St Albans City. He has also had prior experience at Harlow Town.

Manager Gavin Macpherson added: “It all came about quickly and I’d like to thank Leyton Orient for making this happen. We are lacking in holding midfield, mainly down to Louis Birch having had a difficult time recently and the departure of Leo [Donnellan] this week. Louis has started getting game time after a long period out but in Manny we’ve added immediate resilience in that area.

“Manny has recent step 2 experience on loan and means we have a current option other than Scott, I feel is important with the current schedule.”

Town In Good Heart for Hashtag

Enfield Town venture into Essex tomorrow as we attempt to do the double over Hashtag United who play at Bowers and Pitsea’s ground.

The corresponding  game in October resulted in a 6-3 goalfest in favour of Town but victory of any kind tomorrow would stand us in good stead going into two mouth-watering six-pointers at home to Hornchurch and Billericay.

Hashtag have surprisingly lost their last five league games but are notoriously unpredictable and have beaten the likes of Billericay, Horsham and Folkestone.

They have also been boosted by a string of signings including Sam Cornish, last season’s player of the season at Wingate and Finchley.

They are certainly one of the division’s great entertainers, having lost 5-4 and 3-2 in their last two outings, so we can perhaps expect plenty of goals — hopefully not in our net!

Boosted by a hugely creditable 1-1 draw at Horsham in freezing conditions in midweek, we now negotiate yet another artificial surface but we go into tomorrow’s game in good heart.

“We now need to regain the consistency shown earlier in the season and the players have proved they are good enough to do that,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“It’s not an easy game at the weekend but few are. We need to up our levels and get on with the job in hand.”

AW

Fenix Trophy Update

It’s time to start planning for our last three group games.

Skjold Away –  March 5 (ko tbd)

All seats and accommodation for the official party for our trip to Copenhagen — our first competitive fixture overseas  — are now taken.  However there are still plenty of bargain fares to be had. Most budget airlines now have a January sale on so why not treat yourself!

Llantwit  Major Home – March 19 (ko tbd)

Live Music planned after the game

Llantwit  Major Away – April 9 (ko 5pm)

The club are considering running a supporters’ coach to this game. Expected time of departure from Stadium 11am arriving back approx. midnight.

Please register your interest at the Club Shop. Final details of costs and timings will be given once the level of interest is known.

Honours Even at Hop Oast

Horsham 1-1 Enfield Town

Enfield Town responded to Saturday’s disappointing home defeat with a much-improved second-half performance, as Reece Beckles-Richards’ late strike earned a share of the spoils on a frosty evening at Horsham.

There were wholesale changes to the lineup as boss Gavin Macpherson opted for a change in system. Herson Alves was introduced for a full debut at the tip of midfield, while Lewis Taaffe and Jonathan Hippolyte were handed starts as Marcus Wyllie, Reece Beckles-Richards and Dylan Adjei-Hersey settled for a place on a particularly chilly bench.

Horsham hitman Jack Mazzone had exchanged pleasantries with the Enfield management team pre-match, and it was he who almost landed the first blow to his former Met Police colleagues on six minutes after Horsham had stolen possession in their final third, but his eventual shot sailed harmlessly wide of Rhys Forster’s left-hand upright. From there, the pattern for a rather insipid first half was largely set; the hosts with lengthy spells of possession and Enfield happy to keep their shape and press with caution. On occasion, the visitors managed to spring upfield and send in a series of flighted crosses, though goalkeeper Lewis Carey and his defence went largely untroubled. Horsham captain Jack Brivio ventured forward and fed Tom Richards to swing in a cross which narrowly evaded a yellow shirt in the centre, before Brivio headed narrowly over from a corner kick, and Mazzone tested Forster with a low effort following a swift breakaway.

The fact that the Hornets’ skipper had attempted to lob Forster from some 40 yards would have been an apt summary of the attacking fortunes of either side first period, until the deadlock was eventually broken on 39 minutes. Horsham had found some joy spraying long passes into wide areas, and this time it bore fruit as Carey picked out Lee Harding who took one touch to kill the loose ball at the gallop and another to tee up Shamir Fenelon on the edge of the box for a tidy touch and shot off the left peg, which bounced out of Rhys Forster’s grasp and into the far corner.

Half Time: Horsham 1-0 Enfield Town

Town, unchanged but undeterred, continued as before the restart; maintaining discipline and attempting to mount sporadic counters in transition to little avail. It was the hosts initially who looked the likelier to extend their lead, not least when Reece Meekums stabbed a square ball straight at Forster from close range. Another low cross from Fenelon moments later required the Enfield goalie’s intervention once more to snap up in front of a host of Horsham forwards poised for a tap-in.

Slowly, however, the momentum began to shift as Town began to maintain possession and threaten their hosts with movement from off the flanks. Some combination play down the left allowed for Herson Alves to register Enfield’s first real shot just after the hour mark, followed soon after by Lewis Carey’s first assignment of the night; Joe Payne’s back post header tipped over the bar following a wicked corner kick from Alves.

A trio of changes; Beckles-Richards, Wyllie, and Obi Onyeagwara; were all introduced in the game’s closing stages as Town attempted to turn their foothold into an equaliser, and with ten minutes remaining they did just that. A neat interchange between Sam Youngs and Onyeagwara set the latter away to dink a cross across the face of goal and, with Carey stranded, Beckles-Richards arrived at the back stick to drill home at the near post from a tight angle.

With fresh legs, and buoyed by their equaliser, it was arguably Town who came the closest to a winner as the game ebbed away – not least when Scott Thomas sent Marcus Wyllie clean through, only for the striker to drag his eventual effort wide of the mark with just Carey in the goal to beat. As the match ticked over the four allocated additional minutes, its final moments saw Joe Payne’s hopeful ball nodded just beyond the post by Wyllie from a difficult angle, with the referee bringing to an end a contest which both sides may feel they ought to have won.

Town: Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Youngs, Taaffe (Beckles-Richards 77′) , Alves, Knight (Onyeagwara 68′) ; Hippolyte (Wyllie 68′)

Attendance: 679

Town Out To Sting Hornets

After a below-par performance against Folkestone, Enfield Town aim to bounce back quickly when we visit Horsham tomorrow night, kick-off 7.45.

The match marks the first of four remaining January fixtures that include league leaders Hornchurch and play-off chasing Billericay, a challenging period but an ideal opportunity to put down a marker that we are very much still in the mix.

Mid-table Horsham’s exploits in the FA Cup and FA Trophy mean they have games in hand on every other side except Concord Rangers. On Saturday they were knocked out of the Trophy by Peterborough Sports.

In the league they have won only one of their last five games but crucially two of those were against the top two, against whom they gained creditable draws.

Our record on artificial pitches is not ideal but after two defeats in three games, we need a decent performance to restore confidence and prove our mettle on what is likely to be a freezing cold night.

“If we were absolutely firing and churning out results, you might look at the fact that Horsham have played a lot of games as being a bonus for us,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“But at the moment I’m doing some real soul-searching to work out how I drag this team out of where they are.  I was bitterly disappointed on Saturday with what we did as a collective group and that includes me and the rest of the management team.”

“There will be bumps in the road all the way, we know that, but we’ve now got to find some points in some very tough games to keep us in there.”

Andrew Warshaw

Misfiring Town Fall Short

Enfield Town 0 Folkestone Invicta 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Gavin Macpherson warned in midweek that we would have to improve on our performance versus Haringey to bag another three points against Folkestone on Saturday.

We didn’t and we paid the price as our visitors proved on the day that anyone can beat anyone in this division if you are not on your game.

 To make matters worse for the 600-plus crowd, everyone around us in the playoff positions picked up a maximum haul as we slipped from third to fifth — certainly not the ideal sendoff for physio John Abbott in his last match after a generation of sterling service to the club.

The first half was pretty much a forgettable affair and by the time Gavin gave his halftime team talk, we already had a mountain to climb

An encouraging start didn’t last long and we fell behind on 13 minutes. Tom Derry’s powerful low shot evaded the challenge of James Richmond and nestled in the far corner under the legs of keeper Rhys Forster.

Folkestone were working harder off the ball and it could have been two as Ade Cole’s rasping effort flashed past the post.

Marcus Wyllie, for whom the goals seem to have dried up recently, had a great chance to level but drilled his shot wide.

It soon proved costly as Scott Heard, who pulled the strings in midfield all afternoon, put the Seasiders in the driving seat, taking advantage of Ollie Knight’s mistimed header that looped into the danger zone.

The deficit was almost halved as James Richmond’s close-range effort was somehow cleared off the line. But Folkestone might well have gone in three up when David Smith sent a bullet header straight at Rhys Forster when of either side of him would have made it three.

H-T 0-2

Town couldn’t get much worse so cue a double halftime change that saw the introduction of Obi Onyeagwara and new signing Herson Alves.

Both had an immediate impact, Obi scaring the life out of Folkestone with his pace and trickery down the right and Alves shooting narrowly over (pictured).

As Town improved, a string of chances came and went though most of them were either rushed, off target or cleared by a tall, resolute Folkestone defence.

In truth, we weren’t smart enough and fair play to the visitors who never lost their shape or positioning and even found the net again late on but were clearly offside.

“I’ll be brutally honest, I don’t like what I’m seeing at the moment,” admitted Gavin after our second defeat in three games that saw Taylor McKenzie pushed up front for the last 15 minutes to try and alter proceedings.

“Our quality was poor and we’ll have to put our finger on it very quickly. The front players are struggling and it seems like confidence has gone.

“Folkestone were very game and worked extremely hard whereas we fell short. We had enough chances to win the game twice over but we’re going through a patch where we’re inconsistent in terms of results and performances.”

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Onyeagwara, 46), Thomas, Youngs, Knight; Beckles-Richards (Alves 46), Wyllie (Hippolyte)

Folkestone Up Next On Saturday

Following our midweek win over neighbours Haringey Borough, Enfield Town attempt to do the double over Folkestone Invicta tomorrow as we stage our second successive home game (ko 3pm)

Back in August we won 2-1 at Folkestone with goals from Marcus Wyllie and Oliver Knight before Callum Davies pulled one back for Folkestone 15 minutes from time.

Surprisingly Folkestone have had a mixed season and are currently 17th in the table with 23 points from 22 games.

But Gavin Macpherson is taking nothing for granted with Folkestone  showing signs of improvement under new manager Andrew Drury, their last result being a 1-1 draw with in-form Wingate and Finchley, preceded by an away win at Margate.

“It will be tough. They are a team I believe will start to climb the table,” said Gavin. “New manager, new players in and gelling. If our standards don’t improve from Haringey, it may not be good enough.”

Gavin would also like it known that Louis Birch had to have a second operation just before Christmas.

“I’m gutted for Louis,” said Gav. “I brought him here and there have been games when I wish I had Louis out there. He’s had a very difficult season and I feel for him.”

Town Indebted To Super-Subs

Enfield Town 1 Haringey Borough 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town left it late on Tuesday night to jump back into the top three with a thoroughly merited if sharpness-lacking win over injury-hit Haringey Borough in a match re-arranged from the New Year’s Day postponement.

Over 500 fans, a fantastic midweek turnout, braved freezing conditions to see us return to winning ways after the setback at Cray as Jonathan Hippolyte again came off the bench to hit a 75th-minute winner and end Haringey’s brave resistance.

Our visitors were missing influential midfielder Matt Young  among others and it showed as they had little creative spark even though Mekki Leacock-McLeod caused us plenty of problems with his pace, especially in the first half.

To be fair we weren’t anywhere near our inventive best although we had the vast majority of the ball and the chances.

The first of those came after just two minutes as  Joe Payne rifled over after exchanging passes with Sam Youngs.

Ten minutes later, Dillon Barnes managed to clutch on to the ball at the second attempt with Reece Beckles-Richards breathing down his neck.

The same pattern continued as we struggled to break down a Haringey team that got in block after block including one incredible goalmouth scramble that kept us out four times.

Every team in this division has a period of the ball and Haringey’s came towards the end of the half.

Taylor McKenzie deflected a goalbound Leacock-McLeod effort for a corner and Rhys Forster then produced a tip-over save from Haringey’s dangerman having minutes earlier raced off his line to beat Anthony Mendy to the tackle and prevent an almost certain goal.

H-T 0-0

Straight from the restart, Youngs had a shot palmed away but still we lacked the guile to break through.

Cue a double substitution on 70 minutes with Obi Onyeagwara and Jonathan Hippolyte replacing Beckles-Richards and Adjei-Hersey .

It was an inspired move because five minutes later both contributed to the breakthrough.

Marcus Wyllie found space to head Obi’s low centre against the far upright and Hippolyte was first on hand to prod home the rebound (pictured).

It may not have been pretty but Gavin Macpherson was relieved to see us get over the line on the back of two postponed fixtures.

“It looked like Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year rolled into one,” said Gavin. “We tried to make training as real as we could but you’re not replicating game situations.”

“Haringey did exactly what I expected. They play in a similar way to Cray so we worked very hard in the last couple of weeks on ball retention. We didn’t have enough quality but we found a way.”

Thanks in part to the two super-subs who made an instant impact.

“I thought long and hard about who to bring on but Hipps can do that as we saw against Dulwich and Obi, being a bit of a maverick, can always be a threat.”

Team

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Hippolyte, 70), Youngs, Thomas, Knight; Wyllie (Taaffe, 85), Beckles-Richards (Onyeagwara)

Final Fenix Group Dates

We are very pleased to confirm the remaining dates for our matches in Group A of the Fenix Trophy.

The group phase matches will conclude with a double-header against fellow newcomers, Welsh side Llantwit Major FC. Town are to host Llantwit Major at the QEII Stadium on the evening of Tuesday 19th March 2024. Tickets will be available in due course.

We will then play our final group match away in South Wales on Tuesday 9th April 2024.
Click Here For Tickets – Llantwit Major (A)

As ever, we hope to see as many of you – home and away – as possible!

Town Back In Action

Will the rest have done the players the world of good in terms of recharging batteries? Or will the enforced layoff leave us lacking sharpness despite several training sessions?

We’ll find out tomorrow (Tuesday) night when, after having our last two games postponed, Enfield Town take on local rivals Haringey Borough (kickoff 7.45) in the re-arranged fixture from New Year’s Day that was postponed because of the weather.

Haringey may be near the bottom of the table but invariably raise their game against us and are a force to be reckoned with on their day.

The corresponding fixture earlier in the season ended 1-1 and on Saturday, in their latest outing, they gained a commendable 2-1 win over Canvey Island.

“Haringey have beaten Billericay recently and defeated Canvey on Saturday so they will certainly get the respect they fully deserve,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“It’s going to be tough but at the same time we’re ready for the challenge. We’ve haven’t played recently but we’ve kept working hard. It’s important we impose ourselves on the game.

“After Cray it’s also important we faced the reality of why we fell short. It is not the first time we have lost but we’ve always had the ability to bounce back and that is all that matters now. The lads have worked hard at their game over the past week or so, there’s no pressure on them, they are enjoying the challenge.”

Concord Off

As widely anticipated, our league fixture away at Concord Rangers today has been postponed following an early-morning pitch inspection

Details of any rescheduling will be announced as soon as possible

Enfield Town’s next scheduled league game is now our re-arranged Haringey Borough home fixture on Tuesday, kickoff 7.45

New Defender

Amidst the disappointment of games being called off, we are pleased to announce the arrival of leftback Renedi Musampu.

Renedi has represented both Chelsea and Birmingham at under-23 and under-21 level respectively and was released by Hornchurch in mid-October.

A welcome addition to the squad who is only 24, he has also played for Dulwich Hamlet and under Gavin Macpherson at Met Police and will provide crucial versatility, being able to fit in anywhere across the back line.

“Renedi played in the recent friendly at Ware and has spent much of his footballing life in the pro game, initially with Chelsea and more recently Birmingham,” said Gavin.

“He’s someone I’ve worked with previously, albeit over a short period, and adds fullback competition to the squad as he can play on both sides. With the long-term injury to Carlos (Velasco) this is something we’ve needed for a while.”

Welcome Renedi!

Spurs Under-21 Off

We regret to announce that the Tottenham Hotspur under-21 Premier League Cup fixture versus Bristol City, scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, at 1pm, has had to be postponed.

We had been looking forward to hosting the game at QEII but unfortunately have been beaten by the weather with all the recent rain rendering the pitch unplayable.

Details of any rescheduling will be announced as soon as possible.

Our arrangement with Spurs includes a second game against Peterborough United on Saturday, February 3, kick-off 1pm, and this still stands.

Haringey Date

Our home league game against Haringey Borough, postponed on New Year’s Day because of a waterlogged pitch, has been re-arranged for Tuesday next week, Jan 9, kickoff 7.45.

Tickets purchased on the website for the original date will remain valid.

Game Off

Just a reminder that today’s home derby with Haringey borough has been postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

A fresh date will be announced as soon as possible

Happy New Year to all Town fans. Onwards and upwards

Gavin Looking For Improvements

As we enter 2024, no-one can deny that we are in a fantastic position in the table despite the recent setback at Cray.

And although our New Year’s Day visitors from nearby Haringey Borough might be second to bottom of the league, they will certainly not be under-estimated.

Everyone knows how Haringey invariably raise their game against us and having ideally targeted a minimum six points from our three holiday fixtures, Gavin Macpherson knows how vital Monday’s clash will be (kickoff 3pm).

“Games during this period are notoriously difficult, three games in six days represents a very tough ask for teams at our level, that’s why you focus on points rather than performance,” said Gavin.

“ It’s all about getting through with a good points return and minimal impact. We must turn the page quickly from a below par performance at Cray and focus on one of Enfield Town’s toughest games of the season.”

“I’ll be looking for improvements all round, we’re in a good position and winning the match is clearly the main focus, but I’d like us to get back to being a better more fluent version than we have been recently.

Town’s Year Ends With A Whimper

Cray Wanderers 2-0 Enfield Town

Enfield Town’s run of three straight league wins came to a dismal halt on Friday evening as they ended 2023 with a 2-0 defeat to Cray Wanderers at Hayes Lane.

Town had James Richmond (rib injury) and Obi Onyeagwara (illness) sidelined, though still named ten of the eleven which had started Boxing Day’s victory away at Cheshunt; Josh Okotcha the single change for Richmond in central defence. They arguably started the brighter, too. Marcus Wyllie had found some early joy down the left and with barely two minutes gone his squared pass fell into the path of Mickey Parcell, but his effort was snuffed out and cleared. Town were pressing high and recycling the ball well enough in the opening stages yet lacked a final product; minutes later Scott Thomas pounced on an errant pass and fed Dylan Adjei-Hersey whose deep cross looped narrowly beyond the far post.

Their best chances of the half – in truth their best of the entire match – arrived on 11 minutes as a fleet-footed counter down the left flank saw Ollie Knight and Sam Youngs exchange passes before Youngs’ guided shot was well parried by Shaun Rowley; Reece Beckles-Richards not quite close enough to turn in the rebound. The resulting corner was attacked well by Okotcha, only for his goalbound header to be nodded off the line by Frankie Raymond, who was well-positioned all game.

An injury to Cray’s Jack Holland on 20 minutes required a lengthy stoppage, and perhaps this disrupted the flow of Town’s game. Perhaps the change of intensity from Boxing Day’s local derby had rubbed off on Enfield. Not that either would have been any excuse to Gavin Macpherson who was seething at the aimlessness of Town’s play for the remainder of the match. Likewise at the manner in which Town ultimately fell behind. A cheap free kick was conceded down the inside-right channel, with Raymond’s flighted ball into the centre met by debutant Tayo Oyebola, glancing his header over a stranded Rhys Forster and in.

Enfield looked to respond in kind as a long ball released Beckles-Richards who could only shank the bouncing ball into the grasp of Rowley from the edge of the box. He was soon involved again but neither he nor Youngs could convert Ollie Knight’s inswinging cross. A stoppage time snapshot from Marcus Wyllie down the throat of Rowley was the only other effort of note as Town’s approach became increasingly direct, playing into the hands of their hosts who had the physical advantage throughout.

Half Time: CWFC 1-0 ETFC

The second half began as the first had ended; Town seeing plenty of the ball but failing to muster any kind of cutting edge, resorting to long passes which were mopped up with relative ease by the Wands defence who were beginning to spring some rapid counters of their own. Gary Lockyer had flashed an effort narrowly wide of the mark before he turned provider for Cray to double their lead on 58 minutes in route one style; Lockyer knocking down his goalkeeper’s punt upfield for Ellis Brown to hammer into the left-hand corner on the half-volley.

Enfield introduced Lewis Taaffe and Jonathan Hippolyte for Adjei-Hersey and Beckles-Richards, yet the pattern continued as Town’s build-up veered between the direct and the desperate. Youngs scuffed an effort straight at the goalie and Hippolyte’s close-range header nicked off a defender before the hosts went close to a third as Sam Wood and Alfie Evans tried their luck from distance. A game of precious little quality had precious little of note as it ebbed away, with Cray seeing out five minutes of stoppage time to record their first league win in six weeks; their first home win over Enfield Town at the sixth attempt.

This was a result which contradicted both sides’ league positions, and a sharp reminder for the Towners of the performance levels required to sustain a challenge for the top five, let alone top spot: “A dreadful game of football but we were the worse team out there”, said boss Macpherson. “It was long ball after long ball… we weren’t brave enough to get on the football today and we shrunk, in truth. Aimless balls down the centre-halves’ throat were never going to work and that wasn’t what was asked of them.”

“That’s probably the poorest we’ve played… unrecognisable from our point of view.
“The only thing we can do now is look forward to Monday and putting it right.”

Town: Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Okotcha, Payne; Thomas, Youngs, Adjei-Hersey (Taaffe 61’), Knight; Beckles-Richards (Hippolyte 64’), Wyllie

Attendance: 307

A Real Team Effort

The Christmas period is a busy time for everyone, not least our catering partners, Cooking Champions who, as most of you will know, are a registered charity providing food support across the borough and beyond.

 This year, with the demand for food banks across the country continuing to soar, the number of food parcels distributed by the Enfield-based company increased by 45% over 2002.

 Not surprisingly December was their busiest month during which Cooking Champions distributed an incredible 1,041 food packages across Enfield alone including an additional Christmas Eve service.

 The relationship between our club and Cooking Champions works both ways in terms of mutual support.

 So it’s a testament to Gavin Macpherson that when ceo Clare Donovan asked if we could assist by providing a couple of players to help serve meals at their weekly community lunch in Enfield following their admirable Christmas initiative, Gavin personally gave up his time, taking Jonathan Hippolyte with him.

“It’s been a real eye-opener in terms of what Cooking Champions do and how far it extends in terms of feeding people in the local community,” said Gavin during his visit on Thursday as a volunteer (pictured with Jonathan and the Cooking Champions team).

“For me, it’s been an education. There’s obviously a close association between the football club and Cooking Champions and it was an absolute pleasure to be there, quite humbling in some respects.”

 “I’ve probably opened up a little bit more of a career for myself in terms of being a waiter though I’m not sure how good I was!” Gavin joked.

 Jonathan Hippolyte added: “It was a lovely day and it was a pleasure meeting everyone at Cooking Champions.”

Andrew Warshaw

 

QEII To Stage Spurs Under-21s

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s’ Premier League Cup fixture against Bristol City on Saturday January 6th, kickoff 1pm.

Tickets can be purchased in advance from the link below:

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/spursu21a/tottenham-hotspur-u21s-vs-bristol-city-u21s-

We have also agreed to host Spurs’ U21s for their PL Cup game against Peterborough United on Saturday February 3rd, kickoff 1pm. Tickets for this fixture will be available at a later date.

The arrangement represents yet another exciting partnership with our near-neighbours and builds on our excellent existing relationship.

Gavin Wary of Cray Threat

Enfield Town have the chance to leapfrog  Chatham and move into second in the league  on goal difference tomorrow, Friday, when we end 2023 with a visit to Cray Wanderers in the second of our three holiday fixtures (ko 7.45).

Matches between the two sides often produce plenty of goals but Gavin Macpherson believes the task on Cray’s artificial pitch at Bromley could seriously test his players.

 Cray had their Boxing Day game against Margate abandoned late on because of a serious head injury to Yahya Bamba but have managed to play their way out of the bottom three in recent weeks.

In fact they haven’t lost at home in the league since mid-October, having drawn their last three,  and will be keen to put on a show in front of their fans.

“I think this is as tough as it comes,” said Gavin, one or two of whose players are still not back to full health following a bug that swept through the camp.

“I think Cray wanderers are a decent side and a really tough test awaits on an unfamiliar surface. It’s another significant hurdle we need to overcome and we’ll need to work very hard to do that.

“On a more important note I’m sure everyone at Enfield Town would like to wish Yahya Bamba a speedy recovery.”

Board Elections Now Open

Elections for Enfield Town FC’s Board of Directors are now open. There are eight candidates for six available positions.

Who Is Standing?

Candidates’ statements can be found by clicking on their names below. They are:

Voting:

Members can cast their vote using the following methods:

  • By email – Members will receive a ballot form by email. This should be filled out and sent to election@etfc.london
  • In person – Ballot forms will be available at our home games with Haringey (1st Jan) and Folkestone (13th Jan) prior to the election deadline.
  • By post – please mail postal votes to:
    ETFC Supporters Society, 21 Inverness Avenue, Enfield, Middlesex, EN1 3NT

The ballot closes on Thursday 18th January. The six candidates obtaining the most votes will be elected to the board at the AGM on Thursday 1st February.

Town Grab A10 Spoils

Cheshunt 1 Enfield Town 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Bouyed by a majestic performance from new signing Taylor McKenzie against his old club and despite a woeful refereeing display, Enfield Town got their holiday fixture programme off to the perfect start in the so-called A10 Classico in front of a bumper 1,149 Boxing Day crowd.

Not surprisingly Taylor, signed the previous day from the Ambers, was given the bird by the home fans but showed exactly why the management team were so keen to bring him in, winning virtually every challenge both in the air and on the ground.

Cheshunt’s loss was very much our gain and the Enfield fans, who made up probably half the crowd if not more, taunted the hosts with chants of “Where’s your captain gone?” throughout the 90 minutes.

As a spectacle it wasn’t exactly pretty but then derbies invariably aren’t.

Town should have had the game wrapped up by halftime, then had to dig in towards the end after what Gavin Macpherson described as the worst penalty decision he had ever seen (more of which later)

Town were quickly out of the blocks as Rhys Beckles-Richards had one shot cleared off the line and was inches off target with another.

James Richmond planted a free header over the bar from a corner but on 20 minutes our early dominance told.

Ollie Knight’s freekick was only half cleared and when Marcus Wyllie’s turn and shot was fisted away by the Cheshunt keeper, Sam Youngs converted the rebound.

Moments later Beckles-Richards, who on another day might have a had a hattrick, forced Joe Rose into a smart near-post stop.

While Cheshunt at times looked slick going forward, we defended our box superbly and kept creating chances.

In the dying minutes of the half, Dylan Adjei-Hersey was sent clear but as his eyes lit up, he screwed his shot badly wide.

H-T 1-0

Cheshunt’s Isiah Noel-Williams, on a yellow card after a couple of dangerous challenges, was replaced at halftime and the Ambers re-emerged looking far more of a threat having hardly tested Rhys Forster.

Parcell put in a magnificent goal-saving challenge and we needed that second goal to put us in the clear.

It duly came midway through the half courtesy of a comical defensive mix-up as Jimmy Wallace headed the ball beyond his own keeper and watched it bobble over the line with Rose back-pedalling and Marcus Wyllie following up to make sure (pictured)

That should have given us breathing space. Instead, on 73 minutes Cheshunt reduced the arrears from the penalty spot thanks to a refereeing decision that had even the home fans scratching their heads in disbelief.

A highly demonstrative individual who had infuriated both sides with a series of random decisions — often from 40 yards away – somehow ruled that Solomon Baugh’s nasty trip on Adjei-Hersey was, in fact, a foul by the Enfield man.

Nwachuku coolly dispatched the spotkick but fortunately it didn’t end up costing us all three points. In fact, Beckles-Richards so nearly made it 3-1 before we saw out the remainder despite a couple of late scares to open up a six-point gap to Wingate and Finchley in fourth.

Afterwards Gavin could not contain his feelings about the penalty, the ultimate blunder in a series of baffling decisions that made the players afraid to tackle and included booking Scott Thomas for merely pointing out an offside flag.

“As long as I’ve been football I don’t think I’ve seen as bad a decision as that,” fumed Gavin. “It was a clear foul on Dylan’s ankle and he actually had to come off because of it. I was utterly astonished.”

On deciding to throw McKenzie into the lion’s den for his debut, Gavin said: “It was a bold decision. Over the last couple days I veered towards maybe not being able to bring in him at all, to not starting him to starting him. I only made the decision in the morning. He’s big enough and bold enough and he came through it with flying colours as I knew he would.

“I do have some sympathy for Cheshunt. I know there’s a rivalry but if you lose your captain and he’s out there playing for the opposition, I know I wouldn’t like it. That’s important to acknowledge.”

“Despite that, some of the rhetoric coming out of Cheshunt I just find despicable. But it’s a great start to the holiday programme.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, McKenzie, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Onyeagwara, 81), Thomas, Youngs, Knight; Beckles-Richards (Donnallan 80), Wyllie

Boxing Day Clash At Cheshunt

Enfield Town go into the first of three games in six games over a challenging holiday period with a mouth-watering derby at Cheshunt on Boxing Day, given extra spice by our signing of former Ambers’ skipper Taylor McKenzie.

Taylor joined Saturday’s training session just minutes after becoming a Town player for the second time following five years at Cheshunt — and will be available for selection for the so-called A10 Classico which kicks off at 1pm.

Relegated from Step 2 last season after one season in National league south, Cheshunt have had to adapt back to life in the Isthmian League from which they earned promotion in 2021/22 with a late burst and playoff victory – the same season we agonisingly missed out.

A recent defeat at Lewes saw them slip into the bottom four but they were in decent form up to that point, winning two and drawing two of their previous four league games, scoring 11 goals in the process. In fact they have lost only one of their last eight in the league.

Derbies are notoriously unpredictable and the Boxing Day clash against one of our fiercest rivals is bound to be a highly competitive affair. The fact that all three of our holiday fixtures are against sides fighting for their lives is not lost on the management team.

“I realise geographically there’s not a lot between the clubs but points against Cheshunt are worth the same as every other team so we should be focused on the job in hand,” said Gavin Macpherson as he looked ahead to the fixture at Theobalds Lane.

“It’s a tough game because Craig’s teams always are difficult opponents. We’ve planned and prepared, it represents the start of a difficult run of games in a short space of time when often performances become secondary to points on the board. We’ll need everyone to be at their maximum over the next week or so.”

Andrew warshaw

Taylor Returns To Town

We are thrilled to confirm the signing of central defender Taylor McKenzie from Cheshunt.

An experienced, physically-imposing defender, McKenzie – who was named the Ambers’ skipper this season – has been with Cheshunt since joining from Enfield Town in 2018, notching over 100 appearances and helping them to promotion to the National League South in 2021-22. His other previous sides include Notts County, Wrexham, Corby Town and Chesham, as well as Enfield Town – with Taylor having played 35 times for us during the 2017-18 campaign.

“Clearly we are delighted to welcome Taylor back to the club”, stated manager Gavin Macpherson.

“We’ve worked extremely hard to finalise this but it hasn’t been an easy decision for Taylor due to his association with Cheshunt and that’s very understandable… Defensively we’ve been looking to strengthen and I believe we’ve done just that. My job is about continuing to build an Enfield Town team and that means bringing in the right players with the right character to add to an already excellent group.”

Kyle Bailey Departs

The club has parted company with centre-back Kyle Bailey. Kyle, who joined us from Hungerford in the summer, made 13 competitive appearances for Enfield Town, scoring once and helping the side to two clean sheets. We thank Kyle for his efforts with us and wish him all the best for the future.

New Face In The Dugout

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Callum Nevill as our Head of Performance Analysis.

Callum is currently employed by Leyton Orient where he analyses footage of their players during matches which includes clipping and coding individually.

His role at Enfield Town will follow a similar pattern, helping to find where we can strengthen the side tactically as well as physically, using match footage to assess where we can strengthen.

Callum’s work with ourselves and Orient will contribute to his MSc in Performance Analysis which he is studying with the University of Worcester.

Welcome, Callum!

Town Prevail in Useful Workout

Ware 1 Enfield Town 2

An experimental Enfield Town team ran out 2-1 winners in an enjoyable friendly at Wodson Park, with a number of academy players and triallists taking the opportunity to impress alongside members of the first-team squad.

With no competitive game scheduled until Cheshunt on Boxing Day, Gavin Macpherson gave vital game time to Josh Okotcha who skippered the side, Leo Donnellan, Obi Onyeagwara, Lewis Taaffe, Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo and Jonathan Hippolyte.

Both teams employed two wide players, which made for an entertaining and open encounter.

 Town enjoyed the better of the first half, and turned round two goals to the good courtesy of Lewis Taaffe’s well directed freekick, and a first Town goal for Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo follwing Obi Onyreagwara’s jet-propelled gallop down the right wing and low centre.

The best effort from Step 4 Ware thumped against the post midway through the half but Town were good value for their lead.

 The second half saw the customary fleet of substitutes being introduced, but the flow of the game was not affected.

The lively Onyeagwara had Town’s best chance of the half with another solo gallop ending in a decent save from the home keeper. The hosts pulled a goal back from a corner early in the half but Town’s youthful and blown-together defence succeeded in repelling all further efforts.

 A night on which several trialists and academy boys  could be proud of their efforts whilst some of the first-team squad who hadn’t had much action were given a chance to improve fitness levels.

Martin Bentley

Ware Friendly

With no further competitive action until Boxing Day, Enfield Town have arranged a friendly away at Step 4 Ware tomorrow, Tuesday, ko 7.45, with free entry.

Last Thursday’s training session had to be cut short because of technical issues and with only one league game in the three weeks between Margate and Cheshunt – Saturday’s win over Dulwich – the management team are keen  to get the players up to speed.

“We have no training facilities due to light failure and this will help keep everyone topped up with minutes,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“We will look carefully at who plays and who doesn’t.”

Town Stage Dramatic Comeback

Enfield Town 3 Dulwich Hamlet 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Sometimes playing against 10 men can be a curse rather than a blessing.

Not this time as Enfield Town took advantage of numerical superiority for the last 35 minutes on Saturday, hitting back from two goals down to end Hamlet’s 10-match unbeaten league run and move into Christmas in third, a fantastic achievement and something to be proud of.

Tactical nous by the management team combined with a collective reaction from the players turned what looked like a potential defeat against strong opponents  into three massive points that set us up for the holiday programme.

Dulwich’s tall defenders gobbled up much of our early play whilst their long ball game kept us on our toes at the other end.

The spaces we usually find were hard to come by and on 37 minutes we fell behind. Mickey Parcell sold Rhys Forster short with an underhit  backpass and Josh Okotcha impeded Danny Mills as Hamlet’s danger man prepared to shoot on the turn. Luke Wanadio made no mistake from the spot.

We should have equalised straight away when Reece Beckles-Richards was clean through but slipped at the vital moment though Dulwich got lucky when a crude foul on Ollie Knight by Joshua Okpolokpo earlier in the same move went unpunished.

H-T 0-0

After an even first half, Town emerged with far more ideas and fluency and were immediately denied a stonewall penalty for a blatant handball by Okpolokpo that incensed players and management alike.

R’van Constable then pulled off two smart saves but on 54 minutes we were given the perfect encouragement when Okpolokpo, booked in the final minute of the first half, was finally sent off for a second yellow.

Yet it was Dulwich who struck again, doubling their lead as Mills’ strength took him into the area before unleashing a powerful drive beyond Rhys Forster.

Town needed a lifeline and Sam Youngs almost provided it, only for Constable to get his fingertips to a rasping drive.

Parcell then saw a volley flash wide while Marcus Wyllie, uncharacteristically, missed our second one-on-one of the afternoon as he poked the ball straight down Constable’s throat.

A change of formation saw us move to 3-5-2 with Parcell in central midfield and on 69 minutes we halved the deficit.  

Seemingly keen to atone for his previous blunder, the referee harshly pointed to the spot for a hardly visible handball and Youngs sent the otherwise commanding Constable the wrong way.

It was exactly the tonic we needed if only we could improve our finishing to round off our attacking play.

Youngs had a 25-yard volley tipped over but on 81 minutes, debutant Jonathan Hippolyte, signed only on Friday, levelled from close range just moments after coming off the bench when Wyllie’s soft shot was deflected into his path.

Even now it seemed Dulwich, despite being pegged back, might hold out with ten.

Instead,  in the last minute of normal time, Lewis Taaffe, another well-timed substitution, collected an uncleared corner and fed James Richmond who smashed the ball  home from the edge of the box (pictured, celebrating).

There was still time, after the final whistle, for Dulwich boss Hakan Hayrettin to be dismissed for what appeared to be some choice language to the referee after declining to shake hands with our dugout.

Gavin Macpherson had also fallen foul of the ref by being booked at halftime for seemingly simply standing up for his players but was delighted with the win, especially after training on Thursday had been disrupted by floodlight failure.

“I think our tactics were spot on,” said Gavin citing the change in system that arguably won us the game as we went wider when 10-man Dulwich played narrower.

 “All we were lacking early on was that bit of quality and sharpness in trying to break them down. We had got into good areas but then fluffed our lines.”

“Would we have won 11 against 11? I’ve no idea to be honest but I don’t think anyone can deny us the win. They’re an experienced side with Step 1 and 2 players.

“I wasn’t happy with the goals we conceded because it gave us a mountain to climb. It’s not every day you manage to come back from two goals down.

“But in terms of character and desire I can’t fault the players.”

Forster: Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Hippolyte 73), Youngs, Thomas, Knight; Beckles-Richards (Taaffe, 82), Wyllie (Donnellan 90)

New Signing Up Front

We are delighted to announce that we have signed experienced forward Jonathan Hippolyte whose last club was Southall.

Jonathan, 28, began his career at Maidenhead United and is well known to Gavin Macpherson having played under him at Met Police. His other clubs include Beaconsfield Town and Bracknell Town.

“After George Sykes departed it’s important we added a forward,” said Gavin. “Additionally the signing is workable within our current structure.”

Not only that. Gavin has always gone for signings who fit into the dressing room.

“Hipps is versatile which is welcome when you have a small squad and he’s a great lad. He knows how pleased I am with Marcus and Rhys but it adds pace and competition as we enter a busy period.”

Welcome Jonathan

In-form Hamlet Next Up

After a 10-day break, Enfield Town get back to league action tomorrow with a mouth-watering home fixture against Dulwich Hamlet.

Hamlet are by far the best supported team in the division and are expected to bring a sizeable contingent of fans, almost certainly resulting in our biggest league gate of the season.

They may sit ninth in the table after being relegated to Step 3 at the end of last season but our visitors have really hit their stride for the last two months.

Widely regarded at the start of the campaign to be among the promotion candidates, they are in a rich vein of form with a 10-match unbeaten league run that was extended last Saturday when over 200 supporters battled train strikes and the weather to beat Lewes 2-0 in Sussex.

The last time they slipped up  in the league was back in early October and since then  the only games they have lost have been cup ties.

“Dulwich are in good form which is not unexpected,” said Gavin Macpherson who will be hoping the boys can take advantage of a much-needed break and cement our hugely impressive top-three status.

 “They have an experienced management team and players who are more accustomed to playing at a higher level.”

“It’s once again another form test for us but one we look forward to especially since we are back in front of our own supporters.”

There is no problem with the pitch for those who wish to buy tickets in advance. The game will definitely be on.

On Saturday we will also be collecting for the North Enfield Foodbank . All donations welcome particularly:

Christmas food treats such as cakes, mince pies, biscuits etc

Gravy granules/cranberry Sauce/ Stuffing

Tinned potatoes and vegetables

Long Life Milk

Hot Chocolate/Coffee

Vegetarian/Gluten Free/ Dairy Free food items

Sweets and Savoury Snacks

Noodles and Ready Meals

Toiletries

Nappies (size 5 &6)/ Baby Food and wipes

COYT!

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Town Enjoy Well-Earned Rest

Gavin Macpherson sees this Saturday’s break in action as a blessing in disguise in an attempt to get the squad back to full fitness after so many recent enforced absentees due to injury niggles and illness.

With our game at Horsham postponed until mid-January because of their involvement in the FA Trophy, it’s a chance to recharge batteries and shake off any tiredness with our next game not scheduled until Dec 16 against Dulwich Hamlet.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” said Gavin. “We’ve got a couple of muscle injuries which we weren’t seeing earlier in the season and which perhaps tell you that your load is too much.”

Nevertheless we are third in the league, ahead of the likes of Billericay and other so-called big-hitters, a huge testament to all involved.

“We’ve been Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday and the squad is thin compared with some clubs,” said Gavin. “The modern game is a lot sharper than it used to be and there’s a lot more stamina involved.”

“It’s a chance to have a well-earned rest but from a management standpoint we have to keep their levels up and we’ll be working in training towards Dulwich to try and give us the best chance.”

Town’s Dominance To No Avail

Enfield Town 0 Brightlingsea Regent 1

Report By Andrew Warshaw

Those who were there couldn’t believe what they witnessed.

Total domination practically from first minute to last, no fewer than NINETEEN chances, the woodwork hit FOUR times, a missed penalty and an outfield player forced to go in goal but with nothing to do except pick the ball out his net once.

If you think we didn’t take the Velocity Cup seriously on Tuesday,  think again.

Yes, Gavin Macpherson made wholesale changes, some of them enforced. And yes we had no back-up goalkeeper on the bench with Reece Beckles-Richards forced to go between the sticks when Rhys Forster came off with concussion.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing and if you look at previous team sheets, only on one, perhaps two,  occasions this season have we had a goalkeeper on the bench. Not only that. You can count on two fingers the number of times our keeper has had to go off in recent campaigns.

The fact is we should have beaten Brightlingsea Regent by a landslide to reach the fourth round. Instead we are now out of all domestic cup competitions before Christmas.

With so many either still recovering from injury niggles or sickness, the management team quite understandably decided to look at some of our fringe players and in that respect it was a hugely worthwhile exercise.

Jordan Adeoye, only 17, looked assured and accomplished in a rarely employed back three while Obi Onyeahgwara and Gucchi Soulya-Osekanongo were just as eye-catching.

Mickey Parcell skippered the side and straight from kick-off the chances came thick and fast.

Soulya-Osekanongo sent a flying header just wide and Beckles-Richards thumped a shot against the post.

On 33 minutes, Reece volunteered to take over the goalkeeping gloves after Forster – who had earlier been unceremoniously flattened by Derek Asamoah and needed lengthy treatment – continued to feel the effects of the heavy challenge and had to come off.

The chances kept coming our way however, Soulya-Osekanongo and Lewis Taaffe having shots blocked before we were awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime.

With Sam Youngs among the heavyweight subs, Marcus Wyllie – who had come off the bench to take Beckles-Richards’ place up front – stepped up but blasted the spotkick against the bar.

H-T 0-0

It seemed only a matter of time, however, before we would open our account as we carried on where we left off but Regent continued to ride their luck.

Marcus clipped the post, Taaffe somehow didn’t score from three yards but out of the blue, right on the hour, Regent delivered a sucker punch, scoring with their only effort on target through a Zack Littlejohn header from a freekick.

We should have been out of sight by then and continued to pepper the visitors’ goal but to no avail.

Kyle Bailey rattled the bar from a corner, only to for the ball to fortuitously bounce back into keeper Lewis Greene’s ’s arms. Greene then pulled off a miraculous one-handed save, Youngs drove over while a string of crosses continued to strike a visiting player first.

It wasn’t to be our night but Gavin Macpherson was philosophical in defeat.

 “That’s football but there were plenty of positives,” said Gavin. “A few players came in tonight, one or two from the academy,  and did themselves a power of good. That needs to be put out there.”

“We changed almost an entire side yet I’ve been more disappointed at times when we’ve won games.  It was probably the most chances we’ve created in any game this season.

“Did they do what they were asked and gave everything? Yes. Did we not quite have the quality in front of goal? Also yes. But sometimes you have to scratch your head and move on.”

Town:

Forster (Wyllie 33); Parcell (youngs, 70), Adeoye, Bailey; Knight, Birch, Donnellan, Soulya-Osekanongo, Onyeagwara (Davies, 75); Beckles-Richards, Taaffe.

Velocity Final Cup Chance

Only one domestic knockout competition remains for Town to have a crack at this season as Brightlingsea Regent are the visitors to the QEII Stadium in the Third Round of the Velocity Cup tonight.

The winners will be away to Hashtag United in the Fourth Round.

Following relegation last season, Regent have made a strong start in the Isthmian Division One North and are currently fourth with 25 points from 14 games. On Saturday they downed Brentwood 2-0 at home, overtaking them in the process.

In the previous round of the Velocity, they defeated Grays Athletic 5-0 and there will be a definite result tonight as it’s straight to penalties if we are level at the end of normal time.

After being humbled by lower opposition in the Middlesex Senior Cup, you can bet the players will not be under-estimating tonight’s visitors.

“I don’t think anyone’s gonna hammer me for saying the priority is the league but it’s not a competition we want to just chuck away,” said Gavin Macpherson.

Tickets for tonight and our forthcoming home games are available here

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets

Town Keep Gate Shut

Enfield Town 2 Margate 0

Report From Andrew Warshaw

A first-half brace was enough for Enfield Town to see off lowly Margate and move into December in third spot, an encouraging eight points clear of the first side outside the playoff places.

But for the opening 15 minutes when the visitors threatened an upset, we ran out comfortable winners in front of 500-plus fans in freezing conditions despite several starters still suffering from the flu bug that has ripped through the camp.

After Margate wastefully failed to make their early promise count, fluffing a couple of presentable chances, Town took the lead against the run of play.

Birthday boy Mickey Parcell’s delicious cross was met by Sam Youngs who, with his back to goal, hooked the ball into the corner with an acrobatic finish (pictured).

Gate should have levelled when danger man Olly Box beat the offside trap but couldn’t beat Rhys Forster who made an outstanding stop.

It proved a decisive miss. On 25 minutes Reece Beckles-Richards rode three challenges as he needled his way into the box and toe-poked the ball home to double Town’s lead.

From then on, apart from a Ben Greenhalgh curling effort, we were rarely threatened, the pacey Box having gone off injured before halftime.

 H-T 2-0

Margate’s poor decision making in the final third had cost them dearly and they were fortunate not to fall further behind by the finish. To add to their woes, former Towner Lewis Knight was given the bird by those behind the goal when substituted midway through the second half.

Marcus Wyllie, one of those under the weather, appeared to have made the game by lashing in a third goal, only for the offside flag to be mysteriously raised.

And there were further attempts from Ollie Knight, whose curling effort was just off target, and a Joe Payne 20-yard screamer that was a whisker away.

In the dying moments, Parcell almost scored a birthday special as his jinxed his way into the area, only for Harry Seaden to ruin the script by pulling off a last-ditch save.

After seeing his side keep a much-needed clean sheet and, importantly, manage the game out, Gavin Macpherson was pleased with the application.

“Some of them were still suffering and Jimbo was ready to come off at halftime so I’m absolutely delighted,” said Gavin. “We were running on empty yet controlled the game for large periods.”

“After the couple of weeks we’ve had when the level  dropped, partly because we didn’t have the personnel in the right positions with square pegs in round holes, it was a good day at the office.”

Town

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Payne (Bailey, 84); Adjei-Hersey (Taaffe, 64), Thomas, Youngs, Knight; Wyllie (birch, 87), Beckles-Richards

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Your Chance To Become A Director

Nominations have opened for election to the Board of Directors. If you wish to stand for election email our company Secretary Akin Yilmaz at  akin1967@hotmail.com with the names of the three current members who are supporting your nomination.

Alongside these names you should also provide up to 200 words supporting your nomination, these will be shared with members if a ballot is required.

Nominations close 14th December. If the number of candidates exceed the four places up for election there will be a ballot of members to decide the successful nominations.

To stand for election you must have been a member for at least one year.

To coincide with the AGM the following timetable has been set the annual elections to the Board

  • Nomination Period Opened Thursday 30th November
  • Nomination Period Closes Thursday 14th December
  • Ballot papers sent to members (if there is an election) by Thursday 28th December
  • Ballot closes Thursday 18th January
  • Results announced at AGM on Thursday 1stFebruary

If you are unable to complete an application via email,  hard copies will be available in the club shop on matchdays or can be posted to you on request.

Town Out to Knock Gate Over

After taking one point from our last two games, Enfield Town aim to get back to winning ways tomorrow as we move into December against an inconsistent Margate

The Gate lie 16th in the table but achieved a commendable 2-2 draw at Bognor in midweek following three straight defeats.

Two of those, however, were by a single goal against Horsham and Wingate and Finchley.

Following our euphoric Fenix trophy debut on Tuesday, it’s back to the bread and butter of league action and with no league fixture scheduled for Dec 9, it’s important we take the opportunity to maintain the pressure on our rivals in and around the leading playoff positions.

Joe Payne is available for selection again after a one-match ban while it is hoped the bug that has ripped through the camp and hindered selection last weekend at Chatham will have sufficiently eased.

“Last weekend was a really difficult game in respect of everything that was going on,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“I’m hopeful we’ll be in better shape. It’ll be a chance for us go for it  because we need to put a win on the board.”

“It’s no secret we’ve been looking for reinforcements but it’s not easy. It’s about bringing the right person in as far as the dressing room is concerned.”

Meanwhile, just a reminder that our Boxing Day derby at Cheshunt has been brought forward to 1pm.

COYT!

Proud to be a Towner

Enfield Town 3 BK Skjold 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

What a night, what an occasion, what an atmosphere!

On a freezing  midweek evening, just short of 600 fans embraced our European debut on Tuesday and were in full voice as we beat the holders BK Skjold in the Fenix trophy that generated huge media exposure across the capital and beyond.

Against a well organised Danish team that may have been understrength but still posed a considerable challenge, we were well worth the win that puts us in an ideal position with three matches to go in the group stage.

With key players again missing through illness – this time Rhys Forster and James Richmond – Mickey Parcell occupied yet another defensive role by switching to centrehalf  with the versatile Lewis Taaffe filling in at rightback and Adi Connolly in goal.

Yet throughout the 90 minutes, we limited Skjold to few clearcut chances which could end up as crucial since they are going to be a far tougher nut to crack in the reverse fixture in March.

Town had the better of the early exchanges, Josh Okotcha planting a header over the bar and Sam Youngs putting a header just wide while at the other end winger Marius Framnes – Skjold’s most dangerous player on the night – took advantage of misplaced pass by firing in a shot across goal though with no Danish player close enough to get a touch.

The deadlock was broken on 37 minutes as Town deservedly went in front. Skjold only half-cleared a Joe Payne freekick and the ball fell to Youngs who smashed it home.

Visiting keeper Thomas Thygesen then saved from Ollie Knight and Marcus Wyllie in quick succession as we looked assured and composed without necessarily playing the sparkling football we have seen in some of the recent home games.

H-T 1-0

The second half continued pretty much in the same though at times became somewhat scrappy.

Town continued to look a threat, however,  and when Wyllie’s pace took him past his marker, his cross just evaded Reece Beckles-Richards.

 While we only one goal ahead, however, the Danes were always in with a chance and so it proved with a sucker punch on 80 minutes as substitute Mattias Gorse lashed home an equalising volley with their only second-half shot on target.

Would we end up being frustrated and disappointed on our big night? Thankfully not. Four minutes later, Youngs restored our lead from the penalty spot after Thygesen was adjudged to have tripped Beckles-Richards.

There was still time during six minutes added on for Wyllie to make it three with a goal worthy of the Keystone Kops as he nicked the ball off Thygesen following a woeful defensive cross-field howler, sparking wild celebrations (pictured).

The only downside in otherwise memorable night and brilliant atmosphere was an injury to the excellent Adjei-Hersey that will have to be assessed.

“Really pleased with the performance, no-one could have denied us six which would have given us a goal difference cushion,” said a distinctly under the weather Gavin Macpherson who left much of the dugout duties to his coaching staff.

 “We had to adjust  yet again because of missing players and all in all the boys adapted themselves brilliantly. We had a real team ethic and it was more like the Enfield Town I know. The support was magnificent from first minute to last and really drove the boys on. If we can get two results against Llantwit Major, Copenhagen could be the decider.”

Town:

Connolly; Payne, Parcell, Okotcha, Taaffe (bailey, 86); Adjei-Hersey (Soulya-Osekanongo, 80), Thomas, youngs, Knight; Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Donnellan, 90)

European Football Arrives At QE

It’s finally here and you can almost touch the anticipation and excitement

On Tuesday night, Enfield Town take a break from the league season as we began our very first European campaign with our debut in the Fenix Trophy (kickoff 7.45).

Holders BK Skjold from Denmark are our visitors in Group A of the competition under the lights, generating phenomenal  media interest from across the capital and beyond.

Just to remind everyone, Fenix is a UEFA-approved European competition for non-professional clubs of exceptional social, historical, and cultural distinctiveness.

This is the third season of the tournament, with 12 teams taking part from right across the continent. BK Skjold beat Prague Raptors in the last final in Milan.

The format is four groups of three, with 2 home and 2 away games. The other side in our group is Llantwit Major of Wales

“I see the competition as more than just football. It’s a chance for us to play against teams that at their foundation have so much in common with Enfield Town,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“Of course there is a competitive football side and it’s a competition we would like to do well in, but I realise there is a much bigger picture with a common meaning for all taking part. On team selection, after some issues on Saturday around illness it remains to be seen what shape we’ll be in.”

If anyone is around during the day to help out with a number of tasks, it would be much appreciated.

And make sure you stick around in the bar after the game when we have the incredibly talented duo, Acoustic Fidelity, playing their own unique versions of all the hits you love.

Copenhagen Date Confirmed

Get your passports ready… we are very excited to finally confirm a date for our away fixture with Copenhagen side BK Skjold!

Our game in the Danish capital will take place on the evening of Tuesday 5th March 2024.

We will be offering a limited number of travel packages to include flights, accommodation, and meals. If you would be interested in taking up this offer, please register your interest in the Club Shop or contact a club representative by email or on a matchday.

Of course, we host BK Skjold this Tuesday evening at the QEII in our opening game of the tournament in Group A. Tickets for the game are still available here: Enfield Town v BK Skjold [FENIX] Tickets

We hope to see as many of you – home and away – as possible!

Chats Too Hot For Town

Chatham Town 3 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Let’s start on a positive note. Straight after yesterday’s game, a Chatham fan came up to me and said we had the noisiest away fans in the division, even in defeat.

A couple of minutes later, Gavin Macpherson emerged from the dressing room and, before his post-match interview,  headed straight to the away end and made a point of thanking them in person.

“We have the best supporters in this league by a country mile and I’m humbled to be their manager,” Gavin explained.

It was perhaps the only plus point to take away from another chastening setback that saw us swap places with Chatham and drop to third.

It only served to exemplify what can happen when you have key players missing and, with a stretched squad, one or two others on the pitch struggling with health issues, a couple more forced to play out of position and only four on the bench, one of them from the academy.

That’s not making excuses but it’s certainly a factor to take into consideration. Having said that, Chatham were the better side in all areas of the pitch (few defences keep Marcus Wyllie quiet) and at the end of the day, we didn’t have enough guile or nous to deserve a point  and, once again, conceded goals for fun, now with the sixth worst stats in the division.

Without the suspended Joe Payne and the ill Ollie Knight and with one or two others below-par, Mickey Parcell was switched to the left with Kyle Bailey filling in at rightback and Lewis Taaffe playing out wide.

In truth, we struggled to contain an athletic Chatham side that had two quick wingers who were constant menaces and fell behind on 21 minutes. Ashley Nzala bamboozled Bailey whose late challenge on the edge of the box meant only one thing, deadball specialist  Jack Evans netting with a sumptuous freekick.

Within four minutes, however, we had levelled with a Sam Youngs header that looped into the net (pictured), only to fall behind again from the penalty spot when Jamie Yila got the better of Bailey who promptly brought him down.   Yila took the spotkick himself with a stuttering run-up and restored the Chats lead.

Cue a tactical substitution as Bailey, who had been given a torrid time,  was replaced by Obi Onyeagwara  with Taaffe moving to the right.

H-T 1-2

For a while, the move worked as the game became far more finely balanced and we stopped Chatham dictating play, posing a threat ourselves though without really testing a formidable home backline.

Youngs was pushed further forward as we tried to hit back but with 15 minutes to go, the hosts put the game to bed.  Wyllie lost possession in the opposition half and Nzala caught Josh Okotcha off guard, timing his run down the right to perfection to stay onside and Chris Dickson finished off the cross from close range. In the closing stages, Ben Allen almost made it four when hitting the post in a goalmouth scramble.

“They scored their third when we were perhaps having our most decent spell and it killed us,” said Gavin. “We didn’t create an awful lot but one of two wouldn’t have played with a fully fit squad.”

“That’s not making excuses. We tried hard but keep making the same mistakes. Perhaps I’m at a time when I need to analyse exactly where we are. The fans deserve far more than they got today.”

Town: Forster; Bailey (Onyeagwara, 37), Okotcha, Richmond, Parcell; Adjei-Hersey, Thomas, Youngs, Taaffe; Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Donnellan, 73)

Chats Pose Major Challenge

 As six-pointers go, they don’t come much more eagerly anticipated than tomorrow when we visit high-flying Chatham Town in a battle of third versus second.

The “Chats”, promoted to Step 3 last season and playing in front of huge crowds, are currently one point and one place behind us having played one game less.

They have only lost once at home in the league and in their last outing in midweek, on the same night we conceded two late goals to drop two points against Whitehawk, they beat Wingate and Finchley in the last minute to gain ground on us.

As if our task could not be tougher already, Joe Payne is out through suspension while a couple of other key regulars missed training on Thursday and are doubtful because of an illness in the camp.

“We’ve got one or two issues that aren’t ideal and a few decisions to make,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“I know it sounds like a broken record but this is a very, very difficult fixture. They are a club trying to step up to the next level and very quickly judging by the magnitude of their signings.”

“We are away from home on an unfamiliar artificial surface. So when you take all this into consideration it’s going to be a very challenging day. But a lot of work was done in training on Thursday and not for one minute do I think it’s a challenge we can’t overcome — even if we have to re-plan.”

George Moves On

After a short stay with the club, George Sykes has decided to leave Enfield Town and join Brentwood.

The management team would have preferred George to stay given his experience but he understandably wants to play regularly.

“We received an official approach for George from Brentwood and applying the seven-day rule George spoke to them and decided at this time it was best for him to move on,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“I made it clear I didn’t want George to leave but he felt he needed to get his season on track and of course I respect that. George wished Enfield Town all the very best. In turn, I wished George every success as he moves forward, we now need to regroup and probably recruit again.”

As a club we too wish George all the very best and thank him for his efforts which included one goal and one assist.

Hawks Swoop Late To Deny Town

Enfield  Town 4 Whitehawk 4

Report by Andrew Warshaw

If you want breathtaking entertainment and end to end action, Enfield Town is certainly the place to be at the moment.  Just not when you throw away two points.

Which is what happened on Tuesday when Town were 3-1 up, then 4-2 up, only to concede twice in the last five minutes, leaving Gavin Macpherson understandably fuming.

While we continue to score goals for fun – and invariably more than we concede — defending is beginning to become a serious concern.  

It’s still early days in terms of the season as a whole and we remain in a terrific position, notwithstanding Chatham’s late win that only increases the anticipation ahead of Saturday’s clash.

But only eight teams in the division have let in more goals than us and closing out games will now surely be a priority.

A sublime hat-trick from Marcus Wyllie would on most occasions have got us well over the line but no game in this division is a given and Whitehawk , like us, had been on a decent run of form and certainly did not come to sit back on the balance of play.

Unchanged from the win over Hastings, Town once again got off to a great start after 11 minutes  as Marcus held his run before sweeping the ball home after an excellent move down the right.

The lead was short-lived, however, the luckless Josh Okotcha diverting the ball into his own net  as he tried to keep out dangerman Charlie Walker but got it all wrong.

It galvanised Whitehawk who started to dominate possession, skipper Jack Dixon especially eye-catching, and they almost went in front when Mickey Parcell’s back header was far too weak, Rhys Forster just managing to flick the ball away in front of Walker.

At the other end, Whitehawk cleared off the line from Marcus while Sam Youngs narrowly failed to get the final touch from a freekick as he burst into the box.

Now it was Town’s turn to clear off the line as Parcell redeemed himself but both defences were looking decidedly shaky and you kind of knew there would be goals aplenty.

So it proved as Town went into a quickfire lead. First Youngs, on the counter, capitalised on a Hawks error with a fabulous hit on the edge of the box. Then Marcus doubled our lead with a trademark turn and shot.

Concentration was in short supply, however, and Dixon’s header from a corner reduced the deficit on the stroke of halftime.

H-T 3-2

Cue a halftime change from the management team as Kyle Bailey moved into defence to replace Okotcha whose partnership with James Richmond had stood us in such good stead earlier in the season.

By all accounts, Josh was distinctly peeved but these are the kind of decisions coaching staff are at liberty to take and for a while you could argue it paid off.

Within a minute of the restart, Wyllie completed his hattrick with the best of his three, shooting home from wide on the left with pinpoint accuracy (Pictured).

He almost added two more, lashing the ball over after being played through by Reece Beckles-Richards, then hitting the woodwork and seeing the rebound by Dylan Adjei-Hersey saved.

What followed, however, was certainly not in the script.

On 85 minutes, Forster was adjudged to have clumsily impeded Joe Tennant and Dixon dispatched the penalty.

Still, we should have managed the game properly. Instead, right on 90 minutes, Forster found himself in no man’s land and Louis Collins delivered a masterful chip to deny us all three points.

“It was littered with individual errors and I feel sorry for Marcus in a way,” said Gavin who had strong words with the players at halftime and afterwards. “I’m quick to say when I’ve got it wrong but this one is firmly with them. “

“I don’t deny Whitehawk getting back level in the first half, they’re a difficult side. But overall we were just a giveaway tonight. The finish to the game was absolutely ridiculous.

“You see it out even if you haven’t played well but we didn’t. We’ve scored four goals at home and haven’t won the football match. The players have been doing far better than they did tonight. We must not see a continuation of that. I just hope they don’t come to regret the two points lost come the end of the season.”

Town:

Forster; Payne; Okotcha (Bailey, 46), Richmond, Parcell; Adjei-Hersey, Youngs, Thomas (Donnellan 77), Knight; Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Sykes, 87).

Whitehawk Next Test For Town

Enfield Town attempt to continue their purple patch of form by taking on Whitehawk at home on Tuesday night (k-o 7.45).

Whitehawk may lie in ninth place on 20 points but they have only played 12 league games so far compared with our 15.

Shaun Saunders’ Hawks finished second in the Isthmian South East division last season and won promotion via the playoffs. They have taken to Step 3 like a duck to water and are another highly dangerous team on paper.

On Saturday they beat neighbours Lewes 3-1 to advance to the third round of the FA Trophy for the first time.

In fact they have only lost once in nine games in all competitions, a narrow 1-0 defeat at high-flying Chatham who we play on Saturday.

Town’s recent good form is a far cry from those two cup exits and it’s all down to hard work, says Gavin Macpherson.

“Last week, with the Brightlingsea game called off, we had two training sessions and worked religiously on certain aspects of our game,” explained Gavin. “When you play good sides, you have to have things worked out. My staff are worth their weight in gold.”

“We’ve got a different sort of problem against Whitehawk, and I’ll say the same against Chatham. They just keep coming and it’s important the boys remain grounded. We’re second right now but to achieve something, you have to constantly reset and refocus.”

One footnote. Our partners Cooking Champions have designated the Whitehawk game as curry night costing £8 for chicken curry and £7 for a vegetarian option.

So make sure you have an appetite!

Andrew Warshaw

Horsham postponement

A quick note to let everyone know that our away game at Horsham on Saturday Dec 9 has been postponed because of Horsham’s continuing involvement in the FA Trophy

A new date will be announced as soon as possible

Town and Hastings Serve Up Classic

Enfield Town 3 Hastings United 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

What a fantastic advert this was for Step 3 football. Two in-form sides both going for it, thrills at both ends and one team ultimately being more clinical in front of goal.

On a day when there were no top-flight professional games due to the international programme, you couldn’t really have asked for a better quality spectacle at this level.

In the end, it was the hosts who ran out deserved winners to make it four wins out of five and cement our place in second spot after a classic team display watched by almost 650 fans.

Hastings certainly played their part and may claim they deserved more on the balance of play but then so did we at Hornchurch. These things tend to even out over the season.

Such was the gloom of the afternoon that the floodlights were on after just five minutes  but there was nothing gloomy about the action on the pitch.

Rhys Forster was called into action early doors, tipping over a speculative effort from Jack Bates  as the visitors began brightly, with John Ufoah a particular threat on the left.

Rhys was forced into action again to palm away an effort from Kian Moyes, put through by a defence-splitting Bates pass.

But Charlie Grainger gradually became the busier keeper, dealing with a string of Town corners, clutching a Sam Youngs volley after Joe Payne’s thunderbolt had been blocked, then pulling off a miraculous double save to keep the score goalless just as the crowd thought we had taken the lead.

The deadlock was finally broken right on halftime as Reece Beckles-Richards – finally evading having his shirt pulled – managed to fire home through a ruck of players following an Ollie Knight freekick.

H-T 1-0

Hastings were quick to respond as Ufuah rattled the bar in the first move of the second half and were soon level as Moynes rolled the ball in with a smart finish.

The U’s hardly had time to celebrate, however, before they were again indebted to Grainger, this time for a remarkable TRIPLE stop.

But even he could nothing about Enfield regaining the lead as Marcus Wyllie, running forward from an onside position, produced a wonderful first touch to bring Mickey Parcell’s ball out of defence under control and finish with aplomb.

It was perfect timing but it needed a third to put the visitors to bed and it duly arrived on 64 minutes. Two Hastings defenders got in each other’s way, allowing Wyllie to find Ollie Knight  who almost burst the net with a glorious low drive (pictured).

Hastings kept playing their football and it needed a timely block by substitute Lewis Taaffe to keep them out.

They also claimed they should have had a penalty but by now Town were smelling a fourth and almost got it, first when a Dylan Adjei-Hersey effort cannoned up and over the bar, then when Wyllie broke free again, only for Grainger to make an excellent covering stop.

“We knew it would be a very difficult game because they are well drilled and pass the ball well,” said Enfield boss Gavin Macpherson after a breathtaking encounter marred only by a booking for Payne which will keep him out of the Chatham clash next Saturday.

“At times we had to think outside the box, so to speak, and we’re not the finished article by any means. It wasn’t vintage but we’ve always got goals in us.

“Hastings are where they are for a reason, they make you work very hard especially when you’re out of possession and we needed to do our homework. I’m as pleased as I have been in any game this season because we’ve produced a performance against a very good side. I have to pay tribute not only to the players but all my management team.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Donnallan 89), Thomas, Youngs, Knight (Onyeahgware, 81); Beccles-Richards (Taaffe, 81), Wyllie

Game On

For anyone in doubt, today’s eagerly awaited fixture against Hastings United goes ahead as planned

Battle Of Hastings Up Next

This Saturday we are at home to fifth-placed Hastings United for what is the biggest game of the day in our division.

We are anticipating a bumper crowd for this fixture with no Premier League distractions. Hastings are also one of the better supported teams in the league and usually travel in good numbers.

Despite issues relating to a possible move away from their current stadium Hastings are having a good season on the field. Under a new manager who is in his second spell, they have won their last three league games and have 23 points from 14 matches.

Their top scorers are Davide Rodari with nine goals and Femi Akinwande with eight.

“Hastings have an excellent side who have been riding high in recent weeks. They are in good form so it’s a tough test,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“Apart from North Greenford, the boys have responded magnificently to the challenge I set them following the Lewes result. I’ve been delighted with their application and desire to win football matches, the main focus for any team at this level, we need to keep going, if you don’t there are plenty of good teams who will take advantage”.

Last Saturday the Car Park was full before kickoff so you may want to arrive a little earlier than usual to use the car park.

Tickets for our forthcoming home games are available here:

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets

Game Off

Following a pitch inspection, tonight’s Velocity Trophy third round game against Brightlingsea Regent has unfortunately had to be postponed.

A new date will be arranged as soon as possible

Brightlingsea Tonight, Weather Permitting

Tonight we entertain Brightlingsea Regent in the third round of the Velocity Trophy, our final chance of domestic cup silverware this season (kickoff 7.45) — pending a 3pm pitch inspection.

Brightlingsea are sixth in Isthmian league north, a division below us, but the management team will be taking nothing for granted especially after our Middlesex County Cup exit at north greenford last week.

“We will give them the respect they deserve,” said Gavin Macpherson. “They are better than Greenford on paper but the team we put out was easily good enough to win that game.”

“The league may be the priority but we want to go far in this competition and try and win it. We’ll look at any walking wounded and see where we are.”

Please check later for updates

Town Clip Gulls’ Wings

Enfield Town 3 Canvey Island 0

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 playoff semifinalists 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 Dubble 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 spotkick 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!

H-T 2-0

We certainly heeded that advice with a far more dominant second-half display despite the halftime 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.”

In terms of budgets, Town are defying the odds and long may it continue.

“Budgets have never been part of my mindset,” said Gavin. “I’m not fazed by how much money other teams might have.”

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; Knight, Thomas (Bailey, 81), Youngs, Adjei-Hersey (Sykes, 68); Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Keeya, 77)

Gulls Next Up For Town

After a tough last couple of results for different reasons, Enfield Town begin a run of four straight home fixtures in all competitions on Saturday by taking on last season’s playoff semifinalists, Canvey Island.

Our unfortunate defeat at Hornchurch was followed three days later by a humiliating exit to Step 5 North Greenford United in the Middlesex County Cup, albeit with an understrength team.

The side Gavin Macpherson put out was well capable of getting us through but now it’s back to the bread and butter of league action as we aim to build on what was a decent run of form before the Hornchurch setback.

 Ollie Knight is available for selection on Saturday after a three-game ban for what looks, on paper, like another tricky encounter.

The Gulls may be in mid-table and six points behind us but they have played two games fewer. Remarkably, they have not drawn a single league game, having won six and lost five.

“I’m really pleased to be back at home, it’s like having a 12th man when the fans are singing,” said Gavin. “Enfield was never a ground I looked forward to going to as an opponent.”

“Saturday is another stern test in keeping with this league. Canvey are capable of beating anyone and have players who can hurt you if you catch them on their day. But we’re in a good position and I want to maintain that.”

Andrew Warshaw

Town Stunned By Middlesex Exit

North Greenford United 3 Enfield Town 2

 Report By Martin Bentley

Maybe it was the water. Or ley lines. Or Mercury rising in Uranus.

 No-one has managed to come up with a better explanation for Enfield Town’s inexplicable late, late capitulation to Step 5 North Greenford in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Tuesday night that saw a two-goal lead wiped out in 12 mad minutes.

This, unfortunately, has been a regular occurrence in so-called minor cup matches over the last few years, so it was particularly worrying to see a Gavin Macpherson side continue the trend in what was our first appearance in this season’s competition.

It had all started so well. Town fielded a much-changed line-up to give fringe players game time as well as a couple of experimental selections in Mickey Parcell in central midfield and Ollie Knight at left back. Academy prospect Ebraima Davies was given a start, with new signing Leo Donnellan on the bench.

We were immediately on the front foot, and rocketed into a two-goal lead in the fist 18 minutes, Lewis Taaffe finishing well from Parcell’s through ball, then adding a well-taken penalty after Josh Keeya had been tripped.

For the remainder of the half, the term “training game” was being used,  Town completely dominating possession and the visitors struggling to retain the ball for more than a few seconds.

 How that changed after halftime as slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, Town managed to lose control of the game.

One by one players started to vanish as though someone was punching buttons on a control panel though Town had a George Sykes effort disallowed and an Obi Onyeagwara shot was headed off the line.

The remarkable turnaround began on 82 minutes when  a swift breakout saw left back Rashid Springer’s cross turned in by right back Sam Brown.

By then, the ball was hardly leaving Town’s half, the hosts having started to play as if they were Cray Valley PM, and the equaliser duly followed on 92 minutes, Ryan Ewhare netting in a goalmouth scramble. Three minutes later and even deeper into stoppage time, Joe Mills won the game with a deflected effort to Adi Connolly’s left.

  Cue wild celebrations by the home side and fans, shell-shocked congratulations offered by the bewildered travelling faithful, and a general feeling of “what the **** just happened?”

A truly odd and, as I say, worrying night with only one knockout competition, the Velocity Trophy, left for Town to make a mark.

  Line-up: Connolly, Bailey, Knight, Okotcha, Coker, Keeya, Onyeagwara (Adjei-Hersey 85), Parcell (Donnellan 45), Sykes, Taaffe, Davies

Town Go Down Fighting

Hornchurch 2 Enfield Town 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

If ever there was an occasion to feel proud in defeat, this was surely it.

They be oft-used cliches but football is a cruel game and you sometimes don’t get what you deserve.

The faces on Town’s crestfallen players and management team following Saturday’s defeat against the unbeaten runaway league leaders said everything about how, in open play at least, we more matched our opponents’ big-name players, one of whom had played more than 100 games for Crystal Palace.

It won’t be much consolation to Gavin and the boys but the Hornchurch fans and staff conceded it was by far their biggest test of the season, Rhys Forster hardly having a shot of note to save.

None of that, however, can disguise the fact that title-winning sides find a way to win even when below-par and two almost identical set-piece goals ultimately did for Town.

Hornchurch are that kind of team, they grind you down. Keep their forwards quiet and someone else will invariably come up with the goods, in this case skipper Ryan Scott.

Yet for long periods on Saturday, it was Town who looked like the side in pole position, especially in the first half.

Josh Okotcha and Sam Youngs had early half-chances and even when Josh slipped on the rain-soaked surface at the other end, he recovered well to avert the danger.

Hornchurch had to wait for 20 minutes for their first major foray when Nathan Green powered his way through but screwed wide.

Though this was a day when Joe Payne’s long throws got little change out of a mean defence, we still looked the more dangerous team in open play.  Marcus Wyllie played in Reece Beckles-Richards whose goalbound shot took a deflection. Then the roles were then reversed as Reece’s ball into the middle proved just too high for Marcus.

As halftime approached, we so near nearly grabbed the lead, only for Ollie Muldoon, in his 100th appearance for Hornchurch, to make a terrific goal-line clearance.

Former Towner Joe Wright was then called into action to tip a Sam Youngs header over the bar in the final action of the half.

H-T 0-0

Town again began on the front foot, Marcus narrowly missing the target on the volley when Payne, for once, went short with his throw.

We needed to bed and in and stay focussed but on 53  minutes, all our hard work was undone as Scott rose highest to convert Tom Wraight’s corner.

As we pressed for an equaliser, a rare error at the back allowed Marcus to round the keeper but he couldn’t quite force the ball home from the narrowest of angles.  Moments later he saw another effort cleared off the line (pictured).

As we pushed forward, so Hornchurch’s fitness began to tell as they threatened a second goal on the counter. So it proved yet it took an identical set piece to double their lead.

 When Ade Youssef cut inside and saw his shot deflected, Tom Wraight swung over the corner and Scott was on hand once again to power home a header with seven minutes remaining.

“We were the better side overall, no question about that,” said Gavin Macpherson after we slipped to third and saw Hornchurch extend their lead to 11 points. “But the two goals were a carbon copy, we didn’t attack the ball.”

“We knew what Scott did at set-pieces and we worked on it before so it was a massive disappointment. I don’t want to dress it up. There’s a reason why they are at the top, it’s because they do things like that.”

“They might argue they weren’t at their best but the fact is we were better. Having said that, you don’t get anything for being better unless you defend your own box and be more potent in the opposition box.”

“The boys are absolutely gutted and in a way I look at it as an opportunity missed. But in terms of desire, attitude and application, I cannot ask for any more. It tells me we are heading massively in the right direction.”

Town:  Forster; Parcell, Richmond, Okotcha, Payne;  Adjel-Hersey Onyeahwara, (63) , Youngs, Thomas (Taaffe, 84), Beckles-Richards; Sykes (Keeya 71), Wyllie

Charity Quiz Night

The Enfield branch of the Macmillan Cancer Charity are organising an community fundraising quiz at St Stephens Church Hall, Village Road, from 7pm on Saturday 18th November.

We are delighted that they have included ETFC Community Sports Development as one of the beneficiaries.

The quiz is in tables of six and proceeds will go to a variety of local good causes, including our own. If interested in participating or organising a team, please contact: hazyfundraiser@gmail.com

If you wish to be part of an ETFC team please contact Christine Hamilton on 07949 071587.

Urchins v Town Takes Centre Stage

No guessing which game in our division has captured the imagination this weekend.

After whopping back-to-back wins against  Hashtag and Wingate and Finchley, we visit runaway leaders Hornchurch on Saturday (k-o 3pm) – the pre-season favourites for automatic promotion with a big-name squad and a manager whose previous job was in the EFL Championship.

Weather permitting, it’s first v second and while it may not quite be a free hit, we go there with plenty of renewed self-belief having hit our stride following those two agonising cup exits.

“I think we all realise this fixture is now looking like the toughest league game of the season,” said Gavin Macpherson for whom Ollie Knight serves the final game of three-match suspension. 

“Hornchurch have clearly made a massive statement this season and will be extremely difficult opposition.”

The Urchins finished second last season, only to lose to Aveley in the playoff final, and have spent big to try and improve on that.

They are unbeaten in the league both home and away and lead the table by eight points. But Gavin said from day one that he would relish pitting his wits against the best.

“They have made some excellent signings but we’re in a good place and the boys are working hard,” he said. “It’s a big test but one that we’re really looking forward to, every game is a challenge in this league.”

Andrew Warshaw

Town Hand Out Halloween Fright

Wingate and Finchley 1 Enfield Town 4

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Whisper it quietly, Enfield Town are up to second in the table.

In an almost carbon copy of how Saturday’s game unfolded, Town ultimately demolished a slick and highly capable W and F side on Tuesday night with another cracking second-half display.

In front of crowd of 300 – a large majority supporting the Towners (including a heavily strapped but slowly recovering Jake Cass) – we had things far from our own way in the opening period before improving massively to give our hosts a Halloween fright.

Having said that, we got off to a perfect start on eight minutes. Scott Thomas launched a powerful downfield header that was collected by Marcus Wyllie whose delicious cross-field ball into the box was coolly dispatched by Reece Beckles-Richards against his old club.

Marcus almost added a second with a trademark strike that whisked past the post but Wingate, pleasing on the eye and using their pace, gradually gained a foothold and probably deserved their equaliser on 26 minutes on the balance of play.

Ruben Carvalho, a box of tricks in midfield, found an extra yard of space and fired in a shot that Rhys Forster could only push into the path Elliot Long who duly converted the rebound.

Town were perhaps fortunate not to go behind when Sam Youngs, tracking back, was dispossessed near our own goal-line but this time Carvalho screwed the ball wide of an open goal.

In an end-to-end finish to a highly watchable half, Marcus had another effort clawed to safety by Blues keeper Ben Goode.

H-T 1-1

Wingate’s wide and central midfield players had given us plenty to think about but after the proverbial half-time team talk, we looked a different side – just as on Saturday – as we upped our pressing game and went for the jugular.

On 54 minutes, Dylan Adjei-Hersey’s cross from the right found Wyllie who found the tightest pocket of space between two defenders and managed to get his shot away for his 10th league goal of the season (pictured).

Now Town were firmly in the ascendancy.  George Sykes, making his first league start, stole in at the back post to convert a Joe Payne freekick for his first Town goal before Goode was forced into a smart save from a Beckles-Richards drive.

With seven minutes left, Town put the icing on the cake with what initially looked like an own goal by  former Towner Ben Frempah, only for it to later be awarded to Youngs whose goalbound header had taken a deflection.

After 10 goals in two games, next up the small matter of runaway leaders Hornchurch on Saturday but we go there with plenty of self-belief.

With a somewhat croaky Gavin Macpherson preserving his voice, the after-match analysis was provided by Steve Conroy.

“We knew we had to be on our game because they move the ball well but we were a bit loose in the first half,” said Steve. “They made it hard for us but the distance between our units was far too big.”

“We weren’t getting nearly close enough to them and they were dictating the ball. But second half we squeezed the pitch, nullified their strengths and went on the front foot which is how we like to play.”

Town:

Forster; Parcell, Richmond, Okotcha, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Taaffe, 90), Thomas, Youngs (Onyeagwara, 84), Beckles-Richards; Wyllie, Sykes (Keeya, 74)

Wingate Up Next

 Following a triumphant return to home soil on Saturday, Enfield Town are back on the road again tomorrow, Tuesday (7.45 ko), with a short trip to neighbours Wingate and Finchley.

Only two points separate the teams, both having played 11 games, and although Wingate were beaten at home by Dulwich Hamlet last Saturday, prior to that they were in strong league form, winning three on the bounce including a 6-2 demolition of canvey island.

Gavin Macpherson will certainly not let the boys sit on their laurels following our own six-goal feast at the weekend, especially since a trip to runaway leaders Hornchurch follows four days after the Wingate fixture.

Ollie Knight misses the second of a three-game ban while Louis Birch is again missing for medical reasons.

But Saturday’s thumping win over Hashtag will hopefully give the team plenty of confidence going into what is invariably a spicy derby.

“I’m fully respectful of Wingate because they have been causing teams problems,” said Gav. “They have a lot of pace in the side which is hard to combat. They play an open system which on the one hand is get-atable, if you like, but it also causes the opposition some thinking and we’ll need to be on our guard.”

Town Hit Six On Home Return

Enfield Town 6 Hashtag United 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

After six successive away games in all competitions, Enfield Town returned to familiar surroundings on Saturday and did so in style, smashing Hashtag for six including a Sam Youngs hattrick.

The only surviving fixture in the division because of weather-induced postponements and a raft of FA Trophy games, Town made it count by producing a scintillating second-half blitz to move up to third in the table, which we’d all have taken at this point of the season. Or any point for that matter!

Draw specialists Tag had only lost once in the league this season – at runaway leaders Hornchurch – and made us work for our openings in a relatively even first half.

Reece Beckles-Richards (pictured, celebrating) broke the deadlock on 28 minutes with a glorious strike from just outside the box after switching the ball from left foot to right having been played through by Obi Onyeagwara, making his first start for Town as Ollie Knight began a three-game ban.

In truth, however, there was little to choose between the sides at the interval with three ex-Towners in the visitors’ line-up, one of whom, Percy Kiangebeni, was a constant threat throughout the opening period in central midfield.

H-T 1-0

There was no hint of the goal fest to come, the less so when Greg Halford levelled from the penalty spot just after the break, Rhys Forster adjudged to have impeded Misha Djemaili when he actually got to the ball first.

It was a distinctly soft award but within four minutes we restored our lead, Marcus Wyllie collecting a Town corner and bending a beautifully executed shot inside the far post.

From then on, everything Town touched turned to gold…and goals.

Right on the hour, Tag keeper Ted Curd got a hand to a Sam Youngs header but was beaten for sheer power and three became six during a blistering 15-minute spell.

On 75 minutes, Josh Keeya ran on to a woefully short backpass from Matthew Wooldridge but when the Tag defender appeared to redeem himself with what looked a fair challenge, the referee awarded a second dubious spotkick, this time for Town. Youngs, as almost always, made no mistake for 4-1.

Town weren’t finished yet, saving the best till last.

On 86 minutes, Wyllie produced an early contender for goal of the season, turning on the proverbial sixpence and almost bursting the net with a 35-yard screamer, surely one of the best individual strikes ever seen at Step 3 level.

Town’s sixth was almost as memorable, a wonderful team goal finished off by a magnificent curling cross from Dylan Adjei-Hersey and a sumptuous finish from Youngs to collect the match ball.

With three points easily in the bag, a crazy game got even crazier right at the death when we took our eye off the ball and conceded twice, first from a corner, then a 25-yard effort from former Town favourite Kiangebeni. They gave a modicum of respectability to the scoreline but for Tag were far too little, far too late.

“At halftime, I gave them a bit of rocket because they were not doing what they were supposed to do,” explained Gav.  “We were far too deep and far too strung out between the various units which allowed Hashtag to pass the ball through our lines.”

“But I’m not surprised how they reacted because there are goals all over this team. It’s the reverse of last week at Lewes when I held my hands up. We’re a management team who know what we’re doing and once the players came with us today, we looked like a different side. Having said that they were deflated to concede those last two goals.”

“Our standards have to be there from first minute to last but we’ve entertained the fans and I’m delighted about that because we’ve been a bit up and down in recent weeks.”

Town

Foster; Parcell (Bailey, 68), Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Beckles-Richards (Sykes, 82), Youngs, Thomas, Adjei-Hersey; Onyeagwara (Keeya, 58), Wyllie.

Back Home At Last

Tomorrow, Saturday, we entertain draw specialists Hashtag United (3pm kickoff), hoping to mark our return to home soil with three points following a positive display in midweek at Billericay.

Isthmian North champions last season, Tag were promoted to Step 3 and are currently 12th in the table, three places below Town

Hashtag’s 11 league games this season have produced no fewer than seven draws including last Monday against high-flying Chatham

The fact that they have only lost once in the league, at runaway leaders Hornchurch, suggests they will be a highly competitive unit.

Unfortunately Ollie Knight starts a three-game suspension against Hashtag but after six straight away games in all competitions, Gavin Macpherson is delighted to get back to familiar surroundings.

“It’ll be difficult without Ollie obviously but we have scope in wide areas and are not short of options,” said Gavin. “It gives someone else a chance to come in and stake a claim.”

“It’ll be great to be at home again, it seems ages. But again, good opposition. We have to reach our levels every game no matter who we are playing.”

Andrew Warshaw

Well Deserved Point

Billericay Town 1 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Bodies on the line, togetherness, concentration, teamwork and a fair few good chances.

This was more like the kind of away performance Town fans and management alike have been seeking against one of the division’s big hitters.

If you don’t win, make sure you don’t lose may be an obvious cliché but the way the players covered for one another in our sixth successive away game was the perfect response to Saturday’s shambolic display at Lewes.

Gavin Macpherson made four changes for the trip to Essex, with Sam Youngs returning after suspension and Josh Okotcha, Reece Beckles-Richards and Dylan Adjei-Hersey brought back into the team, all playing their part in a battling performance.

Right from the off, the Ricay manager was barking instructions from the dug-out and while the hosts will rue rushing a string of half-chances and failing to capitalise on a raft of corners, we thoroughly deserved a share of the spoils and with a little luck might even have nicked all three points against a team who will be right up there come the end of the season.

Town’s endeavour and spirit was typified after 14 minutes when the hosts seized on a rare slip by Okotcha, only for Mickey Parcell to rush back and produce a sensational clearance off the line (pictured).

Marshalled by former Towner Matt Johnson, Ricay continued to probe, largely through Bradley Stevenson and Moses Emanuel, but we looked lively and energetic on the counter and so nearly grabbed the lead on the half hour when Adjei-Hersey cut in from the right and saw his diagonal effort come back off the post straight into the gloves of Dan Wilks.

As halftime approached, Town had their best period of the opening 45 minutes as Youngs headed wide from an Ollie Knight freekick.

H-T 0-0

Gavin sent the boys out early for the second period but we had the worst possible start. James Richmond was dispossessed just inside our half and Ricay burst forward and had two bites of the cherry before we just managed to clear the ball.

Moments later, however, they took the lead as Alfie Cerulli burst through the centre of midfield and unleashed a 30-yard worldie that left Rhys Forster floundering.

This was not a night, however, when we ever looked like buckling, with skipper Scott Thomas leading by example. Three minutes later,  Beckles-Richards was unceremoniously hacked down and Youngs’ resultant penalty was too well angled for the diving Wilks.

Now it was anyone’s game. Marcus Wyllie’s quick feet produced two decent chances, one whistling just past, while at the other end  Emmanuel missed an absolute sitter and Youngs blocked another Ricay goalbound effort.

In the midst of all this, how we were not given a second spotkick is anyone’s guess as Adjei-Hersey was blatantly impeded, the referee instead awarding a corner. In fact, we could well have had three spotkicks, a first-half foul on Knight adjudged to have been  outside the box when it looked inside to many.

As the game moved into six minutes of stoppage time, Ricay increased the pressure but we held firm and had the last chance of the game when Joe Payne lashed a freekick over the bar.

Town’s starting eleven last night are unbeaten as a unit and Gavin was quick to praise them.

“We couldn’t have played much worse than at Lewes and I don’t want that to happen again,” he said. “Billericay are being talked up yet we came with a 4-4-2 to try and win the game.”

“I wanted the energy levels and application we had earlier in the season and they certainly gave me that. I may be biased but I thought we shaded it though of course I’m happy with a point.”

Town: Forster; Payne, Okotcha, Richmond, Parcell; Knight, Thomas (Soulya-Osekanongo 90), Youngs, Adjei-Hersey (Keeya 83); Beckles-Richards, Wyllie

ETFC Community site now live!

We’re delighted that our Community Sports Development section now has a new website, showcasing the efforts and achievements of all our community teams; from our youth soccer school, to walking football, disabilities teams, and more.

We have had some good news over the last month, with Tony Gibbs recognised for his sterling services to our community section by Enfield Voluntary Action, plus three of our first-teamers joining in with our Soccer School last weekend.

And you can now read about it on our new page: https://etfc-community.co.uk/ – this can also be accessed by clicking the Community logo at the bottom of our home page. You’ll also find this badge proudly on the back of all our men’s first team shirts once again this season – a testament to the hard work that all our volunteers and players put in, across the whole football club.

Click on the badge to access the ETFC Community Sports Development site

From Rooks To Ricay

The games come thick and fast and certainly don’t get any easier.

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday) we make the shortish trip to Essex to face one of the division’s big-hitters in Billericay Town, hoping to bounce back from an afternoon to forget at Lewes.

This is Ricay’s second season back at Step 3 and they have started impressively – in the league at least after a shock FA exit to Sheppey United.

They are skippered by former Towner Matt Johnson while Bradley Stevenson and Moses Emanuel have netted a combined 16 times, aided and abetted by the likes of  Frankie Merrifield.

Like us, they have played nine league games but lie third in the table and are certain to provide formidable opposition.

This is Town’s sixth successive away game in all competitions, an unenviable scenario for any side. But a decent result at the AGP arena will set us up nicely for a return to familiar home surroundings next Saturday.

Sam Youngs is available for selection tomorrow after serving a one-match ban but Gavin Macpherson knows how tough an encounter it will be after recent setbacks.

“I’ve got players who weren’t making errors that now are and it’s been costing us,” admitted Gavin. “I have to work out why that is.”

“I’ve never had a revolving door as a manager but there comes a point, when it is consistent, where you wonder whether your players can do what you are asking them to.”

“Do I look at it and think maybe this is phase two of the season, after getting off to a pretty good start overall in phase one, and wonder if I need to being anyone in.

“We were surprisingly lacklustre at Lewes. Hopefully it’s a massive wake-up call. I absolutely feel for our supporters but Billericay doesn’t faze me. It’s another chance to pit our wits against one of the so-called big boys.”

We have laid on a minibus for Billericay departing at 4.45 costing £15 return. please email to book your seat at ramismail65@gmail.com

Andrew Warshaw

Rooks Jinx Strikes Again

Lewes 4 Enfield Town 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

First things first. We are eighth in the table with games in hand, this was always going to be something of a transition season and we possibly punched above our weight early in the campaign.

Having said that, there is little doubt that the wheels have come off in recent fixtures with far too many goals conceded, yesterday’s woeful  defeat on a ground that is traditionally a graveyard for us being arguably the low point of a league season that has suddenly taken on a distinctly inconsistent pattern.

Only a couple of weeks ago, we were all praising a terrific FA Cup performance at Halesowen but that has been largely forgotten by two chastening cup defeats and yesterday’s even worse display – interspersed by the much-needed midweek win at Kingstonian which should have restored our self-belief.

The fact that as well as conceding another four goals (15 in four games now) we also created so little in the opposition box at Lewes and appeared to lack leadership will not have been lost on the management team.

Is it a sudden lack of confidence? Of course we missed the suspended Sam Youngs, with Marcus Wyllie adopting Sam’s role and therefore having to play in a more withdrawn position.

But one swallow doesn’t make a summer and even Gavin Macpherson, showing his usual commendable honestly, was at a loss to explain what’s going on.

In the first half, whilst not doing a great deal with the ball, we were reasonably comfortable out of possession with a low block.

It was a disappointment, therefore, when  Lewes grabbed the lead on 17 minutes. Rhys Forster, arguably our man of the match, superbly kept out a Harvey Hughes thunderbolt but from the resultant corner Arthur Penny rose unmarked to head into the corner.

It was another of those set-piece goals that have recently proved our undoing and galvanised Lewes who should have quickly doubled their lead.  Showing terrific technique, Marcus Sablier controlled a sweeping counter-attack before playing in Ola Ogunwamide, only for Forster to pull off another fine stop, and then a third to keep out a powerful Tommy Wood strike after initially being unable to hold on to an Ogunwamide knock-down.

As Town briefly rallied, we produced two decent chances that flashed across goal but we needed more urgency, incisiveness and penetration.

H-T 0-1

Instead, it was Lewes who upped their game, shutting out any Town threats and doubling their advantage on 57  minutes, Guyana international Dean Moore making space for himself before shooting across Forster and into the bottom corner though the ball appeared to go in under Rhys’ body.

Two quickly became three as James Richmond diverted a Wood drive into his own net and Wood rounded off an impressive individual display by a superb turn and shot on the edge of the box.

 The fact that our best effort of the game came in the final minute of normal time when Nathan Harvey pulled off an excellent stop to thwart Reece Beckles-Richards (pictured) said everything about a desperate day at the office.

“I take this personally and told the players I would carry the can because I set the team up,” admitted Gavin afterwards. “But if they think that me taking ownership means they are off the hook, they’ve got another think coming because we were nowhere near it.”

“We were never going to spend masses of time with the ball but the manner of the goals we conceded were alarming because it’s not what we’ve done all season. At one point we had one of the meanest defences in the league. It’s hard to explain quite frankly but now I’ve got a lot of thinking to do. I thought I knew my players but they seem to be proving me wrong at the moment.”

Town: Forster, Parcell, Payne, Thomas (Onyeagwara 62), Coker, Richmond, Knight (Beckles-Richards 64), Sykes (Soulya-Osekanongo 85), Keeya, Wyllie, Birch

 On The Road Again

Enfield Town embark on the second of three successive away games tomorrow Saturday with a visit to the uniquely named Dripping Pan to face Lewes, one of our bogey teams.

Sam Youngs misses out due to a one-match suspension but Wednesday’s win at Kingstonian will certainly have boosted morale for what should be a highly entertaining fixture in front of a big crowd at one of the most popular away fixtures despite it being among our less happy hunting grounds.

Lewes have had a mixed start to the season and lie 13th in the table but like us have only played eight games because of cup commitments.

Significantly, they have only lost once at home in the league and ran Hornchurch close in a 2-2 draw earlier in the campaign.

Goalscoring has indeed been their forte on home soil, running in 10 in the last three games — two in the various cups and one in the league.

With so many games to come in such a short space of time, Gavin Macpherson and the management team need as many fit players as possible

With Sam missing tomorrow and Ollie Knight for three games after Billericay, Gavin is still cautiously optimistic.

“Of course you don’t want to be without either but it gives others a chance to go and stake their claim for a place but I suppose the proof will be in performances and results without them,” he said.

“I’d urge the players coming in to take the chance and really give me problems with selection as we move forward. As a manager, it makes your job harder, but in truth it’s what you want because it tells you everyone is hitting the correct levels.

“There hasn’t been a lot of rotation so far. However that now needs to be a consideration based around keeping people fresh. Non-league football is different to it was 20 years ago and players get through an awful lot of work now so it’s important as manager I keep my options open and make adjustments accordingly.”

Just a reminder that the club will be running a coach that will be setting off from the QEII at 10am, with a door-to-door service to the Dripping Pan and back costing £20. Tickets are available below: 

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/coach4/coach-travel-to-lewes-fc-

Town Back To Winning Ways

Kingstonian 2 Enfield Town 3

Report by Glyn Smith

After dominating for 75 minutes,  10-man Enfield Town survived a late comeback from a spirited Kingstonian side to pick up three crucial points as we returned to league action following a sobering week of cup football.

At a wet and windy Imperial fields, Town had Ollie Knight sent off with a straight red – the second consecutive game we have had a player dismissed – but managed to hang on and move up to fourth in the table with games in hand.

Kingstonian featured ex-Towner Tom Collins in their starting eleven whilst Town began the game with two changes from Saturday’s FA Cup exit at Cray Valley PM, Ekow Coker and Louis Birch replacing Kyle Bailey and Reece Beckles-Richards.

After being very much on the front foot on a slick surface, Enfield took the lead in the 16th minute. Kingstonian failed to clear their lines following a corner and the ball fell to Marcus Wyllie who stroked it home with a trademark finish. Although Tolfrey hadn’t been troubled up until that point the lead was fully deserved.

One nearly became two a few minutes later as Sam Youngs’ low drive from the edge of the box was deflected and saved low down by the K’s keeper.

Enfield continued to dominate possession, with Kingstonian restricted to long balls as they tried to release their pacey forwards.

H-T 0-1

The second half started much as the first ended, with Town in charge. Tolfrey saved from Wyllie who had been put through by Youngs before Town went two up in the 52nd minute. A good move ended with Youngs finding Keeya, who turned his marker and fired home from the edge of the box.

Kingstonian responded with a low shot saved by Forster and Town’s third then came six minutes later. A cross from Mickey Parcell ended up in the six-yard box, Keeya’s initial effect was saved by Tolfrey, but the ball bounced straight back and ricocheted into the net with Keeya taking the congratulations.

After replacing Youngs, George Sykes produced a good finish from a pass from Payne, but the goal was disallowed as he had strayed into an offside position.

At this stage Town were cruising and seemingly set for an easy victory, but the game changed with 20 minutes remaining.

Zack Chislett of Kingstonian was booked for a heavy challenge on Knight on the halfway line but six minutes later Knight received a straight red for returning the favour.

In truth the first challenge could have warranted a red by a less lenient referee but the Kingstonian players’ reaction to Knight’s challenge probably influenced him to produce a red for Knight.

There then followed five minutes of madness. Jude Mason pulled a goal back in the 79th minute, shooting high into the net as Town failed to clear a free kick. Two minutes later a shot from just outside the box by Rudy Allen took a deflection off Coker to totally wrongfoot Forster and nestle in the net.

K’s tails were now and truly up, and they exerted huge pressure on Town, who were restricted to isolated break outs. Luckily though, Kingstonian were unable to produce any clear-cut chances and the last action of note was Forster receiving a yellow card for taking too long over taking a goal kick.

“Really pleased with our performance coming off the back of Saturday’s disappointment,” said Gavin Macpherson afterwards. “I thought we were excellent in difficult conditions and credit to the players, they responded superbly in so many different ways. I didn’t see that scoreline at 70 minutes. In truth we looked like we’d run away with it. We played some really good stuff and looked more like the Enfield I want us to be. As manager, you want to see a reaction but you also want to see that our identity is still part of the process of winning football matches.”

 Gavin was distinctly unhappy, however, at the sending-off.

“I’m disappointed with Ollie’s response after being heavily fouled and clearly it helped change the direction of the game. But the important thing is he learns that we need our best players on the pitch and I’m sure he will do that. Initially I thought it looked harsh but if you’re deemed to be out of control you always run the risk of being sent off.”

“At this stage I’d rather be 4th than 14th but it’s still early days. We’ve got some difficult games coming up and we should look forward to those because some are against the clubs making huge statements in this league and in all honesty where the pressure really lies. With our magnificent support behind us and the team wanting to maintain a good return in the league, we should look forward to having a go.”

 Enfield Town – Forster, Parcell, Payne, Thomas ( Soulya-Osekanongo 79), Coker, Richmond, Knight,Youngs (Sykes 66), Keeya,  Wyllie (Adjei-Hersey 83 min), Louis Birch.

Back to League Action

After the nightmare scenario of being knocked out of both main cup competitions within a week, Enfield Town resume their league campaign tonight (Wednesday) with a visit to Kingstonian hoping to get back to winning ways.

The game is the first of three successive away encounters, with Lewes and Billericay to come – an extremely tough programme as we look to bounce back following the gut-wrenching FA Cup exit at Cray Valley PM.

Because of our FA cup commitments, we have slipped to eighth in the table but have a number of games in hand on our rivals – this being one of the rearranged fixtures. Victory would push us back up to fourth and into the playoff places.

Gavin Macpherson kept the players on the pitch for a good 20 minutes at fulltime last Saturday and will expect a strong reaction against a side currently in the bottom three but who won their last home league game comfortably and recently went to Hastings and knocked them out of the Trophy.

Cup-tied last Saturday, recent signing George Sykes will available for selection at the start of a challenging period for the entire squad, with six league games in 16 days.

Just a reminder for travelling fans that  Kingstonian play at Imperial Fields where they groundshare with Tooting and Mitcham.

Spurs Legends This Thursday

Just a reminder about an unmissable evening with  Gary Mabbutt and Ossie Ardiles, two legends of the game, up close and live at Butlers Bar.

Relive the glory days of Tottenham Hotspur as we bring together two of the greatest players in the club’s history.

You’ll have the chance to meet and greet Gary and Ossie, hear their stories and ask them questions in a Q&A session.

When: Thursday 19 October at 7.30pm

Where: Butlers Bar, Enfield Town FC, Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane EN1 3PL

Book your tickets, priced £35, on the following link for a night filled with entertainment, nostalgia and humour.

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/legendsnight/an-evening-with-spurs-legends

Town Fall At Final Hurdle

Cray Valley PM 5 Enfield Town 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Gut-wrenching, devastating, massive missed opportunity.

Just a few of the words to sum up Saturday’s inglorious FA Cup fourth qualifying round exit at Cray Valley PM when, for the third time in eight years, we missed out on making history by reaching the first round proper.

To say we didn’t get the rub of the green with some of the decisions is an under-statement, having been denied at least one stonewall penalty at a crucial time and ending up with 10 men after Sam Youngs was sent off.

Virtually anything that could go wrong did go wrong and now, in the space of seven days, we are out of both main cup competitions.

Gavin Macpherson was magnanimous enough to apologise to the hoardes of travelling Towners fans who turned the occasion into virtually a home tie. And the fact we would have been drawn away at Charlton Athletic makes the pill even more bitter to swallow.

Yet few in the crowd of 579 could have imagined at halftime that we would be on the end of such a sobering scoreline, having twice gone in front.

Marcus Wyllie got us off to the perfect start after just six minutes, lashing home a half-volley to finish off a lovely move involving Mickey Parcell and Ollie Knight.

James Richmond almost doubled our lead with a bullet header and there was a stroke of good fortune about Cray’s equaliser, Kyrell Lisbie’s scuffed effort finding the corner of the net.

Moments earlier Rhys Forster had made a point-blank save from Lisbie who posed problems for us all afternoon until limping off injured.

Indeed, crosses from both flanks ultimately proved to be our downfall but we were arguably the better side in the first half and on 31 minutes we were back in front courtesy of Reece Beckes-Richards’ turn and shot.

 Once again we were pegged back, however, though in highly controversial circumstances.

Instead of adding on the allotted four minutes, the referee somehow decided on six and with the last action of the half, the ball was recycled from left to right and back again, Lisbie rising to nod into the far corner. To make matters worse, Gavin was booked for protesting at the amount of time added on.

H-T 2-2


It totally changed the respective dressing room moods and the second half was a different story as the Millers stormed out of the blocks, stretching us in wide positions, dominating midfield for large periods and twice testing Forster before Matthew Vigor’s left-foot drive crashed against our crossbar.

When Lisbie limped off soon afterwards, we might have hoped to re-impose our advantage.  Far from it.

Parcell saved us with a last-ditch block when a goal seemed certain and the home pressure soon told,  Freddie Parker firing beyond the helpless Forster.

As we rallied, Sam Youngs and Beckles-Richards both went desperately close before substitute Dylan Adjei-Hersey was blatantly up-ended in the box, only for the obvious penalty to be waved away (pictured).

Youngs’ dismissal for a second yellow on 85 minutes shattered our hopes and the tie was effectively settled when Parker fired home  from close range.

Our misery was then compounded in stoppage time as another cross found Adam  Coombes who slid in to tuck away number five.

Just as against Chesham in the Trophy when we conceded four, we were largely undone by crosses and Gavin now has a job on his hands raising morale ahead of two away league games in the next six days at Kingstonian and Lewes.

“I’ve got so many complaints about what happened in the game but it’s not why we lost and I want to apologise to the fans who travel in their numbers,” said Gavin who kept the players on the pitch for a good 20 minutes afterwards. “Believe me, I’m super gutted.”

“There were some poor performances and some of them have to have a hard look at themselves. I include myself in that because the buck stops with me.  I know how much it would have meant to this football club.”

“The game was always going to run away from us once Sam got sent off but we had two stonewall penalties, one with Josh in the first half and the other at a crucial time in the second when even their bench were grimacing thinking it was going to be given.”

“But that’s no excuse and I have to look the supporters in the eye and say I’m sorry for us falling short. It was nowhere near good enough.”

Forster, Bailey, Payne, Thomas, Richmond, Knight, Youngs, Wyllie, Keeya (Adjoin-Hersey 65), Beckles-Richards (Onyeagwara 80), Parcell.

Euro Opener Confirmed

We are thrilled to finally announce our first fixture in the Fenix Trophy, with our opening match at home to Danish side BK Skjold; the current tournament holders.

We will welcome the Copenhagen-based club to North London on the evening of Tuesday 28th November 2023, with the return game – as well as our two fixtures against Llantwit Major – likely to take place in early spring 2024.

Tickets will be released in due course… in the meantime, we hope you are looking forward to European Football in Enfield as much as we are! We will bring you any further updates on the tournament as soon as we confirm them.

FA Cup Fever Mounts

Preview by Andrew Warshaw

The anticipation and excitement is mounting. This Saturday Enfield Town attempt to make history by reaching the first round proper of the FA Cup, the world’s oldest and most prestigious domestic knockout competition.

For the first time since we were seconds away from beating National League Maidstone in the fourth qualifying round in 2017 before losing the replay at home, Town – who suffered the same fate at Chesham in 2015/16  —  go to Cray Valley PM hoping to make it third time lucky.

Whilst this presents a glorious opportunity having avoided all the big boys and former league clubs in the draw, Step 4 Cray, who play in the Isthmian League south-east division, will be feeling the same as us and have been on terrific form.

On paper, it’s another of those ties that has banana skin written all over it. We seem to get drawn against unbeaten sides and Eltham-based Cray Valley PM are another of them, having scored a staggering number of goals this season and knocked out Carshalton – who we know all about – in the previous round after a replay, proving how dangerous they can be.

In the league, because of several cup replays, Cray lie in eighth place but have only played four games, roughly half that of their rivals, and have bags of experience within their ranks.

Plus they have already achieved something we haven’t – tasting the euphoria of the FA Cup first round proper three years ago when they narrowly lost at Havant and Waterlooville having fought back from two goals to win at National League Maidenhead in the fourth qualifying round.

After narrowly missing out on a play-off spot at the back end of last season, a new era has started with a complete managerial change following the appointment of Steve McKimm.

Gavin Macpherson says there is no way our players will be complacent, especially following the heartbreaking Trophy defeat at Chesham last Saturday, and is hoping for a repeat of our fantastic victory at high-flying Halesowen in the previous round.

“To get through this would be a game-changer for us,” said Gavin. “I’ve been a great lover of the competition since I was a child. At our level, it’s like making the final to get to  the first round.”

“Make no mistake, Cray Valley PM are an extremely difficult side, pacey and combative, plus we are away. They may be a Step 4 team but they are Step 3 in respect of their players. I want our supporters to have the experience of the first round and for the club to enjoy generating National media interest, not least because of our fan-owned ethos.”

VENUE:- THE ARTIC STADIUM, BADGERS SPORTS, MIDDLE PARK AVENUE, ELTHAM, LONDON, SE9 5HP

Please be aware the ground is situated within the new ULEZ zone so certain vehicles could be subject to charge.

Nearest train station: Eltham approx 20 minutes walk to the ground.

ADMISSION PRICES : – PAY BY CASH OR CARD AT THE TURNSTILE
ADULTS – £10, CONCESSIONS (+65 & Students, with ID) – £6, CHILDREN 11-17 £2. CHILDREN U11 Free

If the scores are level after normal time there will be a replay on Tuesday 17th October 

Fixture Updates

Because of our continued involvement in the FA Cup, our scheduled home Isthmian League match against Whitehawk on Saturday 14th October has now been moved to the evening of Tuesday 21st November, 7:45pm kickoff.

Please note that there are no men’s first team matches in midweek, as our timetable has been cleared in preparation for our FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round tie with Cray Valley PM. As such, our away game against Kingstonian will take place next Wednesday 18th October, 7:45pm kickoff.

Town Floored By Generals’ Parting Shot

Chesham United 4 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

The Chesham United curse struck again on Saturday as Town crashed out of the FA Trophy at the first hurdle after being on the wrong end of a seven-goal thriller.

Just like last season, the Generals — where we also lost in the FA Cup a few years ago — put us out of non-league football’s main cup competition though this time it was a far closer affair than that 4-0 drubbing.

Three times we came from behind to equalise, showing commendable spirit and character, only to succumb to an 89th-minute Chesham winner as the game was heading for penalties.

To make matters worse for players, management and fans alike, a highly competitive encounter was settled by a totally avoidable defensive mix-up, an agonising way to go out after battling so hard against our high-flying Southern League opponents.

Things didn’t go out way right from the off. Starting brightly, Sam Youngs was a coat of paint away from giving us a fifth-minute lead, only for Chesham to go in front 60 seconds later with a sweetly struck first-time volley from Jordan Edwards.

Sam wasn’t to be denied, however, and quickly pulled us level with a glorious strike into the corner from 20 yards.

It wasn’t long either before the next goal arrived, Generals skipper Steve Brown finishing from close range after a mistimed header back across our own box from a corner.

Whilst we needed to get closer to Chesham’s wide players, Town continued to look dangerous going forward and levelled again when Kyle Bailey controlled an Ollie Knight cross with his shoulder before prodding the ball home (pictured).

Town could have snatched the lead when debutant George Sykes’ flick-on was almost converted by Marcus Wyllie while at the other end Lucas Sinclair – the scourge of the second half – forced Rhys Forster into a smart save and almost converted the rebound.

HT: 2-2

With a card-happy referee and our all-important FA Cup tie to come next weekend, we made a change at halftime as Marcus – who had already been booked – made way for Obi Onyeagwara.

The 19-year-old made an instant impact, whipping in a dangerous cross with virtually his first touch and causing the Generals’ backline all kinds of problems.

A lovely Chesham passing movement through midfield ended with Bruno Andrade lashing wide but we were giving as much as we got — if not more.

Youngs shot straight at home keeper Zaki Oualah when either side of him would have produced a goal but once again, Chesham made us pay for hesitancy when Sinclair stayed onside to restore their lead.

Back we came for a third time, however, as Onyeagwara was up-ended by former Towner Scott Shulton and Youngs buried the penalty.

As the game entered its final stages, spotkicks looked increasingly likely, only for Chesham to put the proverbial nail in the coffin right at the death. Forster and Bailey got in a terrible tangle as to who would clear a routine ball out of defence and Sinclair took advantage by nipping in to seal a place in the next round.

“There’s been a few hard truths in the dressing room,” conceded Gavin afterwards. “Kyle had control of the situation for the last goal but the others we conceded were terrible too and it’s a game we’ve let through our grasp and I’m hugely disappointed.”

“We’ve gone away from home, scored three goals against a good side and still lost. I wonder when the last time that happened here was. Having to score five to win tells me we made rudimentary mistakes. It was a result that was totally avoidable. Now we’ve got a hell of a lot of hard work to do before Cray Valley next weekend.”

Town: Forster; Parcell, Bailey, Richmond, Payne; Knight, Youngs, Thomas (Soulya-Osekanongo, 64), Beckles-Richards; Wyllie (Onyeagwara, 46), Sykes (Keeya, 84)

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Obi One To Watch

You may have noticed we had a young 19-year-old on the bench at Halesowen last Saturday.

Obi Onyeagwara has formally signed for Town having made 12 appearances for Dartford towards the end of last season.

 Obi progressed through the youth system at Stevenage and also spent time at Biggleswade Town.

Gavin Macpherson sees Obi as “someone we are keen to develop and a player who has real belief in himself to succeed.”

“Whilst names like Obi and Josh Keeya or not as familiar to supporters as the likes of  George Sykes, it’s important to this football club that the balance between experience and younger talented players is enhanced.  That includes our own pathway through the academy.”

Welcome, Obi

George Sykes Joins Town  

We are thrilled to announce the exciting signing of experienced striker George Sykes who will be available for our FA Trophy game at Chesham on Saturday.

Still only 29, George (pictured with first-team coach Steve Conroy) joins us from Step 2 Bishop’s Stortford having previously been at Aveley,  Canvey Island, Braintree and a raft of other clubs and will add considerable know-how to our forward line.

“I tried to sign George earlier in the season and it didn’t happen for understandable reasons so I’m really pleased he’s decided to join us,” said Gavin Macpherson who has been searching for a suitable numerical replacement for the luckless Jake Cass.

“He’s someone who can add firepower to this team whilst adding something different. He’ll complement what we already have in the forward area.”

“We know he’s one who works hard and can be a real threat in a number of different ways. George fits the group and I think he can go on to be a firm fans favourite”.

Welcome George!

Out For Revenge In Trophy

Following our superb FA Cup victory at Halesowen, attention turns to the FA Trophy this Saturday, a competition just important in the context of non-league football.

On paper, our visit to Chesham United is every bit as tough an encounter as Halesowen and we will again have to be on our game to make further progress.

Like Halesowen, the Generals are flying in their Step 3 division, lying third in Southern League South with just one defeat in nine games.

The fixture is a repeat of last season’s meeting – that time at home – when we were soundly beaten 4-0 and crashed out of the competition early doors.

Gavin Macpherson is well aware of the threat Chesham pose.

“On paper cup draws have presented us with difficult tests,” said Gav. “Chesham will be no different and will be a different sort of test to last week. It’s a competition we want to do well in but we’ll look at the whole picture and plan accordingly.

“I think we are all looking forward to another significant test and another indication of our progression as a group.”

There are no replays in the FA Trophy, the game going to penalties if the teams are tied after 90 minutes.

Cray It Is!

So now we know. We will be visiting Cray Valley PM in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on Oct 14 after they won their third-round replay, upsetting Step 3 Carshalton Athletic 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Whilst this presents a fantastic opportunity to reach the first-round proper for the first time in our history having avoided all the big boys and former league clubs in the draw, Step 4 Cray, who play in the Isthmian League south-east division, will be feeling the same as us and will certainly not be under-estimated.

On paper, it’s another of those ties that has banana skin written all over it. We seem to get drawn against unbeaten sides and Eltham-based Cray Valley PM are another of them, having scored a staggering 42 goals in 13 games in all competitions so far this season.

In the league, because of several cup replays, fifth-placed Cray, who have plenty of experience within their ranks, have only played four matches but are yet to lose and are a Step 3 side in all but name.

With a certain huge away ETFC following, it promises to be another thrilling cup-tie with a momentous prize at stake.

“I’ve made it clear that any side to have made it this far in the competition is a good one,” cautioned Gavin Macpherson.

“When you look at Cray valley’s results and playing personnel , it’s clear they are more like a step three side currently playing at step four. 

“I know Steve Mckimm well, and his sides are always competitive, well organised and pacey, which means a very difficult game awaits. But we’ve been to Halesowen and won and we haven’t had it easy ourselves, the boys are in good spirits and we’ll be prepared for what’s to come. We’ll need to play well to stand a chance”.

Ian Keay

The Club is saddened to hear that Iain Keay, one of our members and donors, passed away yesterday morning.

Iain’s involvement in football in Enfield and his passion for Enfield Town FC was highlighted recently within an article on our website. Everyone at the Club sends his sister Elaine, family and friends our condolences. The Club will mark his passing at a future home fixture.

Carshalton or Cray in Draw

We have been drawn away to Carshalton Athletic or Cray Valley PM in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on Oct 14.

The two sides drew 3-3 on Saturday at Carshalton and replay at Step 4 Cray, who lie fifth in the Isthmian League south-east division, on Tuesday night.

We of course know all about Carshalton who recently beat us at home and while everyone wishes we could have had a home tie after successive away draws against Halesowen and, in the Trophy, Chesham United, on paper there is no reason why we can’t progress and reach dreamland — otherwise known as the first round proper for the first time in our history.

“Once you get to this stage I honestly believe there isn’t an easy game so the draw is the draw,” said Gavin Macpherson. 

“To automatically assume Carshalton will be the tougher opposition isn’t necessarily so, Cray Valley are a step 3 side in my opinion with an experienced Management Team so whatever happens in the replay we have a difficult game ahead. 

“But we will be boosted by the weekend’s result, our supporters will travel in numbers so it’s massively exciting for the club to be at this stage of the competition”.

Town into hat after cup heroics

Halesowen Town 1-2 Enfield Town

Match report by Charlie Baker

(editing by Andrew warshaw)

For the first time in six years, Enfield Town advanced to the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday, equalling our best run in the competition in an incredible Black Country atmosphere.

Town struck two incisive first-half blows, then mounted a determined rearguard action as we carried out the management’s game plan.

We always knew we’d be in for a tough afternoon.  Halesowen sat third in the Southern League Premier Division Central after achieving promotion last season and were in formidable home form at The Grove.

Both teams were looking to bounce back after unbeaten league records were surrendered in their previous games so it looked to be a cracker.

And so it proved right from the start as we came out of the blocks quickly and caught the hosts by surprise.

Marcus Wyllie had already been presented with a decent chance when, with our first corner of the game after just two minutes, James Richmond leapt highest and directed his header into the corner, sending the Towners contingent behind the goal wild.

As the Yeltz grew into the game, winger George Cater twice went close  and on the 18-minute mark, the home pressure told as Halesowen equalised through a brilliant individual goal from Jack Holmes who sidestepped his defenders on the edge of the area, then twisted the other way to curl a superb shot beyond the otherwise impenetrable Forster.

Far from sitting back, we responded positively as Wyllie was tackled while bearing down on goal. He had another chance a minute later but this time his attempt was blocked.

It looked like a case of déjà vu when Cater picked the ball up in our half and ran through half the team but, on his right foot this time, could only find the gloves of Rhys Forster.

Even though we were playing in purple, it was more reminiscent of the red arrows as we charged up the other end to restore our lead on 41 minutes.  Ollie Knight beat his marker to whip in a wicked ball, picking out Wyllie who produced a superb side-foot finish.

There was still time for a flying save from Forster, who turned Cater’s shot on to the crossbar.

Half Time: 1-2

The outcome looked ominous as The Yeltz put the pressure back on instantly. Forster was forced into another worldie, tipping over a powerful shot from Caine Elliot.

The home corners were piling up but the partnership of Richmond and Kyle Bailey stuck firm in clearing everything thrown at them.

Despite not having many more scoring opportunities ourselves, we kept the hosts relatively quiet for about 20 minutes until another onslaught came.

Subs Kieren Donnelly and Ryan Boothe both went close and when Todd Parker fired over, it looked like it would be our day.

The final whistle was blown after an excruciating last few minutes and sent the 200 or so travelling Towners in a crowd of 1,130 into raptures (pictured)

The result put us into the fourth qualifying round – and one round from dreamland – for the first time since we were seconds away from beating National League Maidstone in 2017 before losing the replay at home. The draw takes place on Monday at 3pm on talkSport2.

Yeltz manager Paul Smith said his team missed a big opportunity and described our win as smash and grab but Gavin Macpherson heaped praise on everyone involved.

“I’m delighted for the club, the players but more than anything the supporters. They are the soul of this club and the welcome and support we all received yesterday was unbelievable,” said Gavin

“We knew we were playing a very good side, probably one of the best in the competition at this stage. It’s pleasing as manager when you put a plan into action and come away with a result. The players were unbelievable to a man, my management team also deserve massive credit especially after a difficult result last week.”

“I think we all extend nothing but best wishes to Halesowen and their fantastic support, both sets of supporters played their part in an amazing atmosphere. We’ll enjoy it briefly but my attention now switches immediately to our next significant hurdle in the shape of Chesham in the FA Trophy”.

Town: Forster; Parcell, Bailey, Richmond, Payne; Birch, Youngs, Thomas, Knight, Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Keeya 63’)

Attendance: 1,130

Town Head To Halesowen

Preview by Andrew Warshaw

It’s back to FA Cup action tomorrow, Saturday, as we visit fellow Step 3 opponents Halesowen for the toughest of all challenges, on paper at least, in the third qualifying round.

The draw could hardly have been less kind with the Yeltz, promoted at the end of last season, unbeaten at home and flying high in the Southern League Premier Division Central.

 Amid jubilant scenes, Halesowen gained promotion in a nail-biting playoff last spring when they beat Spalding United with a last-gasp stoppage time equaliser and then an extra time winner.

They have carried that form into this season despite losing their unbeaten away record last time out when they went down 3-1 at Bromsgrove Sporting in midweek.

Nevertheless their home record is formidable and they sit firmly in third with 19 points from their opening 10 games having scored 18 league goals and conceded nine.

In the FA Cup so far, they trounced Step 5 Rugby Borough 7-0, followed by a 5-2 win over fellow Southern League Premier Division Central side  Alvechurch.

Town boss Gavin Macpherson has put the players through their paces ahead of what promises to be a exciting afternoon and is fully aware of the danger Halesowen pose.

Indeed ,with Chesham United away the following Saturday in the FA Trophy — a repeat of last season’s fixture when we were well beaten — we will need to be seriously on our game to advance in both or either competition.

There is, of course, the small matter of healthy prize at stake tomorrow plus a share of the takings on the day with a four-figure crowd anticipated.

“It’s a massively difficult game,” Gavin conceded. “They like to move you around and create overloads. Their front three are dangerous and they have two quick wingers but we’ve been working on how to counter them.”

“All over the pitch they’re a good side. We’ll treat it as a one-off shootout and try and win the game but if we end up getting them back to our place in a replay, it won’t be a bad day at the office. The fact is we are underdogs.”

“The draws haven’t been exactly kind and this Saturday and next we are having to play two of the most in-form teams near the top of their respective leagues. But we don’t fear anybody and will relish both tasks. If we give it our best and are not good enough, so be it.”

Isthmian Fixture Updates

We have been drawn at home to Brightlingsea Regent in the Third Round of the Velocity Trophy. The tie will take place by the end of October and we will announce a date as soon as we have one. The Rs have won all three of their league games so far, as well as picking up two wins in both of their FA Trophy qualifiers, and a 5-0 win over Grays Athletic in the last round of this competition.

Meanwhile, our league game away to Wingate & Finchley – postponed due to our participation in the FA Cup – has now been moved to the evening of Halloween; Tuesday 31st October, 19:45 kickoff.

Rhys Honoured To Be Honoured

Interview by Andrew Warshaw

It’s understandable that Towners fans weren’t too sure what expect when Rhys Forster took over in goal this season from Nathan McDonald who had carved out something of a legendary status having been at the club for a total of seven years covering two spells.

Yet within just a few weeks of the new campaign Rhys has not only won over the supporters but picked up the very first individual award of his career. And a pretty prestigious one at that.

Like any goalkeeper, Rhys is susceptible to the odd howler and holds his hands up for being culpable for at least one of the goals in our 3-0 defeat to Carshalton on Saturday.

But winning the Pitching In Golden Gloves Award for August, sponsored by Uhlsport and presented monthly to the best keeper in each of the Isthmian League divisions, is testament to a player who was suddenly surplus to requirements at Step 2 Slough Town towards the back end of last season but who more than proved his worth when dropping down three levels with Ascot Town.

Whilst helping Ascot go on to lift the FA Vase is understandably the highlight of his career so far, being recognised as one of best goalkeepers at Step 3 comes a close second.

“I can’t take all the credit because the boys in front of me have been immense in terms of protecting me but I’m especially proud to receive the award with a new club so early on in the season,” said Rhys, man-of-the-match for a string of saves away at Haringey Borough at the end of August. “Even though it’s just a month’s worth of work, it’s helped me set targets.”

Such as? “I want the Golden Glove award at the end of the season. As a goalkeeping unit, me, Adi (Connolly) and (goalkeeping coach) Dean (Hurlow) want 20 clean sheets in all competitions. If we get 10 by Christmas, we’re on course.”

Rhys picked up the award after conceding just two goals in his first five league games. He is nothing if not a confident character, a bit of a cheeky chappy at times even. He admits he is sometimes guilty of the odd rush of blood to the head when between the sticks – the Carshalton fixture being a case in point — but his commanding presence and intelligent distribution have already endeared him to the fans and his teammates alike.

“I’m the first one to admit that you learn from your mistakes but Deano knows what I’m like and keeps me on my toes. At all my previous clubs, I had four or five saves to make in every game. It’s very different coming in to a club where I may not have a big save to make until the 89th minute but I’m learning about that and how important it is to keep my concentration.

“I knew everyone had praise for Nathan so they were pretty big boots to fill. If I’m honest we are totally different keepers with very different styles. Sometimes that benefits me, sometimes it doesn’t but the main thing is that I love it here and the fact that the club is owned by the fans which is such a big thing. You don’t play well unless you are enjoying yourself.”

Rhys admits there was a part of him that wanted to show Slough what they were missing when they let him go. “The level of opposition at Ascot obviously wasn’t the same but I wanted to prove a point.”

He certainly did that and, still only 24,continues to thrive having been re-united with Dean and manager Gavin Macpherson.

“I was very privileged to have played for Met Police under the gaffer for two seasons especially since I only started as a goalkeeper when I was 17 at a Step 5 club called CB Hounslow United.”

If you’re wondering why he started so late, tennis was his main sport as a teenager. He even got to play on the hallowed lawns of Wimbledon at an inter-club tournament as a teenager.

“I used to watch football of course growing up as a kid but when I got to about 12, tennis became my thing. It wasn’t until I got to about 17, as I say, that I started playing football properly.”

Now it’s all about repaying the faith shown in him by the management team. “When Gav called me it was hard to say no. I can’t speak highly enough about him and Deano. I need someone who knows my weaknesses and makes me work on them. Deano knows me inside out.”

One thing not a lot of people know about Rhys, which hopefully will stand us in good stead throughout the season, is his ability to save penalties, even though he couldn’t stop one going in at Haringey. “In my two years at Met Police I faced 11 penalties and saved eight of them. Of course I have my techniques.”

It’s a remarkable statistic and I’m not about to disclose Rhys’ methodology in case any of our rivals might read this! But suffice to say Rhys has something of a reputation when it comes to spotkicks, even if it means occasionally being the victim of his own success.

“The gaffer even told me I should have saved the one at Haringey!”

Nice one, Rhys.

Spurs Legends Live at ETFC!

An audience with Gary Mabbutt and Ossie Ardiles, two legends of the game up close and live.

Relive the glory days of Tottenham Hotspur as we bring together two of the greatest players in the club’s history.

You’ll have the chance to meet and greet Gary and Ossie, hear their stories and ask them questions in a Q&A session.

When: Thursday 19 October at 7.30pm

Where: Butlers Bar, Enfield Town FC, Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, Donkey Lane EN1 3PL

Book your tickets, priced £35, on the following link for a night filled with entertainment, nostalgia and humour.

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/legendsnight/an-evening-with-spurs-legends

Generals in the Trophy

The draw for the FA Trophy’s Third Qualifying Round has been made, with Town given an away tie to familiar opponents.

In a reverse of last season’s fixture at the same stage of the competition, Enfield Town will travel to the Meadow to face Chesham United of the Southern League Premier Division.

The fixture will be played on Saturday 7th October 2023. As is standard for ties in the Trophy, the match will go straight to penalties if drawn after 90 minutes. Please note that the Metropolitan Line will be running replacement buses for services from Wembley Park to Chesham that weekend.

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Tricky Opponents

Chesham are having another strong season so far; sitting second in their league (P8, W7, L1) with a game in hand on Gosport in top spot, and into the third qualifying round of the FA Cup. They are, of course, no strangers to facing Town in FA competition; Andy Leese’s Generals prevailing with a 2-1 win in our FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie back in 2015-16, while Town collapsed to a 4-0 Trophy defeat at the QEII last October.

“It’s another massively tough draw”, said manager Gavin Macpherson. “Chesham are a team and management I know well having had some great battles in my Southern League days. It probably couldn’t be tougher for us at this stage but I’m sure Chesham will also feel the draw could have been kinder. I think it will be a decent game, it’s a competition we want to do well in but to make progress we’ll be doing it the hard way.”

“The boys are in good spirits and looking forward to a tough week ahead starting with a trip to the midlands on Saturday.”

Town Downed By Ruthless Robins

Enfield Town 0-3 Carshalton Athletic

Report by Charlie Baker

A ruthless second half display by promotion rivals Carshalton Athletic put Town to the sword to end our unbeaten start to the season.

It was fourth against third in the Isthmian Premier Division’s game of the day, with both teams going in with an identical record. 

The first half had chances aplenty, with the majority coming from corners.

Carshalton number three Paris Hamilton-Downes headed narrowly wide early on, before Sam Youngs’ shot was blocked from close range.

Ollie Knight then forced a flying stop from visiting keeper Will Huffer, as did top scorer Marcus Wyllie after a slick turn. The ball was bobbling around the Robins box a lot, but we couldn’t capitalise on the loose balls.

James Richmond’s header went just wide, and at the other end Robins centre-back Luke Read somehow missed the target and blazed over.

After a good half of football there was nothing to separate two strong sides at the interval.

HT: 0-0 

It was our Whole Club Day, an annual occasion bringing together all sections of the club including men’s, ladies, youth and disability. However, high spirits were extinguished by a ruthless second half display from Athletic.

Four minutes after the break, Town lost the ball from a long throw into the Robins box. Winger Mark Marshall raced away and struck on the counter with a peach of a strike into the bottom left. Joe Payne stung the palms of Huffer as we tried to find an equaliser. But while their first was a gem, the second was a gift. Town keeper Rhys Forster played the ball straight to Tommy Bradford, who raced through and finished well to make it two. 

Town upped the tempo, but unlike the first half we struggled to really test Huffer. Then, minutes after a penalty appeal was waved away, Carshalton made it three.

Substitute Oluwabunmi Babajide finished despite Forster getting a palm to it, supplying the healthy away following with more delight. Babajide was causing a lot of problems and could easily have had a couple more as Athletic carried on with their fluid counter attacks.

Our day was summed up by some more wayward shooting from the attack, as Carshalton closed the game out with ease.

Going into the game, our highest-placed opponents were Folkestone in 10th, so this was perhaps a more realistic test of the challenges we face in the promotion hunt. 

It’s all eyes on the cup now – we’re away to Halesowen Town of the Southern League Premier Division Central in a tasty FA Cup third qualifying round fixture next Saturday.

Town: Forster; Parcell, Bailey, Richmond, Payne; Knight, Youngs, Thomas (Birch 87’), Bessadi
(Keeya 70’), Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Adjei-Hersey 85’)

Carshalton On Whole Club Day

This Saturday we take on Carshalton Athletic at home in what promises to be the game of the day across the entire division between the teams lying third and fourth.

Like us, the Robins – ahead of us only on goal difference — are unbeaten in all competitions with both teams on 14 points.

Last Saturday they thumped Kingstonian 4-0 in the FA Cup and in the league have scored 15 goals in their six games.

Whilst they have only won once on the road, they drew 1-1 at Hornchurch and 3-3 at Bognor and are likely to provide stiff opposition as we bid to maintain our own excellent start to the season.

“They will be very dangerous opposition, the toughest test by far that we’ve had,” said Gavin Macpherson. “We will need to be very competitive.”

Not only is this Saturday a proverbial six-pointer but it  co-incides with Whole Club Day, a very special annual occasion bringing together all sections of the club including men’s, ladies, youth and disability.

Feel free to invite all your friends and work colleagues to what should be a memorable day for everybody – and hopefully three points!

Gavin has seriously bought into the concept which allies totally with his own philosophy.

“It’s hugely important to have a connection between the first-team players and management and the rest of the football club,” Gavin said.

“All these people are the soul of our club and need something to aim for. There has to be a connection in respect of a pathway running through the academy and the under-18s. All the coaching team are invested in the idea.”

Help Jake Resume His Career

A GoFundMe page has been set up for our popular striker Jake Cass who suffered a devastating ruptured Achilles in the second game of the season and is a huge loss to the squad.

Scott Thomas and Sam Youngs have set up the page for Jake who is a club member and was particularly looking forward to the season.

Please donate to Jake’s GoFundMe page if you are in a position to do so by clicking below:

Help To Get Jake Cass Back Playing

Click here to donate to Jake Cass' fundraiser.

Meet The Members: Iain & Elaine Keay

As the country’s first supporters-owned club, members are our lifeline. Without them there would be no Enfield Town FC.

Our membership continues to grow and we are looking at achieving record figures this season. How important individual members are and the contribution they make can never be taken for granted. To celebrate our members, we will be publishing articles highlighting their personal contributions over the years.

We start with two members who have been extremely generous with their support. Iain and Elaine Keay have supported the club as members since we were formed. Unfortunately, their health means that they have been unable to attend games so directors Paul Millington and David Bryant visited them at their Essex seaside home to chat about what being a member of the Town means to them.

Iain and Elaine were Enfield born and bred and have fond memories of supporting the old Enfield FC. Iain’s attention to the club was initially drawn when listening to BBC Radio on a Saturday afternoon in 1959 when the live commentary was Enfield’s FA Cup 2nd round tie with Bournemouth. 

Both fondly recall the FA Amateur Cup finals and in particular the replay v Skelmersdale in 1967 played at Maine Road, Manchester. The family set off from Enfield with their car blazoned with balloons and scarves. The locals were obviously upset with the Enfield win as all the balloons had been burst when they returned to the car after the game.

Iain and Elaine get ready for their trip to Manchester


Iain’s passion for football and his contribution to the game in Enfield went beyond his love for the local club. He was a sports teacher at Firs Farm in Edmonton and then Grange Park and Lavender Primary.  He obtained his FA coaching badges and qualified as a referee. He managed the school teams and was keen for pupils to carry on after school and formed Lavender Youth. Later a new youth team, Field End Youth, was formed and Iain was invited to help run the club and managed three of their teams.

He counts among those he coached: Paul Moran (Spurs & Enfield), Martin Grainger (Birmingham City), and Dan Woodhouse (Enfield). He also coached cricket and three youngsters went onto play for Middlesex CCC. Iain recalls during a break from teaching and whilst working as a social worker for Haringey Social Services in the mid 1970’s he was invited for an interview as assistant club secretary at Spurs but sadly did not get the job.

His involvement at Enfield included contributions to the Attack magazine. A supporters’ magazine that was one of the first, if not the first, fanzine. He let us into a secret in that he ghost-wrote the regular column by the captain (of Enfield and England), Tony Jennings. Iain recalls covering the visit of the England national team managed by Don Revie who had a training session at Southbury Road before an international.

He still has his collection of Attack magazines and has donated to the club shop his collection of football books and programmes including that for the inauguration of the floodlights at Southbury Road when 10,000 turned up to see the game v Spurs in 1962. His favourite player of the old club was Roy Thomas who regularly now attends Town games. Iain has too many favourite games but the FA Cup 4th Round replay v Barnsley in 1981 at White Hart Lane in front of 35,000 stands out.

The Keay family off to Wembley


After moving to the Essex coast, Iain managed a bookshop that supports the local hospice. He follows every Town game on Live Score and despite not being able to travel, he and Elaine have bought their memberships and season tickets every season. Additionally, Iain has made significant donations over the years that have made a real difference to our club. He explains that after the loss of Southbury Road he felt the Supporters Trust was the only viable way to continue with football in Enfield. He knew many of the old club’s stalwarts that followed the Town (Roy Butler, Keith Wortley) and decided supporting the Town was the way forward.

Iain recognises that as a supporters-owned club there is no single money person and progress and success on the pitch needs financial support.  The donations have certainly made a difference to our Club and helped bring us to where we are now, and hopefully will bring the club the future success we all want.

It was a pleasure to meet Iain and Elaine. We at the Town have been very lucky to have them as long-standing members. We thank them for their support and generosity.

Paul Millington

Town Head to Halesowen

The draw for the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round has been made.

The Towners will head to the Midlands, having been drawn to step 3 Halesowen Town of the Southern League Premier Central. Once again, the cup has thrown up a tie between two sides unbeaten at the time of writing – with the Yeltz sitting second in their league having won four and drawn four.

The fixture will be played on the weekend of 29-31 September 2023 – please note that there is planned industrial action affecting trains on Saturday 30th September.

“I think it’s a game we should all be looking forward to,” said Gavin Macpherson. “It’s an intriguing game because both clubs will know nothing about the other. In many people’s eyes we’ll be underdogs and I don’t mind that.”

“Any team that has made it this far in the competition will be tough opponents and Halesowen will be no different. They’ve started well but so have we, I know our supporters will travel in numbers so it should be a competitive game.”

“We’ll plan for it when the time comes, at this time we are only focused on the visit of Carshalton in what will be another tough encounter.”

Town Progress Thanks To Lightning Start

Enfield Town 3 Felixstowe and Walton 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Every Town fan will be glued to Monday’s FA Cup draw after we reached  the third qualifying round at the expense of opponents who were hit with an early goal blitz before trying their best to make a fight of it.

On paper the tie was a potential banana skin but was effectively over within the first quarter as we destroyed the hopes of our lower-ranked Suffolk opponents and in the process ended their unbeaten start to the season.

As we roared out of the blocks, Sam Youngs settled any nerves by getting us on our way from the penalty spot on four minutes after Ollie Knight was impeded.

Ollie himself doubled our lead four minutes later with a fabulous finish (pictured, celebrating) following some neat interplay between Marcus Wyllie and Reece Beckles-Richards.

Before the Seasiders could gain any kind of foothold they fell further behind. Wyllie and Youngs had successive shots blocked but Joe Payne made no mistake at the third time of asking as he lashed the ball home.

Town, themselves unbeaten in all competitions, were too slick for their Step 4 visitors and could, maybe should, have had a couple more by halftime. Knight shot just wide while one of his trademark crosses was inches away from being converted by Wyllie.

Youngs suffered a nasty-looking leg gash and also picked up a yellow card but continued to stamp his mark on proceedings until being subbed with 20 minutes to go.

Sami Bessadi curled another fine Town effort just wide but just before the interval, F and W should have got back in the game when Callum Harrison somehow missed the target after being put through by Noel Aitkins’ clever back heel.

H-T 0-0

It was one step too far for our Step 4 opponents but we were indebted to our three-goal cushion in the second half as F and W gave it a go.

To their credit they looked a different team, partly because of us easing off, partly through tweaking their system, playing an extra man in midfield and bringing on tall target man Josh Mayhew.

Mayhew headed wide just after the restart and we suddenly had to turn to our defensive skills to preserve our three-goal lead, Josh Okotcha falling awkwardly and limping off after keeping out one of several raids.

Mayhew and Joshua Hitter missed further decent chances for Felixstowe who for once, having notched up 17 goals  in six previous outings, left their scoring touch at home.

In the last 15 minutes Town regained control as Payne rattled a 25-yard freekick against the post and Wyllie picked up a rebound and drove agonisingly wide.

“I was disappointed with the second half, there’s no doubt about that,” said Gavin Macpherson. “We saw it coming but I don’t think we dealt with it particular well. If they’d got an early goal then, we could have had a hell of a game on our hands.”

“But you have to take your hat off to the boys. It was no fluke. They took on board exactly what we wanted them to do inside the first 35 minutes. Often at 3-0 human nature dictates sometimes that you think the game is done. I never think like that but it’s understandable.

“In the end we put them to bed very comprehensively in the first half which was good enough to do the job.”

It may be too early to think that far ahead but another favourable draw and we could edge ever closer to the dream scenario of the first round proper.

Town:

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha (Coker, 58), Richmond, Payne; Knight, Youngs (Keeya, 70), Thomas, Bessadi (Birch, 83); Wyllie, Beckles-Richards

Rhys Honoured for August

Congratulations to Town goalkeeper Rhys Forster on winning the Uhlsport Golden Gloves Award for August!

Voted man-of-the-match for a string of saves away at Haringey Borough at the end of August, Rhys and his defence conceded just twice and registered 3 clean sheets in 5 Isthmian League games as we ended the month with the league’s meanest defence.

Well in, Rhys – here’s to many more!

__

Photo: Zenonas Klusas

From Across The Pond

We are pleased to announce the signing of experienced striker Tyler Blackwood.

Tyler, 32, has played most of his football in America which meant we had to obtain International clearance.

Born in London, the former Northampton Town and Barnet trainee moved to the United States to play college football at an early age – and has lived across the pond virtually ever since bar a couple of years in 2015 and 2016 when he returned to play in the UK including a brief spell at QPR

At his first US club, Tampa Spartans, Tyler scored 24 goals in 33 appearances. He most recently played professionally with Oakland Roots in the second division  USL Championship

Welcome Tyler.

Marcus Signs On Dotted Line

We are thrilled to announce that Marcus Wyllie has put pen to paper and signed a contract with us until the end of this season, with an option for one further campaign.

Marcus, 24, has scored seven goals in as many games in all competitions in his favoured forward position this season, fulfilling the promise he showed since joining us from Step 5 Risborough Rangers where he chalked up an astonishing 36 goals in 2021-22.

We wish Marcus, a huge favourite with Town fans, all the best for the remainder of the season.

Kingstonian (A) – Update

Our Isthmian League Premier Division match away at Kingstonian – moved due to our participation in the FA Cup – has now been rescheduled for Wednesday October 11th, 19:45 kickoff.

As with last season, the Ks are ground-sharing with Tooting & Mitcham at their Imperial Fields home.

Town Overheat But Earn Point

Enfield Town 2-2 Bognor Regis Town
Report by Ken Brazier

In stifling 30-degrees-plus conditions, reminiscent of last year’s sweltering home game v Folkestone, both sides put on an entertaining show for the 560 who turned out to search for a shaded viewpoint.

The Rocks looked far from a team that had recently bowed out of the FA Cup at the hands of Burgess Hill as they set about recording a first win at the QEII since January 2013.

Enfield endured a tough first half as they sought to get to grips with the pace of Bognor’s breaks – particularly down the flanks – with Lucas Pattenden, returning from injury, and Isaac Olaniyan prominent. After Scott Thomas had blazed wide and Reece Beckles-Richards had just failed to get onto the end of a Marcus Wyllie cross they had a let-off after nine minutes when Harvey Whyte played in Pattenden, who saw his shot hit the inside of the far post and rebound into Rhys Foster’s hands.

The Rocks got just reward for their strong start around the quarter of an hour mark when a good lay-off from Dan Gifford saw Jasper Mather lash the ball home past Forster’s left hand. But Enfield took advantage of a careless foul in a dangerous position after 22 minutes, and a sublime free-kick delivery from man-of-the-match Ollie Knight found Sam Youngs at the back post and the long-serving midfielder found the back of the net with a downward header.

The woodwork came to Enfield’s rescue again in the 29th minute. After James Richmond had had a goal ruled out for offside, Mather curled an effort against the same upright.  A minute later, Forster did well to keep out a long distance lob. But he breathed a sigh of relief a minute later when he attempted to shepherd the ball out of play and was caught in possession way out on the wing, but the subsequent ball into the danger area came to nothing.

HT: 1-1

Enfield’s ball retention and creation of chances improved after the break. But, a few minutes after he had been booked for handling outside the penalty area, Forster found himself picking the ball out of his net after an incisive run down the left and low shot by Joe Rabbetts had enabled the Rocks to retake the lead, much to the delight of the travelling support.

After a couple of home chances had come and gone, another set piece drew Enfield level. Again Knight was the provider, and his accurate corner kick was headed home powerfully by Richmond (pictured). It was a testament to both sides that, despite the awful conditions for football, there was no hint of either holding on for a point with half an hour to go.

The visitors’ keeper Ryan Hall denied Beckles-Richards twice, once following a slick move involving substitute debutant Josh Keeya and Knight, and then with a brave smothering block at the striker’s feet. Wyllie, who was well-marshalled all afternoon, saw his 71st minute effort sail high and wide and Mickey Parcell’s heat-defying run ended with a cross that drifted behind.  Mather fired over for the Rocks and, after appeals for a penalty at the other end when Wyllie went down were waved away, Pattenden and Gifford missed chances towards the end when their headers flew off target. 

Town: Forster; Parcell, Richmond, Okotcha, Payne; Adjei-Hersey (Keeya 57), Youngs, Thomas, Knight; Wyllie, Beckles-Richards (Bessadi 89).

Welcome Josh Keeya

We are delighted to announce the signing of Irish midfielder Josh Keeya.

Josh was in the stands during our FA Cup win over Potters Bar and said he cannot wait to be re-united with Gavin Macpherson, under whom he played at Met Police.

A number of pro clubs including Millwall are reported to have been looking at Josh and Gavin said he was equally excited to have the 19-year-old in the squad.

“I have nothing but good things to say about Josh,” said Gavin. “He is a model professional and a very good footballer. His application and work rate are first class and that’s why pro clubs have been looking at him. He fits all the criteria to be a professional footballer.”

“Of course he’ll have to work himself into the team like anyone else but is a welcome addition to the squad and can only make us stronger.”

Welcome, Josh

Andrew Warshaw

Youth Cup to FA Cup

We are delighted to bring teenage defender Jorden Adeoye, a late substitute in our FA cup tie against Potters Bar on Saturday (pictured), into the first-team squad

Jorden, just 16, moves up from the academy and has impressed the management team.

“I’m committed to this club looking forward in respect of a pathway,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“Jorden played in the FA Youth Cup two weeks ago. I want to try to build something here and I thought it was good time to give the boy a taste of first-team action.”

Welcome Jorden

Home Again In Next Round

We have been drawn to play Felixstowe and Walton United at home in the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Felixstowe play at Step 4 level in Isthmian League North, one below us, but won both their FA Cup ties to date 4-1 away, beating Woodford Town in the last round.

In the league they have won one and drawn two of their three games and, like us, remain unbeaten in all competitions.

The tie is scheduled for the weekend of 16-17 September with the mouth-watering prospect of further progression.

“Of course I’m pleased to be at home. Being in front of our fantastic home support is a massive plus,” said Gavin Macpherson who nevertheless issued a word of caution.

“Teams at this stage have earned the right to be in the draw and I think it’s a very difficult game. I believe they are unbeaten and we will of course give them the respect they deserve. Forming the opinion we have an advantage because we play in the higher league will not be part of our approach. Felixstowe and Walton have good management and players so I think a difficult game awaits us.

“Currently we are in a good place so we must have confidence in our ability without being complacent. That is a something we can’t allow to creep in no matter the competition. We’ll plan and prepare as we always do and look forward to the game.”

Town Blow Scholars Away

Enfield Town 3 Potters Bar Town 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

In control virtually from first minute to last, Town cruised into the 2nd qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday with a display even more emphatic than the scoreline suggests.

Perhaps the only downside of a whirlwind performance was the fact that we missed a hatful of other chances which thankfully didn’t cost us.

Potters Bar had a distinctly different look about them in terms of personnel compared with the side we beat in the league last month.

Former Towners Sam Chaney and Brandon Adams both started but the visitors hardly laid a glove on us apart from a brief spell either side of halftime.

Town welcomed back from injury both Joe Payne and Josh Okotcha while Sami Bessadi was given a start in midfield.

And we were on the scoresheet after just eight minutes through Marcus Wyllie’s seventh goal in six games in all competitions as he took up the inside right position before running through to produce yet another outstanding finish.

Just before Marcus’ goal, Rhys Forster came charging out of his area, waited for a Town player to pass to but didn’t spot Bar skipper Adelberto Pinto rise to his feet with the goal at his mercy.

Luckily Pinto’s shot flew over and it was the last time the visitors threatened us for the entire first half.

On 14 minutes, our lead was doubled when Sam Youngs ghosted in Martin Peters-style to head home Ollie Knight’s corner and thereafter it was a case of chance after chance.

James Richmond headed an Ollie Knight freekick against the bar, Preston Edwards stuck out a leg to save when Reece Beckles-Richards was one on one with the Bar keeper and Marcus got his legs in a tangle when through on goal.

Just before halftime Edwards came to the rescue again to keep out an Ollie Knight effort and the only disappointment at the interval was that we weren’t leading by more.

H-T 2-0

Potters Bar couldn’t play much worse but 2-0 is a dangerous scoreline and while they didn’t really threaten Forster’s goal, they changed system and briefly looked a threat.

Town’s third, therefore, was perfectly timed. Knight’s delivery caused problems all afternoon and it was from his ball up the line that Joe Payne made the game safe with a cross-shot that deceived Edwards and nestled in the far corner (pictured).

As we toyed with the opposition, the chances kept coming, Edwards preventing an even more resounding victory by saving from Beckles-Richards and Payne while a Scott Thomas drive hit the side netting.

Town reverted to a period of keep ball which almost resulted in the goal of the game when Marcus ran on to Thomas’ through-ball, only for Edwards to be called into action for the umpteenth time.

Some of our football was sublime and although the visitors did get the ball in the net late on, Max Jessop’s effort was ruled offside.

“How the game panned out we should have won by a country mile,” said Gavin afterwards. “We were disappointed at halftime not to have made it a non-contest. Whilst it was 2-0 they had a chance and we were perhaps missing a ruthless streak.

“You could argue were not great in front of goal yet we scored three. That’s what this team is capable of. Once you get to 3-0, it’s easier to express yourself.”

“I have to say Ollie Knight thoroughly deserved his man of the match award. His supply from wide areas is a defender’s nightmare and he works tirelessly.”

“The FA Cup is so important, not just for me but also the club and the supporters. Everyone is now looking at the draw on Monday.”

Town

Forster; Parcell, Richmond, Okotcha (Adeoya, 88), Payne; Knight, Thomas, Youngs, Bessadi (Adjei-Hersey, 78) ; Beckles-Richards (Soulya-Osekango, 75) , Wyllie

Town Up For The Cup

By Andrew Warshaw

Gavin Macpherson doesn’t need reminding about the importance of the FA Cup.

Gav knows how a decent cup run, and the financial rewards that go with it, can galvanise a team’s season and like all of us is hoping for a successful start when we take on Potters Bar at home on Saturday in the first qualifying round (ko 3pm).

Five years ago while at Met Police, Gavin enjoyed his “15 minutes of fame”, as he put it, when his then club reached the first round proper against Newport County having come through six ties.

The television cameras were there to witness the professional side’s 2-0 win and it was a memorable day all round.

Town’s unbeaten league start – including a 2-0 win at Potters Bar — will have little bearing on Saturday’s fixture. The Scholars have brought in a raft of new players since and whilst both teams might have hoped for a draw against lower league opposition at this stage of the competition, we have to contend with a Step 3 rival.

Following Monday’s draw at Haringey, when we had a raft of players missing, Gavin is hoping to have a few  back from injury for what promises to be hard-fought game between two sides desperate to advance.

“Potters Bar have probably learned more lessons about us than vice-versa,” said Gavin. “There’s a difference in their personnel now but it should help being at home. I’ve experienced the FA Cup and it’s a game changer. We need the fans to get behind us as they always do.”

Town Snatch Late Draw

Haringey Borough 1 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Marcus Wyllie’s sixth goal in five games rescued a last-gasp point for Town as we maintained our unbeaten start to the season in the most challenging of circumstances on Monday afternoon.

Given the mounting number of injuries and enforced changes we had to make, some of them square pins in round holes, it’s no surprise that Gavin and the boys were all smiles at the final whistle.

No-one would deny that Haringey were by far the better side in the first half and could have been out of sight had they taken their chances on their artificial pitch.

But whilst we rode our luck at times and Rhys Forster kept us in the game, thanks to couple of timely tweaks by Gavin, a change of formation and the whole side showing fantastic resilience, we improved considerably  after the break and ended up with a draw to be proud of.

Still missing the likes of Louis Birch and Joe Payne as well as long-term victims Jake Cass and Lewis Taaffe, Josh Okotcha and Carlos Garcia-Velasco were added to the injury list, leaving us horribly stretched, whilst the bench comprised only one fully fit outfield player.

As a result, Dylan Adjei-Hersey had to be pushed into an unfamiliar rightback slot, Ekow Coker handed a central defensive opportunity and Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo brought into midfield.

The inexperience certainly told in the first half when Haringey swarmed all over us, forcing us into mistakes and missing several good chances, not least Tage Kennedy firing wide when clean through.

Just as it looked like we had weathered the proverbial early storm, Mickey Parcell’s late challenge on Kasim Aidoo earned Haringey a penalty which Mat Young cooly converted.

Forster, who had already thwarted Walter Figuera, prevented a second Haringey goal with another smart stop but right on half time, Town almost levelled when Sam Youngs’ bullet header was bundled off the line.

H-T 0-1

Fortunate to be only one down, Gavin made a halftime switch with Kyle Bailey, who hadn’t trained for several weeks, replacing Gucci and Dylan Adjei-Hersey reverting to his normal position.

Kyle, showing tremendous character, slotted in seamlessly and we were very nearly on level terms when Dillon Barnes stuck out a leg to save from Wyllie.

Haringey were still creating chances at the other end, however, either missing the target or finding Forster in supreme form.

Cue a switch to a back three and suddenly Town finished the stronger. Youngs saw a snapshot whistle past the post and just as the board showed five added minutes, our persistency paid off.

Youngs collected Parcell’s pass and, not for the first time this season, found Marcus in a pocket of space to finish off the move though Barnes will be disappointed he couldn’t keep it out (pictured).

“I take some responsibility for the first half,” said Gavin. “Playing Dylan at rightback was totally my decision but  we were missing a huge number of players.”

“Let’s face it they could have been out of sight and Rhys kept us in it.  Under normal circumstances with two games in 48 hours I’d have made three or four changes but we had to go with what we had available so I’m absolutely delighted. I’d be astonished if Haringey finish near the bottom so with everything taken into consideration, it’s a great point.”

 Town

Forster; Parcell, Richmond, Coker, Adjei-Hersey (Bessadi, 80); Knight, Thomas, Youngs, Soulya-Osekanongo (Bailey, 45); Wyllie, Beckles-Richards

Town Wave Wands Away

Enfield Town 2 Cray Wanderers 0

Report by Andrew warshaw

Not our best performance but probably our best win. That’s how Gavin Macpherson summed up yesterday’s hard-fought victory over Cray, marking the finest start in the club’s history at Step 3 level.

Early days still of course but Town remain top of the table on goal difference despite missing not only Jake Cass but three or four other key players.

Joe Payne became the latest casualty when he failed a fitness test just before kickoff, Mickey Parcell switching to the left.

Marcus Wyllie, leading the line in the absence of the injured Jake, almost opened the score after 10 minutes from Mickey’s sublime through-ball, only for Shaun Rowley to pull off a stunning save.

Town didn’t have things all their own way in an even first half marked by a raging thunder and lightning storm that for a while represented monsoon conditions though the pitch held up well.

Cray, who made the playoffs last term after finishing fifth, looked dangerous whenever the pacey Yahaya Bamber and midfielder Frankie Raymond had the ball while Anthony Cook headed inches wide.

H-T 0-0

If the first half was a tight affair, the second belonged to Town.

Wyllie wasted a freekick, awarded after Reece Beckles-Richards had his shirt tugged for the umpteenth time, by shooting well wide but he soon made up for it.

 On 55 minutes, Reece’s cross was headed straight into the path of Marcus who kept his composure to fire across goal and into the corner.

 Eight minutes later, Town’s main man up front made it five goals in four games, turning inside his marker before seeing his sharp effort loop over Rowley via a Cameron Black deflection (pictured).

Marcus could have had a hat-trick, only to spoon an arguably easier attempt over the bar, and as Cray tried to rally they were thwarted by two fine stops from Rhys Forster while James Richmond and Josh Okotcha again formed an impressive defensive partnership.

Ultimately Town were worthy winners on the day in front of 526 fans as we preserved our 100 percent record.

Gavin had been concerned beforehand about Cray being a false position and about growing number of injuries but got the perfect response

“I don’t want to take any credit but all we did in the second half was change to a 4-1-4-1 and drop Reece down to nullify what Cray were doing and stop them playing,” said Gavin.

“What we did then on a skiddy surface was ask the boys to put balls down the channels. It was just a couple of subtle changes. But then of course you need the execution. With Marcus, he’s a natural centreforward. I said that from day one. It’s just a case of letting him go and play without putting too much pressure on him.”

Looking ahead to Haringey Borough, Gavin says he will have assess the players on Monday morning with Carlos Garcia-Velasco, who grew into the game after a tricky first 20 minutes, the latest one to struggle with injury.

“I never expected this to be our best performance but we came through it,” said Gav. “Everyone knows they’ll be some highs and lows this season but we’ve had a great start.”

Team

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Garcia-Velasco; Knight (Bessadi, 88), Youngs, Thomas, Adjei-Hersey ( Soulya-Osekanongo); Wyllie, Beckles-Richards

Philanthropy London: Donations Needed

The club is proud to support Philanthropy London, a Community Interest Company that gives a minimum of 65% of profits back to the local community.

They support adults with learning disabilities and adults suffering with their mental health in the borough of Enfield to work in their shop in Palmers Green and also help fund local projects.

They are looking for donations of adult clothing, shoes and accessories, especially men’s sportswear and trainers and would really appreciate your support.

The club will have a collection point at the stadium for clothing at tomorrow’s home game v Cray Wanderers . Please bring your donations to help support this local organisation.

Cray Next Up For Town

By Andrew Warshaw

 Enfield Town attempt to maintain their 100 percent start to the season on Saturday against a side Gavin Macpherson rates as far better than their results to date might suggest.

Despite three straight wins, the last of which at  Folkestone last Saturday was perhaps the most pleasing, Town have an awkward 48 hours ahead of them starting with the visit of Cray Wanderers who finished fifth last term.

Just 48 hours later, we go to  Haringey Borough on Bank Holiday Monday for a local derby that will pose its own problems for a squad that is beginning to  look somewhat thin because of injuries.

“Cray were right up in the promotion race last season and although they have lost all three games, we will have to be near-perfect,” said Gavin.

With Jake Cass now ruled out for the season and at least three other regulars extremely doubtful, Gavin is having to box clever with his selections.

“It’s a real balancing act in terms of mixing it up over the next two games – if I have the chance to,” Gav explained.

“Most of those injured should be back fairly soon so I’ve stood back from trying to bring anyone else in. Let’s just hope we don’t take another hit against Cray. I have huge trust in the squad. It’s just concerning we are so short of numbers so soon.”

 The exception to holding back is trying to acquire a like-for-like replacement for Jake. Easier said than done.

“We are trying to bolster our options in that position but it means bringing in a very, very good player. And that kind of player is very unlikely not to be playing at another club,” Gav explained.

He has nothing but praise for the squad who have so far risen to every challenge.

“They are running through brick walls at the moment,” said Gavin on the eve of the game against Cray who by all accounts were unlucky to come up short against three of the division’s heavyweights in  Lewes, Horsham and Billericay.

“Now we are asking the boys to do it yet again. I take my hat off to them.”

Third Win Keeps Town Top

Folkestone Invicta 1-2 Enfield Town
Report by Glyn Smith

Enfield Town maintained their position at the top of the Isthmian League on Saturday with a 2-1 win at Folkestone Invicta.

The starting eleven showed two changes from Tuesday’s team at Potters Bar, with Mickey Parcell coming in for Carlos Garcia-Velasco and Ollie Knight replacing the sadly injured Jake Cass; Parcell coming straight off a flight from Florida. Folkestone included former Towners Ade Cole and Andre Coker in their line up.

After an even start it was Town who created the first meaningful attack as a run by Adjei-Hersey ended with his cross just failing to reach Wyllie. Folkestone then made an enforced change in the 11th minute as centre back Moses came off suffering from an early injury. A flighted Ollie Knight free kick in the 14th minute caused chaos in the Folkestone area as home keeper Coleman mistimed his punch and James Richmond’s effort looped up onto the top of the crossbar and away for a goal kick. A booking for Joe Payne in the 18th minute confused all, but it transpired that the caution was for marking the touchline prior to taking a throw on.

A Folkestone break from the throw in saw their first chance as Andre Coker set up Jordan Ababio, whose shot beat Forster but was cleared off the line by the covering Okotcha. Folkestone then started ramping up the pressure and a 25 yard drive by Ira Jackson saw the ball cannon off the crossbar past the diving Forster. Richmond picked up a caution for clipping the heels of the dangerous Jackson midway in Town’s half. Town broke the deadlock in the 38th minute when a defence splitting pass by Scott Thomas allowed Marcus Wyllie to run on and confidently stroke the ball into the onion bag past the onrushing home custodian.

HT: Invicta 0-1 Town

At half time towering centre back Ekow Coker came on for his Town debut, replacing Okotcha. Town were again quickest out of the blocks until David Smith’s low yard drive was turned round the post by Forster in the 58th minute. Town’s lead was increased 8 minutes later. Not for the first time the hugely impressive Wyllie forced a mistake out of a defender and ran on with the ball before squaring it to Knight, who finished from 15 yards.

As the game became more stretched a run and low shot by Sam Youngs forced a save by Coleman, but in the 76th minute Folkestone got their goal. Town failed to clear a corner, a shot hit the post and rebounded to Callum Davies, who volleyed home. Gucci Soulya Osekanongo replaced Reece Beckles-Richards before the restart. Town comfortably saw out the final ten minutes, despite Folkestone having the better of the exchanges, and in injury time a two on two break ended with man of the match Wyllie firing over the bar. An impressive confident team performance saw Town come away with the 3 points, and you have to go back to 2002 to find the last time we won our opening three league games.


Enfield Town – Rhys Forster; Mickey Parcell, Josh Okotcha (sub Ekow Coker 46 min), James Richmond, Joe Payne; Scott Thomas, Sam Youngs, Ollie Knight, Dylan Adjei-Hersey; Reece Beckles-Richards (sub Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo 76 min), Marcus Wyllie

Unused subs – Adi Connolly, Sami Bessadi, Louis Birch

Att: 818

Town Hand Scholars A Lesson

Potters Bar Town 0 Enfield Town 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Two games, two wins, five goals scored, none conceded, top of the table on goal difference.

An “almost perfect” away performance was how Gavin Macpherson summed up Tuesday’s thoroughly deserved derby win at Potters Bar whilst admitting it was a bitter-sweet occasion due to a nasty-looking injury to Jake Cass.

With kickoff delayed by almost 10 minutes due to the sheer number of Towners fans among the 450-plus crowd trying to get through the one turnstile, we could hardly have got off to a better start.

On four minutes, Cass picked up a loose ball halfway inside the Bar half and, unchallenged, burst forward to finish superbly with his weaker left foot before wheeling away in delight (pictured).

Sadly, it was the last meaningful contribution for Jake who was taken out by a Potters Bar defender with what looked like a bad Achilles injury, needed lengthy treatment and ended up hobbling on crutches — or rather the one crutch available.

To make matters worse, the injury is on the other leg to the persistent knee issue that has given Jake such grief in recent weeks and hampered his progress. We can only wish him luck and hope it’s not as serious as it first looked.

Winger Ollie Knight replaced Jake for his Town debut and soon produced the kind of delivery that Gavin believes will make him such an important player for us.

If Jake’s goal was well taken, our second on 23 minutes was even better.  Sam Youngs fed Marcus Wyllie down the right and just like on Saturday Marcus did the rest, cutting inside before delivering a sumptuous finish into the far corner.

Marcus was again involved when he stole the ball off a defender to set up  Reece Beckles-Richards who couldn’t quite climb high enough to meet the cross.

At the other end Rhys Forster was well positioned to parry a fierce drive from Leigh Rose.

H-T 0-2

Potters bar came out with more purpose and possession but still we created chances, Joe Payne’s goalbound effort cannoning off a defender.

Wyllie almost made it 3-1 when again using his pace before shooting narrowly wide but the hosts should have halved the deficit when substitute Cyrus Babaie  — who had replaced former Town favourite Liam Hope — lashed wide after we were caught out in a dangerous position.

Whilst there were no more goals, the three points were never in doubt with a defensively solid display and Youngs and evergreen skipper Scott Thomas pulling the strings in midfield.

While Gavin was delighted with the performance, he was none too pleased with the new stricter guidelines referees have been given this season.

Town had six players booked, some for time-wasting, most distinctly soft. “The new rules are killing the game,” said Gavin. “Referees are being put under unnecessary added pressure. We didn’t put one bad tackle in but if this is where we are going to go, football will become less enjoyable.”

On the plus side, Gavin had no hesitation naming an unchanged side from Saturday. “At my previous club I invariably changed up three or four if we had a Tuesday game after a Saturday, especially after pre-season. I just felt this time I had the right people on the pitch. It was a near-perfect away display but it may be too much to ask of all of them to go again at Folkestone on Saturday which will be a very tough game.”

Cass, of course, looks like being one of those missing out.  “It doesn’t look good and could be a massive blow for our planning,” Gavin admitted. “I feel for Jake. We’ll just have to assess how we move forward.”

Town

Forster; Garcia-Velasco, Richmond, Okotcha, Payne; Beckles-Richards, Youngs, Thomas (oulya-Osekanongo. 80), Adjei-Hersey (Birch, 70); Cass (Knight 22), Wyllie

Town Out To Test Scholars

By Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town will attempt to build on their fine opening day win when they visit Potters Bar on Tuesday for the first derby of the season (kickoff 7.45)

While we were winning 3-0 on Saturday, Bar were crushed 5-0 at Carshalton but Gavin Macpherson expects a reaction and has warned his players against complacency.

No fewer than nine players have departed the Scholars in recent days  but Max Mitchell has also recruited a fair few and games between us are invariably tasty affairs.

Gavin said he wanted a decent return of points from the first few games to put us in a good place for when crucial players who have been unavailable are back.

One of those, Ollie Knight, is expected to return to the squad as Town attempt to maintain the form showed against Concord Rangers when Gavin’s front-foot philosophy was richly rewarded.

“If we can get a foundation going in the first week in respect of points, then it gives you a platform,” he said.

That means continuing to try and take the game to the opposition, whenever possible of course. “If there is chance to go forward, it’s one of the markers we have put down for this team,” added Gavin.

Even if it doesn’t always come off?

“We use the terminology in training that we give them permission to make mistakes as long as they are sticking to what we ask them to do. Players worry about things like that.”

What they specifically need to heed against Potters Bar, says Gavin, is not to think the job is already done.

 “We give every side we play the respect they deserve. The last thing I said to the players in the dressing room after Concord was that complacency will be their biggest enemy.”

Town Off To A Flyer

Enfield Town 3 Concord Rangers 0

Report By Andrew Warshaw

As new eras go, they don’t start much better than this.

Missing several key players including Ollie Knight and Mickey Parcell, Gavin and the management team saw much of the pre-season work bear fruit as Town cruised to victory against opponents who were in Step 2 last season.

One swallow doesn’t make a summer and Town will have far greater challenges in the weeks and months ahead but you can only play what’s in front of you and the performance augurs well for the new style of play Gavin, Jon and the rest of the coaching staff are trying to implement.

For the first 15 minutes, however, it looked as if we might have a tough opening day baptism.

With just seconds on the clock, Town got lucky when they totally switched off at a freekick and Harrison Day saw his shot come back off the post.

Concord continued to press ominously and be first to the ball but once we settled down, we really looked the part and had wrested the ascendancy away from our visitors by the time we opened the score on 33 minutes with a textbook goal which apparently had been perfected in training.

 A throw along the line was collected by Marcus Wyllie whose fabulous cross-field pass was expertly converted at the far post by the on-rushing Reece Beckles-Richards.

Marcus had already seen his overhead kick from a Sam Youngs cross fly inches over and three minutes after the goal, Town doubled their lead. Sam did what he does best, finding space on the edge of the box and latching on to a weak defensive header before lashing the ball home.

Concord were putting in some tasty challenges, none more than Fanion Sims on Scott Thomas which earned the Concord man a yellow card. Jake Cass, who otherwise had a powerful game as he continues to improve his fitness, also saw yellow for retaliation.

H-T 2-0

If the first 45 minutes were a half of two halves, so to speak, Concord hardly threatened thereafter.

Town might easily have had a penalty when keeper Lamat Johnson clattered into Wyllie while Cass saw a deflected effort bounce off the post.

With running out, Town made the game safe.  Wyllie nicked the ball off fullback luke Ige and as the visiting defence stood off expecting a foul to be awarded, Marcus ran on before supplying the sweetest of finishes (pictured).

Under the new stoppage time rules, 10 minutes were added which Town played out comfortably with excellent game management.

“I want to start by thanking our amazing support,” said Gavin afterwards. “You literally make the difference, we all acknowledge the level of passion you have for the club which massively helped drive us on.”

“I was very happy with the performance. Was it perfect? No of course not but I didn’t expect that. Probably the most pleasing thing apart from the result and the three goals is that Rhys hasn’t been troubled apart from that mad first minute when it was a total switch-off.”

“I think the wind helped them at first and kept us deep in the pitch but once we got a few messages out there, we gradually gained a foothold and never lost it.”

Town

Forster; Garcia-Velasco, Okotcha, Richmond Payne; Beccles-Richards (oulya-Osekanongo 74), Thomas (Bessadi, 89), Youngs, Adjei-Hersey; Wyllie, Cass

Gavin’s Right-hand Man

Interview By Andrew Warshaw

Behind every successful and ambitious manager, there is invariably a highly regarded and trusted No. 2.

None more so than at Enfield Town this season with Jon Nurse providing a crucial extra pair of eyes and ears for Gavin Macpherson.

It’s a partnership that goes back to their days together at Met Police and one built on trust, mutual respect and an almost intuitive chemistry.

Do they always agree? Absolutely not but Jon, who played professionally for Stevenage, Dagenham and Redbridge and Barnet (we’ll forgive him for the last of those!), says the key is all about complementing each other’s skills.

Having played under a series of managers including Graham Westley, Martin Allen and Edgar Davids, Jon picked up an enormous amount of knowledge about different ways of winning games of football.

“I was always intrigued by the whole aspect of coaching,” said Jon who recently passed his A license.  “Of course you can never get the same buzz as crossing that white line as a player on a match day but even before I was a pro, as a youngster I had this feeling coaching was inside of me.”

“I can’t affect the game on the pitch but I can do the work during the week and then trust the players to do what we ask of them.”

Notice use of the word “we”, meaning the entire management team but specifically the relationship between manager and coach.

“Gav and I are very different. I want things done at 100 miles an hour and am quite headstrong whereas Gav is calm, reserved and thoughtful. That’s why he’s a manager and I’m a coach. The fact that we’re opposites, I can get him to think about things in a different way. He always makes the final decision but he allows me to have an opinion.”

“At Step 3 you can’t expect the players to be professional footballers. What we ask them has to be realistic, we build a system around the players that we’ve got.”

The fact that Gavin also coaches, unlike many managers, helps rather than hinders their relationship.

“It means we can divide up training and get more contact time with the players which is difficult if you don’t coach,” Jon explained.

But they do have their differences. “I was a forward whereas Gavin was defender but we try to find a balance. If we always agreed, I’d be a yes man which is not what Gav wants. We are open and honest with each other.”

One thing they agree on with a passion is trying to play the ball on the ground.  Jon fervantly believes that just because he is coaching non-league footballers, that doesn’t mean they lack the ability to play in a certain way.

“If you keep the football, you control the game. I hear people saying ‘oh they’re only non-league players’ but what does that mean? You turn up to play football, not to crash the ball 100 metres simply because it’s the easiest way to get rid of it.”

But keeping possession can also mean sometimes accidentally giving the ball away at our level, surely. “Yes but we don’t jump on people for making mistakes, otherwise they’d never want the football,” Jon told me. “ We’re trying to get the group to feel comfortable.”

Not a lot of people know this but Jon has six international caps for Barbados, the country of his birthplace even though his dad is from Guyana and his mum from Jamaica.

“I had a choice when I was younger but I always wanted to play for my place of birth. Having said that I was shocked when the call came through.”

One highlight was playing against his brother Chris who chose to play for Guyana. “It was a great moment for the family but the other special moment was playing against the USA in Los Angeles. It was a World Cup qualifier and they had a host of Premier League players.  Unforgettable.”

Like many No.2s, John is the antithesis of a publicity seeker but is loving every minute of his partnership with Gavin and working with the rest of the Towners management team. Despite having to travel from south London for training and match days, he is relishing the role.

“I like to go about my business quietly but I can tell instantly whether I can work with someone or whether I can’t. As soon as Gavin got on the phone to me and told me about Enfield Town and how this club suited who we were as human beings, I immediately trusted his judgement.

“It’s down to morals, values and ethics. Gav’s and mine are very aligned. That’s 100 percent why the chemistry works.”

New Defender

We are delighted to announce the signing of 22-year-old Ekow Coker as our latest arrival on the eve of the new season.

In a way it’s welcome back because Ekow represented a range of youth sides in the capital before signing for Enfield Town under 18’s, then moving on to Hanwell Town.

The 6ft-5 in defender, who played in the second half of our final pre-season outing against Grays, has enjoyed spells at Workington and Macclesfield Town where he gained invaluable experience.

Welcome Back, Ekow

Welcome Back Powerday

Enfield Town are thrilled to announce an exciting partnership with our friends from Powerday for the season ahead.

The deal will see the waste management company support both the first team and the club’s wider community partnerships. Powerday will have their name on the first team home shirts for the forthcoming campaign as well as supporting the club’s soccer school, walking football and disability sections.

Tara Crossan, Head of Marketing and Communications at Powerday, commented:  “We are delighted to announce our sponsorship of Enfield Town FC as the official community and First Team Sponsor for the upcoming season.

“As part of our commitment to support the communities in which we operate, we are proud to continue our partnership with Enfield Town FC, a club that has a wide impact in the local community,

Supporting not only the first team but also the Community Soccer School, Disability Team and Walking Football Team, this partnership represents our dedication to promote sports and foster community development in the Enfield area and we look forward to the season ahead.”

Paul Reed, Chairman of Enfield Town, said:  “It’s fantastic that Powerday are once again our main sponsors for the forthcoming season. They are a brilliant company who are a big part of our local community and have supported us superbly for a number of seasons.

“It’s been great to extend the partnership in to our community activities and this will allow us to continue to grow and develop the opportunities for local people to get involved in sport at all levels and abilities. We’re truly grateful for the sponsorship and look forward to working closely together throughout the season.”

Start Of A New Era

By Andrew Warshaw

Pre-season is over, the players have been put through their paces by manager Gavin Macpherson and his backroom team and all eyes are now firmly on this Saturday and the visit of Concord Rangers (3pm kickoff) as a new era gets under way.

Concord were relegated from Step 2 at the end of last season and are likely to provide strong opposition at the start of arguably the toughest ever Isthmian League Premier division campaign.

“Pre-season was all about putting down markers and being ready for that first game of the season and where you are trying to be,” said Gavin after a build-up that culminated last weekend with an encouraging win over Grays followed by two training sessions this week.

Renowned for his front-foot philosophy, the first two pre-season outings were about concentrating on how the players worked out of possession, then in later matches switching to how they performed with the ball.

Most of the new signings have been prominent in pre-season but frustratingly we will be without the likes of Mickey Parcell and Ollie Knight for the first couple of games, as well as one or two other key players unavailable through injury, suspension or for personal reasons.

Despite winning our last four warm-up matches, Gavin says the fans need to be realistic about where we’re at on the pitch.

“We are in transition which I know is a difficult word for some supporters. It can translate as this is going to be an indifferent period. I don’t necessarily see it like that but what you’ve got is a different style of playing and there are wide contrasts with the past.  

“I’ve been given the task of coming in and building something that is a little bit different. It doesn’t necessarily come naturally for some of the players to learn a different style of football.”

Dealing with the forced absence of several important members of the squad has not been easy but Gavin and his team are raring to go.

“I’ve been planning on two fronts to be honest. One for the season, the other to get through the first week. If we can come through the latter with a decent return of points, that will be a good start because we will only get better in respect of who will be coming back.”

Another Win To End Pre-Season

Enfield Town 2 Grays Atheltic 1

Report from Andrew warshaw

A pair of worldies from Scott Thomas and Sam Youngs earned us a come-from-behind victory against an at times over-physical Grays Athletic on Saturday, making it four straight wins in what was our final pre-season fixture before next weekend’s big kickoff.

Missing the likes of Ollie Knight, Mickey Parcell, James Richmond and Louis Birch, there were loads of positives to take away despite, in Gavin Macpherson’s words, plenty of work still to be done on the training pitch before we entertain Concord Rangers.

In horribly wet conditions, Town were hit with an unfortunate blow just before kickoff when Ryhs Forster slipped during a routine goalkeeping drill and appeared to turn his ankle.

Adi Connolly ended up keeping goal throughout but it is hoped Rhys will recover in time for next Saturday.

Grays, one of the favourites to be promoted from Step 4 and now managed by former Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson, made it hard for us in the first half, cutting off our supply lines and dealing out some tasty challenges to put it mildly.

 On 33 minutes, the visitors took the lead when Kyle Bailey, making an unusual error, was caught in possession and Sully Buchannon tucked the ball home inside Adi’s near post.

H-T 0-1

The second half, as so often in pre-season, was a different story. Just two minutes after the break, skipper Scott hit a 25-yard screamer to pull us level  and just after the hour mark we were in front courtesy of Sam’s audacious back heel (pictured, no. 8) from recent signing Carlos Garcia-Velasco’s curling cross.

A mix-up at the back almost let Grays back in, shortly after which new signing Dylan Adjei-Hersey had to be substituted holding his left shoulder as a result of perhaps the most brutal challenge of the game.

A few more half-chances for Town came and went, two falling to Jake Cass who managed to play the full 90 minutes – a huge tonic for both himself and the management – before the referee brought an end to proceedings.

“Stimmo’s sides are always competitive,” said Gavin with more than a hint of understatement. “To be honest that side of the game is perhaps something we are short on. People like to see the football played but 15 to 20 points a season will be won out of possession when you need to stand up and be counted.”

“I appreciate we are not set up to play that way but in a way this was the sort of game I wanted.”

Except, of course, we need to play well in both halves rather than just one.

“That’s exactly right. Again I was a bit grumpy at halftime which is not how I am very often. We have to look after ourselves a little bit better when things get a bit more physical, and be better retaining possession.”

“But two very good goals, we could have had more and the second half was a really good step forward from where we’ve been.”

Town starting line-up

 Connolly; Velasco, Okotcha, Bailey, Payne; Thomas, Youngs, Adjei-Hersey; Beckles-Richards, Cass, Wyllie

Carlos Returns

As the management team puts the finishing touches to the squad, we have brought in another player who caught the eye during pre-season.

Carlos Velasco is a familiar name having initially signed for us on a dual registration with Welwyn Garden City towards the back end of last season.

A Spanish rightback, Carlos began his career in the fifth tier in Spain with CDA Navalcamero and we are delighted to have him rejoin for a second spell.

Welcome Back Carlos

Grays To Finish

Tomorrow, Saturday, we wrap up our pre-season campaign with a home game against step 4 Grays Athletic (kickoff 3pm).

Last season Grays finished 5th in Isthmian League North and were beaten by Sudbury in the playoff semifinal.

They are now managed by former Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson and expected to mount a strong promotion challenge this season.

In their most recent pre-season friendly,  Grays  showed their mettle by securing  a creditable 1-1 draw away at Canvey Island.

Tomorrow’s match gives our management team one final chance to fine tune preparations on the pitch, with two training sessions due to take place next week ahead of the big Aug 12 kickoff.

Dylan Chooses Town

With a week to go before the start of the new season, we are thrilled to announce the signing of Dylan Adjei-Hersey, an ex-professional winger with AFC Wimbledon.

Dylan played part of last season on loan at Step 2 Hungerford Town and spent much of this pre-season at Weymouth in National League South.

Acquiring his services from a higher level is hugely exciting and Dylan, still only 20, trained with us on Thursday.

“I was aware he had not renewed his contract under the current Wimbledon manager,” said Gavin Macpherson. “I’d been keeping tabs on him last season at Hungerford but he went to Weymouth during this pre-season.”

“He had three deals on the table so I’m absolutely delighted. He’s going to give us pace and is very versatile and can also play wing-back.”

Welcome, Dylan!

New Signing

We are delighted to announce the signing of Gucci Soulya-Osekanongo who has been on trial with us and has impressed the management team.

Gucci, whose first stint with us was in August and September last season, joins from Sutton United whose academy he captained to the third round of the 21-22 U18 FA youth cup.

The 19-year-old midfielder also spent some time with Corinthian-Casuals last season.

“I’ve been impressed with Gucci, he’s young and hungry to succeed at Enfield and I love that,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“He gives us a different option in midfield which can only be healthy for the squad.”

Welcome back, Gucci!

Town Pick Up Third Pre-Season Win

Two goals from Jake Cass ensured Enfield Town picked up a third pre-season win on the bounce on Tuesday evening, but they were made to work for their victory by a dogged Rayners Lane side.

Although on paper this was a test against a Step 5 outfit, the hosts started with several players who spent last season two divisions higher and they frustrated Town for large spells in a stop-start first half punctuated by a series of fouls.

The visitors were unable to carve through the Lane defence or muster any clear-cut chances of note, with Joe Payne’s 25-yard free-kick on 20 minutes easily gathered by the goalkeeper, while at the other end former Towner Alex Cathline missed a gilt-edged header from close range following a swift counter down the left flank. On the cusp of half time, Town’s best chance fell to James Richmond, whose hooked shot following a Payne long throw was directed straight at the keeper.

HT: 0-0

An unchanged XI after the break, but there was now far more verve to Town’s performance. Adi Connolly stood tall and remained sharp to hold onto an effort at his near post before a trialist embarked on a surging run through the centre and nudged the ball into the path of Cass, whose low snapshot bobbled into the goalkeeper.

But Town’s number 9 made amends a minute later and in quite some fashion. After good combination play on the edge of the box by two midfield trialists, a fizzed cross found Cass in the centre, who brought it down with the side of the boot and, on the bounce, produced a sensational overhead kick which looped into the left-hand corner.

It was soon two in as many minutes as Mickey Parcell’s sweeping pass picked out Cass at the gallop to clip the ball over the advancing goalkeeper for his, and Town’s, second of the evening.

Town were now in control of proceedings and were denied a third by a lick of paint; a driving run from a midfield trialist concluding with his long-range shot smacking the post. Town introduced five changes to the fold for the final quarter of the game and – with the exception of Lane’s Keano Robinson striking a post from a sloppy free-kick – saw out the game in relative comfort.

While this could be summed up as another display of two halves, Town’s marked improvement after the restart, as well as a clean sheet, pleased manager Gavin Macpherson:

“Firstly, credit to [Rayners Lane]: they’re not a Step 5 side, that’s for sure. They are in league terms, but there’s a lot of Step 3 and above players out there.”

“I wasn’t best pleased at half time and I told [the players], if I’m honest. I won’t know if the reaction is due to me telling them but I thought the second half was really good, especially that initial half an hour … legs, energy, passion: everything I’m asking from the team. I thought the first half, even though we spoke about it before the game, was devoid of that.”

“Players are sometimes too accountable by managers, and I’ve told them the first thing I’ll do is go away and look at what we’re doing and how we’ve set them up and see whether that first half is anything to do with that. There are certainly concerns that I have at the moment, of course, it’s pre-season – why wouldn’t you? You’re taking over a team that’s trying to learn your methods. But all in all, it’s a fairly pleasing night I think.”

“Massively pleased with Cassy; scored two and could have had more, so that’s a real bonus for us to see him functioning.”

Enfield Town: Connolly; Parcell, Richmond (Okotcha), Bailey, Payne (Bessadi); Birch, Trialist (Thomas), Trialist, Trialist; Wyllie (Youngs), Cass (Beckles-Richards)

Rayners Tonight

Tonight we visit Step 5 Rayners Lane FC in our penultimate pre-season fixture hoping to build on two successive victories.

In May, Rayners Lane beat Langley 2-0 in their divisional playoff final  to secure promotion to Step 5 for the first time since 1994

You may have noticed last Saturday that the management team introduced a couple of Ian Hart’s academy players in the second half, a deliberate move to give them a taste of first-team action.

“Of course they are not ready yet but it’s the start of a pathway,” Gavin Macpherson explained. “We want to give those lads a focus.”

Bringing young players through is a fundamental part of Gavin’s management philosophy.

“It’s a passion of mine. I know it can’t be done en masse but it gives them a focus that Enfield Town is where they should be looking.”

Town Edge Five-Goal Friendly

Waltham Abbey 2 Enfield Town 3

Report By Andrew Warshaw

Entertaining passages of play mixed with defensive sloppiness. In other words, plenty of work still to do in the remaining two weeks before the big kick-off.

That was pretty much how sum up another tight pre-season win over Step 4 opposition on Saturday.

On a pitch that was a credit to our opponents, we were again missing a number of key players and Waltham Abbey presented more than a decent challenge, if anything enjoying the better of the second half.

While there was much to admire about some of our build-up play, there is still some concern about several aspects going into the final two friendlies, not least relinquishing possession when going forward and our new-look pressing game at times not working as instructed, leaving us too strung out on occasions.

We could not really have got off to a better start, however. With just 55 seconds on the clock, a Sam Youngs shot was blocked and Marcus Wyllie followed up to score.

Marcus is getting more and more confident and his second goal on 32 minutes was a joy to behold. A clever Sami Bessadi dummy from a right-wing cross fell to Mickey Parcell whose forward pass appeared to be cut out by a defender, only for Marcus to nick the ball away and finish deftly (pictured).

In between, Rhys Forster had to be on his toes to keep out a couple of home efforts whilst Abbey also hit our woodwork.

With halftime approaching, they reduced the deficit under farcical circumstances courtesy of an own goal, a dodgy back pass to Rhys hitting him in the stomach and rolling over the line despite him back-pedalling to try and keep it out.

But we quickly restored out two-goal lead, Sam Youngs burying a free header from a Jo Payne long throw.

The sight of Jake Cass leading the line with power and authority was a huge tonic for the management and all Towners fans. Jake almost scored with an audacious overhead kick, managing 45 minutes in his first pre-season outing as he improves his fitness.

H-T 1-3

We might well have been out of sight on chances but six minutes after halftime, Abbey cut the deficit again as a result of yet more defensive hesitation.

They then proceeded to have more of the ball as Gavin rang the changes though with three minutes left, we should have wrapped things up when triallist shot straight at the keeper with the goal at his mercy.

“If there was going to be a lull, it was probably this game because they’ve been going Tuesday, Thursday in training, then Saturday,” Gavin explained afterwards.

“Some of what I saw was very pleasing. On the other hand some players didn’t step up and take responsibility for certain things. And you can’t legislate for the goals which were two of the worst I’ve seen in a long time, and that can’t go on.”

“But they were a week, if not two,  ahead of us in terms of their pre-season and were therefore a little bit sharper.”

“There’s still work to do to get the players round to our way of thinking. We are transitioning from a certain style of football into another but we should hopefully  see a progression going forward by the time we play  Concord Rangers. Everyone needs to be singing from the same songsheet.”

Town starting lineup:

Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Youngs, Bessadi, Becles-Richards; Cass, Wyllie

Town drawn to Denmark; Wales

The draw for the 23-24 Fenix Trophy has been announced, with the 12 participating teams learning where they will travel across the continent.

Enfield Town have been drawn in Group A with Copenhagen-based side BK Skjold, the current colders of the tournament; and Welsh side Llantwit Major.

We are in discussions with both sides and will meet with players and management to schedule the fixtures. We will of course update you on any news if and when we get it.

Waltham Abbey Up Next

Town make the short trip to Waltham Abbey tomorrow, Saturday, for the next assignment in our pre-season campaign, kickoff 3pm

Gavin Macpherson was distinctly displeased with Tuesday’s display and tomorrow should give an indication of how he intends to shape the group going forward.

Our Step 4 opponents, in the same division as Tuesday’s opponents Welwyn Garden City, finished last season mid-table but have won two and drawn two of their pre-season fixtures to date, scoring 14 goals in the process.

Waltham Abbey’s address is Capershotts, Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey EN9 1NX. See you there!

EuroTowners!

Sing it with us… We’re All Going On A European Tour!

We are thrilled to announce that Enfield Town have accepted an invitation to play in this season’s edition of the Fenix Trophy, a UEFA-approved European competition for non-professional clubs of exceptional social, historical, and cultural distinctiveness.

This is the third season of the tournament, with 12 teams taking part from right across the continent. Last season’s tournament was won by Copenhagen side BK Skjold, who beat Prague Raptors in the final in Milan.

We join these other sides in the competition:

– BK Skjold (Denmark)*
– Llantwit Major (Wales)
– Prague Raptors (Czechia)*
– Venus Bucuresti (Romania)
– FC United of Manchester (England)*  **
– Vinsky FC (France)
– KSK Beveren (Belgium)*
– Lewes FC (England)**
– Krakow Dragoons (Poland)
– Gilla FC (Finland)

*Seeded Teams
**Sides from the same nation are kept apart

There will be 4 groups of 3 teams, with 2 home and 2 away games. Each match will be streamed on the official Fenix Trophy YouTube channel. The draw is taking place this coming Saturday at 1pm – make sure your passports are up to date!

We will update you on when we arrange fixtures (these were after October in last year’s edition) as soon as we have news.

Gavin Downbeat Despite Win

 Welwyn Garden City 1 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town ran out 3-1 winners at Step 4 Welywn Garden City on Tuesday, finally getting on the scoresheet after three pre-season outings without a goal.

Yet Gavin Macpherson was far from happy afterwards, describing  the performance as a step back  and hinting strongly that some tough decisions will have to be made.

After highly creditable displays against QPR  Development, Spurs Under-21 and Bracknell, our first-half showing at Welwyn – managed by former Town favourite Marc Weatherstone — was poor against lower-league opposition in terms of passing, composure and communication though Mickey Parcell put in another commanding eye-catching performance.

After Gavin and the management team made a series of halftime changes, ball retention improved considerably, leading to a couple of excellent strikes from Marcus Wyllie and Sami Bessadi.

Town’s opening pre-season goal came on 15 minutes from the penalty spot. Charlie Crowley made a superb save but in the ensuing melee, Zak Brown was adjudged to have handled and  Reece Beckles-Richards fired home though Crowley got a good hand to the ball.

Ten minutes before the break, the Citizens levelled, also from the spot. Louis Birch, playing out of position at central defence following the late withdrawal of Kyle Bailey, made a holding midfielder-type challenge on Bailey Stevenson who proceeded to get to his feet and fire home the equaliser.

Both sides made a number of halftime subs and ours fortunately proved decisive with the likes of Sam Youngs and Scott Thomas adding authority and stability.

On 68 minutes we regained the lead after the best move of the game ended with Marcus drilling a right-foot strike into the far corner.

Three minutes from time, not one, but two goalbound strikes were blocked by the Welwyn defence. But when the ball fell to Bessadi he made no mistake with the third attempt, thrashing the ball home with a composed finish.

In truth we should have had more but Welwyn also had their fair share of chances and Gavin was distinctly non-plussed with the overall display.

“We had a few established players missing tonight but I can’t say I was best pleased, especially at halftime,” he said.

“Even if we’d won 6-1, I didn’t see some of the things I wanted to see and I wrote a lot of things down with a view to going forward to training on Thursday.

“To be perfectly honest,  I’d been pleased with the first three games and although tonight we stuck the ball in the net, I expected more from some of the players. I’ve seen a lot of good things come out in training so far but in some respects this was a step backwards.”

With the business end of pre-season to come in the next three games, Gavin didn’t mince his words.

“A few have knocked on my door saying they should be more involved but unfortunately some of them came up short. We now have to have some conversations. A few who’ve been with us simply won’t be in training on Thursday,  that’s the grim reality. It’s hard but that’s being a manager!”

“On another level it’s the best game we could have had in terms of making some decisions. I have to go what I feel in terms of getting it down to a group.”

Town starting line-up:

Connolly; Parcell, Birch, Okotcha, Payne; Wilkes, triallist, triallist; Beckles-Richards, Wyllie, triallist

Second half subs included Youngs, Thomas, Richmond and several triallists

Town still searching for goals

Enfield Town 0 Bracknell Town 0

Report By Martin Bentley

Enfield Town played out their second consecutive goalless draw in pre-season against Southern League Bracknell Town on Saturday, although this game was of a different nature to Tuesday’s stalemate with Tottenham Hotspur’s Development squad.

Against opponents of equal standing to us, Town were able to attack more, and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, particularly in the first half.

Playing a passing game aimed at getting behind the visitors’ defence, Town succeeded in fashioning several good scoring chances, with Reece Beckles-Richards (pictured left), twice, and Sami Bessadi all having one-on-ones saved by visiting keeper Michael Eacott.

In addition, Joe Payne’s clever free-kick was well saved and Oliver Knight’s cross from the left curled on to the top of a startled Eacott’s cross bar.

Bracknell’s main attacking threat came from their wingers Zidan Akers and a triallist, with the former’s shot hitting the side netting and the triallist’s effort being well saved by Rhys Forster.

The mass second half substitution did not come until 65 minutes had passed, and the game unsurprisingly became more disjointed at this point.

Town still fashioned a few half-chances, mostly from the triallists on show, as well as Kian Wilkes’ far post header that was grabbed by Eacott.

Encouragingly, the second string Town defence succeeded in protecting Adi Connolly from any direct second half threat.

All-in-all, Town’s performances continue to be encouraging. All we need now is a few goals!

“I was pleased with the way we played. There are new concepts being added as we develop and I’m seeing pretty much what I want to see for pre-season at Step 3,” said Gavin Macpherson.

“I am however fully aware that we all like to see some goals and from the number of clear chances we created we should win the game comfortably.  So the in-possession creativity is on schedule but we need to start taking responsibility in front of goal whilst continuing to look solid.”

First half line-up: Forster, Parcell, Payne, Thomas (c), Bailey, Richmond, Bessadi, Youngs, Beckles-Richards, Triallist, Knight

Subs at 65 minutes: Connolly, Birch, Wyllie, Wilkes + 7 Triallists

Community Day

Our third pre-season fixture against Bracknell Town tomorrow, Saturday, is a very special occasion.

Dubbed Community Day, we welcome our Emergency Services to the stadium who will put on demonstrations for children and adults alike, including how to carry out CPR.

With the emphasis on youth, other activities in the build-up to kick-off will be a magician and live band.

Adults will be charged only £5 between noon and 1.30, with children entering for free.

Everyone is welcome to stay on afterwards for the game against Bracknell Town, an extremely strong Step 3 side who last season reached the first round of the FA Cup and lost in the final of the playoffs in Southern League Premier Division South.

“They’re a very good Step 3 side,” said manager Gavin Macpherson. “It’s a good opportunity almost at the halfway stage of pre-season to see where we’re at against a side at our level.”

Town Hold Young Spurs Pros

Enfield Town 0 Tottenham U21 0

By Andrew Warshaw

Just what the doctor ordered is perhaps the best way to sum up Tuesday night’s prestige friendly against a Tottenham Under-21 side.

Gavin and his management team got just what they asked for in terms of concentrating on how we performed off the ball, with players covering for each other and not leaving too many gaps for the visitors to exploit.

The crowd of 1,125 was a revelation, some 300 more than for the same fixture last season, and whilst there were no goals, there was plenty of encouragement for the rest of the pre-season campaign when the focus will switch to seeing how we take the game to opposition from the same level as us, or lower.

It was inevitable that our visitors, many of whom  had trained with the Spurs senior team and won both the under-17 and under-18 Premier League Cup, would control the game and have almost all the possession.

But in truth, they didn’t carve out too many clearcut chances, the two best both saved — by Rhys Forster’s spectacular tip-over from Dante Cassanova in the first half (pictured) and Adi Connolly pushing Lyons-Foster’s deflected effort onto the upright in the second period.

Rio Kyerematen and Nile John missed further chances but although Tottenham’s pace and dribbling skills were there for all to see, we kept our shape throughout and closed off the spaces as best we could.

Just as against QPR on Saturday, Gavin fielded two separate elevens in each half, with five of our summer recruits playing the first 45 minutes and Reece Beckles-Richards making a promising Town debut when introduced after halftime.

Louis Birch’s lung-busting industry and Ollie Knight’s crossing ability will surely be huge assets and although he was still nursing an injury, it was encouraging to see Jake Cass do some light running on the touchline as he attempts to regain fitness.

“Very pleased with our night’s work,” said Gavin afterwards. “How often have we been broken down by two professional clubs, on Saturday and tonight? Not that often. Your out of possession work is worth a lot points.”

 “What we saw in the last two games is what we’ve been working on in training. We can now tick that box to an extent and move on to what we want to build with the ball.”

“That’ll take some time. I’m still seeing things I don’t particularly like such as going long too quickly. We’ve got different ideas and the players are having to adapt. Having said that, they are not going to meet teams at Step 3 as sharp as Spurs in terms of closing down your passing options.”

Next up Bracknell on Saturday. “They’re a very good Step 3 side,” said Gavin. “It’s a good opportunity almost at the halfway stage of pre-season to see where we’re at against a side at our level.”

Town

first half: Forster, Parcell (c), Payne, Birch, Trailist, Richmond, Bessadi, Youngs, Trialist, Wyllie, Knight.

Second half Connolly, Bailey, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Thomas (c), Taaffe, Trialist, Beckles-Richards, Trialist, Wilkes. Substitute: Trialist.

Tottenham on Tuesday

After Saturday’s promising opener against Queens Park Rangers, pre-season continues on Tuesday with our eagerly awaited traditional home fixture against a Tottenham Hotspur under-21 selection

This game always generates huge local interest and a bumper crowd is expected for the 7.30 kickoff with tickets available via the website or on the door.

Get there as soon as possible is the message for supporters ahead of what should be a cracking atmosphere against our prestigious near-neighbours.

Reece: Enfield Born and Bred

By Andrew Warshaw

You can’t get much more local than Reece Beckles-Richards.

So when our exciting new forward, who has played for three of our local rivals, got a chance to join us from Cheshunt and move a few miles down the A10, he made up his mind pretty fast.

“There’s not a more local club I can play for and it didn’t take long for the gaffer to sell it to me,” said Reece who should be available for the Tottenham friendly on Tuesday.

“I’ve lived in the borough my whole life and now live literally five minutes from the ground. I could even walk there in 20 minutes.”

Still only 27, Reece brings bags of experience to the club not only from his three years at Cheshunt (his brief loan spell at Potters Bar last season consisted of one game – the Velocity final) but also at the likes of Farnborough, Hornchurch and, of course, Wingate and Finchley.

“I guess it does seem odd that I never played for Enfield before given where I was born and brought up. It nearly happened at one point but didn’t quite work out. A lot of my friends have played there, including Joe Payne, Mickey Parcell and Mo Faal and it’ll be great to meet up again with two of them.”

The stats might say Reece scored 23 goals in 83 goals for Cheshunt but he reckons it was more like 47 in all competitions. A natural marksman, he can’t wait to put on a blue and white shirt.

“Games against Enfield, whether when I was at Cheshunt or Wingate, were always tough,” says Reece who has the distinction of an international cap for Antigua and Barbuda back in 2015. “But now the boot is on the other foot, so to speak.”

Expanding on what it was about Gavin Macpherson that drew him to Town, Reece continued: “A lot of it was down to his honesty. I’m at an age now when I know instinctively  if a manager is telling me the truth rather than trying to spin things.”

“I had a few other Step 3 clubs interested in me but when it came about, it just made sense. I’m hoping to bring lots of goals as well as entertainment. I like to have fun. Obviously I want to win and the aim is to finish as high as possible. Promotion is obviously the ultimate goal but I understand that’s not always realistic.”

“What I will say is that whenever I’ve played against Enfield, I’ve always seen how amazing the fans are and this just seems the right fit at this stage of my career.”

Huge Promise In Narrow Defeat

Enfield Town 0 QPR Development 1

From Andrew Warshaw

Gavin Macpherson said from the moment he arrived that pre-season was all about preparation rather than winning every game. In other words, it’s no good results masking what you need to work on.

Yet anyone who witnessed our first pre-season outing on Saturday cannot fail to have been impressed by the methods and tactics Gavin and his backroom team are trying to get across.

Forget the scoreline. The fact that we more than held our own in blustery conditions against a team of professional players, albeit all of them under-21, spoke volumes about Gavin’s philosophy of trying to play the ball on the ground and take the game to the opposition.

It was certainly appreciated by a healthy 300-plus crowd who clapped the squad off at the end.

With a handful of key players unavailable, we played a mixture of first-teamers – including many of our new signings — and triallists, changing the entire eleven for the second half.

New keeper Rhys Forster showed a commanding presence while Mickey Parcell proved what an asset he will be on his return to the club with an eye-catching 45-minute shift, setting up one chance with a glorious assist and then, at the other end, clearing a QPR effort off the line.

In fact we had arguably the two best chances of the first-half. Marcus Wyllie, seemingly relishing playing down the middle, latched on to a ball out of defence before seeing his finish come back off the post. Then Parcell’s gorgeous ball found a triallist who forced a double save from Rangers keeper Joseph Adoje.

The match was won on 68 minutes when Noah McCann burst forward to crash an unstoppable header beyond Adi Connolly from a corner.

But our collective performance was more important than the result, with five more friendlies to come for Gavin and his staff to get a feel for what works best and make any necessary tweaks.

“To have 310 at a pre-season friendly is absolutely immense,” Gavin told me afterwards. “It’s everything I thought this club would be.”

“We were always going to use the first two games to look at our work out of possession. It’s clear that some of the lads are more atuned to going longer than we would like but that’s what we’re here for.”

“We didn’t really have a cutting edge but you have to put that in context given we had no out and out center-forward. To lose the game to a set-piece like that we’ll have work on, but there was a lot to be pleased about. Will we get better in certain aspects? Yes. Will the team show more of an identity during pre-season? Of course because that’s how it works.”

Next up the annual pre-season fixture on Tuesday against a Tottenham Hotspur under-21 side and, in all likelihood, a far stiffer challenge.

“We’ll use it again to see how we are out of possession,” explained Gavin.  “There’s an awful lot of work still to be done but we’re only week two so it’s normal we wouldn’t yet be functioning as a complete unit.”

Additional Friendly

We have added a sixth fixture to our pre-season programme by agreeing to visit Rayners Lane FC on Tuesday, Aug 1, kickoff 7.45

Rayners Lane play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division North, having gained promotion in May to Step 5 of the non-league pyramid for the first time since 1994.

QPR On Saturday

By Andrew Warshaw

It seems only yesterday that we were saying farewell to the last league campaign. Yet after a three-month break, pre-season is already upon us with our first game on Saturday at home to a QPR development squad.

Gavin and his team are painstakingly putting together an exciting and balanced-looking squad, with some familiar faces and some new recruits expected to be on show at QEII for the 3pm kick-off.

Pre-season campaigns are notoriously unpredictable and as Gavin said when he met the fans in June, winning every game is not the ideal preparation for the league campaign that starts in mid-August. It’s all about peaking at the right moment.

Training is going well, pre-season opposition has been carefully selected and Gavin is looking forward to meeting as many Towners fans as possible as we build towards the start of the season proper.

“I am especially looking forward to working with and hopefully getting to know the club’s supporters who I believe make a difference and set us apart from so many other clubs at our level,” he said.

“Our message to the players during pre-season so far has been simple and clear. I like to be calm and stick with my beliefs and above all have confidence in the squad.”

“The Isthmian Premier League looks to be at its toughest in many years. Who might have what doesn’t interest me, we need to focus on ourselves and embrace the significant challenges that will lie ahead. I believe everyone connected with this club pulling together will be our greatest strength.”

Concord Up First

Enfield Town’s new era under Gavin Macpherson and his management team gets under way on Aug 12 with a home game against Concord Rangers, a mouth-watering start to the 2023-4 league season.

The Beach Boys were relegated from National League South at the end of the last campaign after a decade-long stay at Step 2 and are likely to provide a strong challenge for our opening game.

Three days after the Concord game, we make the short trip to  Potters Bar for the first in what promises to be a series of eagerly awaited derby games throughout the season. Among the signings so far for Max Mitchell’s Scholars is  38-year-old defender Rickie Hayles from Hornchurch.

Rounding off the first week of the season, on Aug 19 we visit Folkestone aiming to gain revenge for that 3-0 defeat deep into February last season. This time the game takes place on a Saturday afternoon in summer, a far more palatable occasion on the Kent  coast for travelling Town fans.

Our entire league programme will be published shortly on the website.

Welcome, Cooking Champions

We are very pleased to introduce Cooking Champions as our new catering partners! Please see their message below:
___________

We are now officially the catering partners for local football team, Enfield Town FC. This is going to be a fantastic community project as we going to train young people for the surrounding area how to work in the hospitality industry and make sure they are paid the London Living Wage.

Supporters will be offered an array of high quality food with all profits going straight to our charity. This will help to continue our essential food support that has been running every single week since April 2020. To date we have made and distributed 57,000 free meals and thousands of food parcels.

Thank you to Enfield Town FC for this opportunity and we can’t wait to see what the season brings. 

Up the Towners! 

Fixtures Out Thursday

In case you missed it, we will finally find out who we will face and when this Thursday, 13th July at 2pm, as the Isthmian League’s fixtures are officially released for the 2023-24 season.

Town Land Centre-Back Bailey

We are very pleased to welcome central defender Kyle Bailey to the club!

Starting his career in non-league with Sheerwater and Westfield, Kyle has gone on to play professionally in Malta, Norway and Scotland. He spent last season playing at Step 2 with Hungerford Town.

“Kyle has been learning his trade outside of England for the most part but came back during last season to play at Step 2”, said manager Gavin Macpherson. “He is another versatile defender to add to the mix; he gives everything in his performances and will be a very welcome addition to an already established back line.”

Seeking: Matchday Catering

Enfield Town FC invite applications for proposals to provide outside catering services on matchdays for the 2023-24 season.

The arrangement would give exclusivity to provide hot food and beverage sales for all home games on either a fixed or turnover rental basis.

Depending on cup draws, there would be anywhere between 25-30 games per season, with an average attendance of around 500.

If you are interested in tendering for this contract, please contact chairman@etfc.london

Gavin’s Pre-season Philosophy

By Andrew Warshaw

Gavin Macpherson has outlined his strategy for our pre-season programme by saying he will use the matches to get a feel for the personnel at his disposal and make any necessary alterations as we build towards the new season.

Winning all the time in pre-season, says Gavin, is certainly not the most ideal way of preparing for the challenges that lie ahead.

In a recent interview with David Square’s “Our Local Non League” show, Gavin struck a realistic tone when discussing how he approaches pre-season.

“There are not many managers at our level who are totally satisfied during the pre-season programme that they have things totally spot on,” he said.

“But pre-season is there to tell you exactly where you’re at. I’ve said it many times, the worst thing you can do in pre-season is win every game.”

“Obviously supporters want you to win whether it’s a league game or a friendly.  But we have a specific pattern in pre-season where we look at certain things, both out of and in possession, so that the boys are ready to go from day one.”

In terms of predicting the outcome of the new campaign, Gavin is understandably circumspect.

 “I’m not a manager who is going to go out there and makes wild predictions. We go about our business quietly to achieve the best possible outcome. I’m not fazed by other teams’ budgets.”

Regarding a playing system once the season comes around in August, Gavin re-iterated his preference for employing an attack-minded two up front with a back four but stressed this was flexible.

“Normally you’re talking 4-1-3-2 or similar but we work religiously to have a number of systems nailed down with a slight tweak so the players understand what they are doing, whether it be 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1, if and when we might need to.”

“Yes we have a nailed down DNA in terms of how we want to play but I’ve got a fantastic team around me and we will look at being comfortable with three systems. We will not make changes for changes’ sake but you’ve got to be adaptable.”

Town Bring in Beckles-Richards

We are delighted to welcome Reece Beckles-Richards to Enfield Town!

Our sixth new signing of the 23-24 campaign, forward Reece has been capped at international level by Antigua & Barbuda, and joins having spent the last three years up the A10 with neighbours Cheshunt. Starting out at Aldershot Town, his CV boasts plenty of non-league experience, with the likes of Woking, Farnborough, and Wealdstone among his former sides.

Boss Gavin Macpherson was delighted to land his man: “Reece is a player I’ve liked for many years. When I saw him make the jump to Wealdstone a couple of years ago I wasn’t surprised. He’ll add massively to an already very good forward area of the pitch; I’m delighted he is coming to Enfield Town.”

Spurs’ Starlets Coming to Town

We are thrilled to confirm that neighbours Tottenham Hotspur have again agreed to generously send a squad to face Enfield Town as part of our pre-season preparation.

Tottenham Hotspur Under-21s will visit the QEII Stadium on Tuesday 18th July, with kickoff at 7:30pm.

This fixture often generates a huge amount of interest and we are very grateful to Spurs for sending a team again this year.

Tickets can be purchased in advance on the following link:

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/event/ent2324ps2/enfield-town-v-tottenham-hotspur-u21s

Town Add Centre-Mid Sami

We are very pleased to welcome Sami Bessadi to Enfield Town!

A technically-minded central midfielder, Sami joins us having spent time last season with National League South sides Weymouth and Braintree Town. He has also worn the shirts of Kings Langley, Haringey Borough, and Maldon & Tiptree.

“Sami will add legs and energy in the middle of the park. He’s creative and versatile which gives us good options”, stated manager Gavin Macpherson. “Sami will work hard and is keen to develop as a player. He’s already been hard at work preparing for a return to training, I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Two More for 23-24

We are pleased to announce the retention of Adi Connolly and Lewis Taaffe for the new season.

Goalie Adi successfully made the step from ETFC’s academy to the first-team squad in the summer of 2021, gaining minutes in a number of pre-season friendlies and cups, as well as stepping into the senior side in the league when necessary; keeping a clean sheet on his Isthmian League debut against Potters Bar Town in January 2022.

“Having spoken to the new manager Gavin I’m really looking forward to the new season”, stated Adi. Coming through the academy I know what it means to play for this great club.”

“Adi is a ‘keeper I’ve heard such good things about. Both myself and Dean [Hurlow] are looking forward to working with him”, added Gavin. “I’ve told him that he is returning to push Rhys Forster for the number one shirt and that should be his focus. Competition is healthy in a football environment and that goes throughout the side.”

Lewis the Latest to Commit to Town

Originally signed as a forward, Lewis has become a useful and versatile option in several different positions in recent seasons. He has notched 11 goals in 127 matches since joining the club in 2018 – including scoring home and away last season against former club Billericay Town.

“When speaking to Gavin to get his thoughts and plans for this season, it was immediately evident that he wants to do well and he came across really well”, said Lewis. “As you know, I’ve been at the club for a number of years and really want to help take the club to the next level. I’m looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully we can achieve our targets for this season. Up The Town!”

“I’m pleased Lewis is back with us. He is one of a few players I’m expecting to be an influence on the group using his experience to push on after last season”, commented Gavin. “His versatility is also a massive plus, so I’m happy he’s returned.”

Two Defenders Back for 23-24

As manager Gavin Macpherson’s squad begins to take shape, we are very happy to announce that we have retained defenders Joe Payne and James Richmond.

With nine man-of-the-match awards between them last season, both were key cogs in a defensive line which, until the final few fixtures of the season, remained one of the meanest in the division. Left-back Joe led the way with five last year, returning to EN1 last September for another stint at the club after originally joining in March 2019 from Barnet. Nailing down the left-back berth for the remainder of the season, he played a part in ten clean sheets in the league and ended the season with a total of 85 appearances and 5 goals from full-back in a Town shirt.

“Buzzing to have signed for this great club again, it was a no brainer”, said Joe. “Really looking forward to working with Gavin and his team and can’t wait to play in front of the Town fans again. Up the Town!”

“Joe is exactly the kind of player and person I want at this football club”, stated boss Gavin Macpherson. “Joe’s positivity shines through and it’s clear that he’s an excellent defender to match his personality. I’m delighted Joe has once again committed to the club and I look forward to working with him.”

Richmond Returns

Central defender ‘Jimbo’ was another mainstay at the back for the Town last term, joining during the 2022-23 off-season having been skipper at Merstham for the last three seasons. He notched 2 goals and 8 league clean sheets in 34 appearances last season and was pleased to commit to the club for the coming season: “I’m delighted on re-signing for Enfield. I really enjoyed my first season with the club and it was a no-brainer after speaking to the new gaffer and his plans for next season”, said James. “I can’t wait to get going and I’m looking forward to meeting the new signings and management staff.”

“I’m really happy to be finally working with James. He is a player I’ve admired and tried to sign before; I was unsuccessful which was Enfield’s gain”, added Gavin. “James is pivotal to what we want to achieve this season and it goes without saying I’m so pleased he’s back with us.”

Skipper and Striker Stay for 23-24

We are delighted to announce that we have retained club captain Scott Thomas, and ETFC’s Young Player of the Season Marcus Wyllie for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign.

Captain Scott

Skipper Scott joined the club from Royston in 2019, since which time he has proven a central figure at the base of the Town midfield, with 125 appearances and counting in a blue and white shirt.

“Scott has been great since I have come in and has been a positive influence on the group as well as being an excellent player”, stated boss Gavin Macpherson. “I met with him first and he understood he can be an excellent extension of me and the management team both on and off the pitch.”

Scott himself was equally pleased to commit to the club: “As we can see, Gavin’s team is now building nicely and I’m pleased to be a part of his plans to help take our club forward. We have some wrongs to right from last season and I’m excited by the challenge of another season as a Towner!”

Wyllie On The Ascent

Nippy forward Marcus is the next to commit to the Towners ahead of next term. Our Young Player of the 22-23 Season, he chipped in with 4 goals and 4 assists – as well as earning three man-of-the-match awards – in his first year with us.

“Marcus is a player I’ve been so impressed with, both with his on-pitch ability and when speaking to him privately”, said Gavin. “For me, he is essential to my squad as he demonstrates a hunger to succeed at Enfield Town; something I want within the foundations of this squad.”

“There is no better person to develop his game than Jon Nurse, so taking everything into account I’m delighted Marcus is an Enfield Town player.”

Marcus, likewise, was excited to return: “I’m delighted to be re-signing for Enfield. It’s a club I’ve really enjoyed being at, which made my decision easy. After speaking with Gavin and hearing his plans, I knew I wanted to be part of it. I’m looking forward to the season ahead and hopeful for success.”

Gavin Holds Court

By Andrew Warshaw

There was hardly a spare seat in Butler’s Bar on Tuesday night when our new manager Gavin Macpherson was introduced to fans and outlined his plans for taking the club forward.

Gavin spoke eloquently for over an hour, including taking several questions from the floor, and made a huge impression on everyone in the room with his positivity, insightfulness, technical knowledge, attention to detail, humour, realistic approach and engaging manner.

After the chairman explained the selection process and said Gavin was the unanimous first choice having “ticked all the boxes”, it was over to the new gaffer himself and his goalkeeping coach, Dean Hurlow, who he brought along with him.

Not able to be present but also part of Gavin’s management team will be his trusted No. 2 John Nurse, former St Albans first-team coach Steve Conroy and Carl Garstang, ex-assistant manager at Farnborough. Meanwhile our physio John Abbott is to remain at the club while Ian Hart will also continue to be involved.

“I’m bringing a really experienced management team with me,” said Gavin. “Deano is worth his weight in gold while John has been my right-hand man and is a fantastic coach and role model who works diligently to improve players whether they are 35 or 15.”

Gavin, whose track record speaks for itself at Met Police where he had tremendous success despite the lowest budget in the league, agreed with the chairman that that the Isthmian League Premier will probably be the strongest it has ever been next season but said he was determined to give us a team to be proud of.

Renowned for his attacking style of play, he has studied countless videos of our playing style and made it clear that everyone would be given a chance on merit, regardless of age. How we work as a team off as well as on the ball will be a crucial part of training sessions.

He admitted he was offered terms by another club but immediately got a feel for the Towners, not least our unique fan-owned ethos, and didn’t need any convincing.

“The fan base has massively invested in the club and I’m very humbled to be here,” he said. “I’m going to give it absolutely everything.”

Whilst being realistic about the strength of the division next season, Gavin said he would relish pitting his wits against the sides who are expected to have the most financial weight behind them.

“Potentially we need a bit of a reset but that is not a bad thing. I think we under-achieved last season but the players are a bunch I was keen to keep hold of, obviously with one or two tweaks.”

The eagerly awaited return of fans’ favourite Mickey Parcell from Hornchurch is one of those tweaks while incoming winger Ollie Knight was described by Gavin  as “the best deliverer of the ball I have ever seen at this level, with an engine to die for.”

Discussing the attributes of our new goalkeeper Rhys Forster, who replaces the departing Nathan McDonald having played at Step 2 Slough for the first part of last season before going on to the win the FA Vase with Ascot Town, Dean Hurlow told members: “Rhys is a very positive guy who plays very much on the front foot. He’s someone I hold in high regard and he’s a character. You will all like him, I’m sure.”

Birch Joins The Ranks

We are very pleased to welcome central midfielder Louis Birch to Enfield Town.

A solid, deep-lying midfielder, Louis has spent the past five years with Metropolitan Police and re-joins his former manager, as well as ex-teammates Ollie Knight and Rhys Forster, in joining the Towners. Prior to his time at the Met, he had spent time with Welling United.

“Louis is a strong competitive holding midfielder who goes about his business quietly”, said Gavin. “He is comfortable on the ball and is someone I trust implicitly to do his job consistently. Often an unsung hero, Louis is a model professional and a player, and I’m delighted he has agreed to sign for Enfield Town”.

Two Key Players Return

We are extremely pleased to confirm that we have retained the services of Sam Youngs and Jake Cass.

Long-serving midfielder Sam is rapidly approaching 200 appearances for the club, and scooped ETFC’s Manager’s Player, Players’ Player and Goal of the Season in 2022 as we secured a highest-ever league finish. His 25 man-of-the-match awards are the fourth most in the club’s history.

“We have re-signed a fantastic player and a fantastic person”, said boss Gavin Macpherson.

“Like many of the players Sam is a player I’ve admired for a while and he’s one that you look to build round. Although Sam has been here for a while it’s still exciting news. As a new Manager these are exactly the type of signings you want to be announcing.”

“As soon as I met with Gavin I knew that I wanted to stay with the club”, said Sam. “After hearing his ideas I am very excited for the new season and challenge ahead”

Popular striker Jake, meanwhile, is the club’s Golden Boot holder, having hit 20 goals last term; 18 in the league, and was delighted to commit to the club: “Irrelevant of who was taking over as manager, as long as they wanted my services as a player, I was always only ever signing for Enfield”, Jake commented. “It’s the only club I even consider playing for, I love it here and wish to help bring us the success we deserve. Fortunately, I’m in Gavin’s plans, I’m hopeful and confident he’s going to do a very good job for us and I can be a big part of that. Up the Town.”

“Jake is a proven goal scorer. His qualities will suit the way we play, and the number of chances the team will create”, added Gavin. “He is a player who can link well with current players in the squad. I’m focused on creating an environment in which Jake can thrive, it’s massive and exciting news.”

Knight Comes To Town

We are very pleased to welcome wide midfielder Oliver Knight to Enfield Town.

Another familiar face to gaffer Gavin Macpherson, 26-year-old Ollie came through the academy at Forest Green Rovers before representing Cirencester Town and Frome Town. He has spent the last five seasons with Metropolitan Police; twice helping them into the play-offs – including chipping in with 14 assists in 31 appearances during the 2021-22 campaign. He also spent a brief stint at fellow Isthmian Premier side Horsham last year.

“I’m so pleased to bring Ollie to Enfield”, commented Gavin. “Ollie was one of my first signings as a manager and has been an instrumental player with my previous club. Ollie is a versatile player and is one of the best deliverers of a football I’ve worked with. He also brings quality, fitness and energy to the group and will give us another dimension to our playing style.”

Meanwhile, as you may have seen elsewhere, Andre Coker has parted company with the club. The popular forward man notched 18 goals and 6 man-of-the-match awards in his 66 ETFC appearances – we wish him all the best on his next steps.

Meet The Manager

This Tuesday 6th June, there is an opportunity for members/owners to meet our new manager Gavin and his management team at 7:30 PM in Butlers Bar at the QEII Stadium. 

Some of you may need to renew your membership before Tuesday; others may want to take the opportunity to sign up now – remember, membership means you own your share of the club, and earn voting rights & access to events such as these – without its members, there would be no Enfield Town FC!

You can sign up for ETFC Membership by clicking here.

New Keeper

We are delighted to announce the exciting signing of a new goalkeeper in 24-year-old Rhys Forster.

Rhys, who has bags of experience for someone of his age, played the first eight months of last season at Step 2 Slough Town before moving on loan in February to Ascot United where he went on to lift the prestigious FA Vase.

Among his various other clubs, Rhys played for 18 months at Met Police under our new manager Gavin Macpherson who is thrilled to have landed his man.

“Rhys is an excellent keeper. He has fantastic technical ability and most importantly, he’s someone who can make big saves at big moments,” said Gavin.

“He’s extremely hard working and someone who’se worked with us before at the Met. Having played at Slough Town last season he’s really looking forward to joining us at Enfield. Rhys is a good size for a keeper and a brilliant character. I am delighted to have him on board.”

Welcome Rhys.

In other news Andre Coker has announced his intention to move on. We wish him well. 

First Team Trials

UPDATE: Our previously promoted First Team trials are now fully subscribed and we are not accepting any further applications.

The torrent of applications received over the weekend was immense – thank you to all who applied. The process of finalising squad sizes for the trials will now take place.

Welcome Back, Mickey!

The club are delighted to announce that we have re-signed fan favourite Mickey Parcell.
Right-back Mickey needs no introduction to the Towner faithful; a local lad who featured on 193 occasions during his first spell with us, participating in the 2016-17 playoffs and playing a key role in our 2018-19 Velocity Trophy against Hornchurch. Since then, he has gone on to enjoy four hugely successful seasons with the Urchins, including a remarkable 2021 FA Trophy win and – individually – being named in the Isthmian Team of the Season for the last two years running.

Boss Gavin Macpherson commented: “To announce Mickey as my first Enfield signing is massively exciting. As we all know he is a quality, fully committed player who is excellent to have around the club. Mickey will drive standards within the group and, with him being one of the senior players, bring leadership qualities which any Manager will look for. I believe he will add heart and desire to what we are looking to achieve, it’s one of my best ever signings.”

Chairman Paul Reed was equally buoyant: “we’re thrilled to welcome Mickey back to the club. We all know what a fantastic player he was during his first spell with us and he has only improved during his successful time at Hornchurch. We know this news will be very well received by everyone at the club and we can’t wait to see Mickey in a Town shirt again.”

#GoToTown

As the club enters a new era we are relaunching our GoToTown scheme. We have various packages in place to suit all – from those who watch all or most games to those who are less regular visitors.

All of the packages provide you with membership of the ETFC Supporters Society, making you an owner of the club. It also gives you the right to attend and vote at the AGM and on other important matters and to stand for the Board if you wish.

The packages allow you to spread the cost of supporting your club during the course of the year through monthly payments. Online matchday programmes are provided so you don’t miss any of the latest news plus you will receive weekly emails updates covering everything Enfield Town. You also are given a credit to help buy the latest shirt or anything else in our well-stocked Club Shop. The Gold membership provides everything you need to support the club for a whole season. It even provides you with a free pint at every home game!
Importantly, the Gold package gives you a saving of over £150 during the course of the season.

Gold – £35 per month
Society membership, Season Ticket, admissions to home friendly and cup competitions, access to main stand, online and hard copy matchday programme, free drink in Butlers Bar for each home game, £40 Club Shop credit.

Silver – £23 per month
Society membership, Season Ticket, online and hard copy matchday programme, £30 Club Shop credit.

Senior/Student £17.50 per month*
*For over 65’s and students 16 and over.
Society membership, Season Ticket, online matchday programme £20 Club Shop credit.

Out of Towner – £12 per month
Society membership, tickets for 5 home league games, online programme, £20 Club Shop Credit.


Please support your club by signing up to one of the packages today! Click below to Join Us:

Friendlies

As our new manager Gavin Macpherson builds his squad ahead of the new campaign starting Aug 12, we can confirm the following pre-season friendlies have been agreed, subject to change.


3 PM Saturday 15 July QPR B — Home

QPR B are the club’s under-21 Side and play in the Professional Development League Two South.

7:45 Tuesday 18 July St Albans City — Home

Last season St Albans finished 6th in National League South and reached the Play-Off final before losing to Oxford City.

3 PM Saturday 22 July Bracknell Town — Home

Last season Bracknell finished second in the Southern Premier South, with 90 points, but lost to Truro City in the Play Off Final

7:45 PM Tuesday 25 July Welwyn Garden City — Away

Welwyn are managed by former Towner Marc Weatherstone and play in Southern League Central Division

3 PM Saturday 29 July Waltham Abbey — Away

Abbey also play in the Southern League South

3 PM Saturday 5 August Grays Athletic — Home

Grays finished 5th in Isthmian League North last season and were beaten by Sudbury in the Play-off Semifinal

We are hoping to add Tottenham Hotspur’s U21s to the list of friendlies but at the moment we don’t have a date for this fixture.

Squad Departures

All the best to Adam Cunnington and James Dayton, who have departed the club. Ex-professional James was our first signing of the 2022-23 season, and he chipped in with six assists and a man-of-the-match award v Potters Bar during the campaign. Fans’ favourite Adam was first choice striker for a lengthy period last season and overall registered 14 goals in his 80 appearances in a blue and white shirt since joining in December 2020. His blockbuster against Herne Bay was voted by fans as Goal of the Season for 22-23.

In case you missed it, Lyle Della-Verde has also moved on. Lyle, who enjoyed two spells with us since initially joining in December 2019, notched 104 appearances, 7 man-of-the-match awards and 29 goals in a Town shirt – the majority of which were from the proverbial top drawer.

We thank them all for their services and wish them the best for the future.

Farewell, Macca!

Yesterday, Enfield Town stalwart Nathan McDonald also announced his intention to move on. Macca played 321 times across two spells with the club between 2014 and 2023, making him our second-highest appearance maker ever. Last season, he kept 12 clean sheets and was twice voted man-of-the-match as he picked up ETFC’s Players’ Player and Supporters’ Player of the Year awards. We are immensely grateful to Nathan for his contributions over the years, and wish him all the best!

Welcome Gavin Macpherson

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Gavin Macpherson as manager of Enfield Town FC.

Gavin joins us after parting company with Met Police FC, where he spent over twenty years as a player, assistant, and manager.

Following a playing career for Barnet and Carlisle, as well as spells at Wealdstone, Slough Town and Woking, Macpherson took the managerial reins at the Met for the 2018-19 season after the resignation of Jim Cooper, guiding them to victory in the Southern League playoffs – only to be denied promotion at the final hurdle against Tonbridge Angels in the ‘Super Playoff’. With another play-off campaign, as well as a couple of Surrey Senior Cups to his record, he is a widely-regarded coach who has gained a reputation for moulding highly competitive squads.

Chairman Paul Reed said: “I’m delighted that we have reached an agreement with Gavin and his team. We had a number of impressive applicants, but Gavin was our clear favourite. His short-term and longer-term intentions as manager align closely to ours and he certainly fulfilled the criteria set out at the start of our recruitment process. He brings with him a very strong track record and considerable expertise at step three. I am very much looking forward to working with him and his coaching team.”

We hope to announce a ‘Meet The Manager’ event in due course.

Everyone at Enfield Town FC wishes Gavin and his team a warm welcome, and every success moving forwards!

ETFC Badge

First Team Manager

The club invites applications for the post of first team manager. The preferred candidate will have experience of managing at a similar level or above and be able to demonstrate a proven track record of success in their career to date.

Please submit your application to chairman@etfc.london

Club Statement

After six years at the helm, manager Andy Leese and the club have agreed to part company with immediate effect.

Andy took over in May 2017 and steered the Town through an initial rebuild and the two Covid interrupted seasons before guiding the club in to the play-offs and our highest ever league finish in the 2021/22 campaign. He also steered us to Isthmian League Cup success in 2019, the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup in his first season and a record run to the 3rd round of the FA Trophy in 2021.

Chairman Paul Reed said “Both personally and on behalf of the club I would like to thank Andy and his staff for all of their efforts during his time at the club. He’s given us many highs and fantastic performances, putting together a team that our supporters could be proud of. Andy has always proven himself to be a honourable, hard working and talented manager who has constantly had the best interests of the club at heart. On a personal level we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship and I truly appreciate his enormous contribution to our club over the past six seasons.

The club wish Andy and his staff all our best wishes for the future.

ETFC award winners

Huge congratulations to all those who won our season-ending awards, presented after Saturday’s final game.

Nathan McDonald (pictured with skipper Scott Thomas) picked up two prizes —  supporters’ player of the year and players’ player for a series of outstanding saves made throughout the season.

Adam Cunnington won the management’s player of the season while Marcus Wyllie took the young player award.

Jake Cass took the Golden Boot award for his 18 goals while Ian Hamilton deservedly won the club person of the year award, having been an invaluable volunteer in a variety of different roles, all of them crucial – not least on the turnstiles.

Well done, each and every winner!

Doleful End To Town Season

Enfield Town 1 Aveley 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Despite a healthy 600-plus final-day crowd, there was an inevitable sense of anti-climax on Saturday as we ended the league season in a disappointing ninth position, having taken just three of a possible 18 points during a tough run-in.

No-one can fault the players or the management team for their sterling efforts throughout the season and whilst no-one wanted or anticipated this outcome after we spent so long in the top 5, it gives everyone a chance to take stock and come again in the summer.

Lewis Knight was missing with an achilles problem but James Richmond returned after illness while Adam Cunnington was restored to the starting line-up.

 Set pieces have been our downfall for much of the season and after starting slowly we were punished again on 13 minutes when Ryan Scott rose highest to head home a freekick.

Harry Gibbs headed another freekick just wide before we had a couple of dangerous moments ourselves, first when Andre Coker wriggled his way into the box but was stopped before he could get a shot away, then when Khale da costa ran on to a long ball upfield but was ruled offside.

We just couldn’t get going in the final third, however, and as Aveley continued to probe, Temilolu Babalola got in front of his marker but thankfully shot weakly wide.

H-T 0-1

With the supply line to our forwards frustratingly off-key, we just couldn’t test Jonathan North enough.

Until, that is, the 67th minute when Sam Youngs sent North the wrong way from the penalty spot (pictured) after substitute Lewis Taaffe was impeded after slaloming  his way into the box.

That should have been the springboard for Town to burst into life. Instead, on 70 minutes, Babaoloa got his head to an inswinging corner to win the points for Aveley who finished fourth and can look forward to a semifinal against Canvey Island.

To compound our frustration, Taaffe received a straight red with 10 minutes remaining after he was adjudged to have lunged in dangerously on Emannuel Ogunrinde though it looked to many like he slammed the ball into Ogunrinde’s midriff.

Town

McDonald; Renee, Richmond, Wilson-Braithwaite, Payne; Thomas, Youngs (Cass, 77), Da Costa (Bakare, 63), Isaac (Taaffe, 61); Cunnington, Coker

Let’s Finish On a High

Anyone who anticipates the team lacking fight in our final fixture of the season at home to Aveley on Saturday (3pm kickoff) after agonisingly missing out on the playoffs can think again.

As the management team pointed out after last weekend’s gut-wrenching disappointment at Bishop’s Stortford (to whom we extend our congratulations for winning automatic promotion), we want to end the campaign on a high even if everyone hoped for different outcome over the season as a whole.

Fourth-placed Aveley have taken one point from the last nine but have otherwise been in consistently decent form and have the luxury of knowing that they will definitely finish in the playoff places.

The Millers squandered a two-goal advantage in the dying moments of a thriller against high-flying Canvey Island in midweek but will be keen to showcase their ability as they bid for back-to-back promotions.

After a tough season when we came so close to achieving our goal, we need as many supporters as possible to get behind the Town and give the best possible rousing send-off to the players and management team for all their efforts in trying to secure a top-5 place, ultimately just falling short.

All fans are then invited to remain after the game for the end-of-season awards which include Supporters’ player of the season, players’ player, manager’s player, goal of the season and best club person.

Devastation as playoff hopes dashed

Bishop’s Stortford 4 Enfield Town 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town’s playoffs dreams were finally extinguished on a sobering afternoon on Saturday – yet at one point it might easily have gone down to the last game.

Just after we equalised in a dominant 15-minute spell in front of a bumper 1,300-plus crowd at the champions elect, we were very much in the ascendancy.

Stortford were wobbling at that point and had we scored the next goal, who knows what might have happened.

But three goals in 13 second-half minutes left us crestfallen, beaten in the end by an excellent side  who are strong in all areas of the pitch and are where they are for a reason having now won six on the bounce.

None of that, of course, will ease the gut-wrenching  disappointment of Town having taken just three points from the last 15 – and 16 from a possible 45 — as we attempted to cement fifth place in the latter stages of the season.

It’s not what any of us wanted but the fact that our final outing against Aveley on Saturday is now redundant should not disguise the fact that the players and management have tried their hardest to bring about a different conclusion.

In a game we effectively had to win, the management used virtually every attacking option at our disposal whether in the starting line-up or on the bench though Adam Cunnington missed out because of last weekend’s knock.

More crucially over the 90 minutes, perhaps, James Richmond was conspicuous by his absence at the back because of illness

The first half was all about digging in and repelling Stortford’s series of well delivered set-pieces in front of an expectant crowd.

 Nathan McDonald was twice called into action early doors while Dequane Wilson-Braithwaite made a timely interception to thwart the dangerous Frankie Merrifield.

It looked like we would go in level after standing firm but on 35 minutes all our good work was undone when we conceded straight from a curling Darren Foxley corner that evaded everyone and nestled in the corner.

Just before the interval, having snuffed out most of Stortford’s attacks, we had a chance ourselves only for  Michael Bakare to be flagged just offside from Jake Cass’ through ball

H-T 0-1

Whatever was said to the players at halftime we came out a revitalised team and levelled two minutes later.

Chez Isaac’s through ball found the experienced Bakare who showed fantastic composure by rounding the keeper to score the first goal Stortford had conceded for six matches (pictured).

 Suddenly we started to burst forward with renewed vigour and Sam Youngs headed just over from a corner.

The next goal was always going to be vital but frustratingly it went Stortford’s way,  Anthony Church converting after we lost concentration at a long throw.

Stortford now had their tails up again, playing through the channels with plenty of invention. A Merrified drive flew just over and on 65 minutes the hosts made the game safe as Foxley got goal-side of his marker to thump a bullet header past McDonald.

It might have been four when Merrified was clean through, Nathan somehow saving brilliantly with his legs.

But on 71 minutes another troublesome long throw by former Towner Matt Johnson was only half-cleared back into his path and from the resultant chip, Ryan Charles volleyed home.

The dejected look on all the Enfield players’ faces at the final whistle said everything about the sense of anti-climax after a season that for so long promised another playoff finish and another crack at  promotion.

“You can’t sugar coat it, we haven’t been good enough from perhaps the early part of February and we showed that again,” said an understandably downcast Andy. “We conceded from three set plays after having spent all week working on that.”

“It’s sad because in the end it’s a difference of three or four points. It’s bitterly disappointing but we haven’t been good enough in both boxes. There’s a whole myriad of reasons why we’ve messed it up and it’s tough to take.”

“It’s a collective thing and I’m not just looking at the players. It has to start with me and the management team. I still maintain we have a squad that should be in the top five. I can only apologise to the supporters because we put ourselves in a great position.”

There’s still one more game, of course, and we now need as many fans as possible to get the behind the players and management team on Saturday and give them a rousing send-off for their efforts.

Town
McDonald; Renee, Knight, Wilson-Braithwaite, Payne; Thomas (Taaffe, 73), Youngs, Isaac, Dayton (Coker 63); Cass, Bakare (Wyllie 78).

The Final Countdown

If the home game on Easter Monday against Haringey was our biggest game of the season until then, this Saturday is now even more important with just two fixtures left.

If we can cause an upset at  league leaders Bishop’s Stortford and/or Cray Wanderers plus those just below us slip up, then a playoff place is very much back in play.

The title will in all likelihood be won by Saturday’s  opponents or Hornchurch or Canvey Island  but of  more concern to us is the five-horse race for fifth  place and the final play-off spot between ourselves, Cray, Lewes, Horsham and Hastings United.

Cray may be favourites on paper but it may well go to the last day of the season on April 22.

The challenge for us, one point behind Cray, couldn’t be much greater.  Runners-up last season, then beaten in the playoffs like we were, Stortford have won their last five games without conceding a goal and could clinch the title and win automatic promotion on Saturday if results go in their favour.

Of course we don’t want to give them that luxury at our expense and are well capable of stopping them in their tracks if we reproduce our best form which we may need to do to stay in the hunt. Our chances will certainly be boosted by a strong following in our final away game of the regular season.

Directions to the ground:

Meanwhile, congratulations to our Under-12 Side who won an international tournament in Italy over the Easter weekend beating Posilipo Santa Maria 4-0 in the final. We will be inviting them as our special guests to the Aveley fixture so we can all show our appreciation of their efforts.

Enfield Town Player of The Season

If you have not done so already vote for your Enfield Town player of the season using the link below.

https://poll-maker.com/QQH2XR59C

Help Juevan Get Back On His Feet

A GoFundMe page has been set up for our right-back Juevan Spencer who hasn’t been able to walk freely, work or play football since suffering a terrible ACL injury playing for Town at Billericay in February.

Andre Coker has set up the page for Jueven who was in fantastic form at the time of his injury and has been a significant loss to the squad.

Jueven risks being out of action for up to two years unless funds are made available for him to receive treatment privately.

Andre explains:  “After waiting on the scan results, Juevan has been told he would need two operations to rectify his injuries.

“Due to the current circumstances in the NHS, he was advised he faced a minimum of 10 months on the waiting list with an additional 9-12 months for full rehabilitation and recovery. Essentially, Juevan could be looking at 2 years of not being able to walk freely, work or play football.”

“Our aim, hopefully with the support from family, friends, the club, and the football community, we hope we can come together to raise enough money so that Juevan is able to receive private treatment and care and reduce the time he is waiting by half.”

“Not only is football a huge part of Juevan’s life but it is also a source of income for him and his family and the thing he loved doing the most. We appreciate times are hard but we would be grateful for any help and support to get Juevan back fit again.

Please donate to Juevan’s GoFundMe page if you are in a position to do so:

https://gofund.me/798c958f

Town Now Playing Catch-up

Enfield Town 2 Haringey Borough 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Football can be a cruel game as a draw was clutched from the jaws of victory in the dying moments on Easter Monday to leave Town’s playoff hopes hanging worryingly in the balance.

Seemingly in control against a Haringey Borough side who put up the usual resistance, combined with a fair few tricks of the trade, we  were twice pegged back and ended up dropping vital points that could prove all-important in a couple of weeks’ time.

To put the result in stark perspective, the situation is  no longer in our hands. For the first time since Dec 9, we have dropped out of the playoff places, the previous time being back at the end of September.

Of course nothing is done and dusted by any means. Two strong performances at title-chasing Bishop’s Stortford  on Saturday and then at home to Aveley in our final regular league game could still clinch fifth.

But now we have to rely on Cray, one point ahead of us, to slip up. And maybe also Lewes, Hastings and Horsham, all in the chasing pack just behind us.

It’s a tough ask and three points out of a possible 12 at the business end of the season tells its own disappointing story. But whilst it may look a bleak picture, who’se to say there will be no more twists and turns.

Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve – and on the balance of play we certainly didn’t in front of a near-700 crowd, marred it has to be said by a couple of unsavoury incidents including two so-called “fans” – not Town’s as it turned out  — who proceeded to encroach on to the pitch.

In a swirling wind, the ball often looked more like a beach ball than a football, both teams having to adapt such was the difficulty of finding the right weight of pass.

Lyle Della-Verde, in the starting line-up as one of three changes from the defeat at Horsham, delivered a trademark freekick early doors that Max Ovenden tipped over. Jake Cass then almost converted from a Joe Payne pass while another Della-Verde delivery resulted in a bullet header that was just off target.

The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when Adam Cunnington was impeded in the box, suffering a nasty wound in the process that needed lengthy treatment as blood streamed down his face (pictured).

Cass walloped the penalty down the middle and although it was saved, he managed to get to the rebound first.

Before Haringey could kick off, Nathan McDonald went down in our area, apparently the victim of beer being thrown from someone in the away end.

Cunns,  bandaged up not once but twice, inevitably couldn’t last much longer and was replaced by Andre Coker with Cass pushed further forward into his favoured position.

With halftime approaching, Haringey levelled after a bizarre passage of play. A poor Nathan McDonald throw-out was collected Matthew Young whose cross found Alphonso Kennedy who let fly.

Nathan appeared to have redeemed himself with a world-class save but from the resultant corner, Scott Mitchell got in front of his marker to head home.

H-T 1-1

If Town edged the first half they were even more dominant in the second but ultimately couldn’t make it count.

As the wind picked up, so Town’s pressure increased but quality in the final third and clear-cut chances were lacking while little luck was going our way as Della-Verde became the second player forced to go off injured.

Haringey had a penalty appeal turned down but on 65 minutes we were deservedly back in front as Cass collected Michael Bakare’s pass, drove into the area and shot powerfully past Ovenden.

Sam Owusu’s chip for Haringey was luckily only half hit but we continued to look the more threatening side and should have made the game safe with the best move of the game.

A sublime Cass back heel found Coker who played ball back into Jake’s path, only for him to blast over with his weaker left foot as his eyes lit up for the hattrick.

It proved a costly miss.  In the last minute of regular time the visitors, who had started to push forward ominously, were awarded a spotkick of their own for handball. 

After a lengthy delay as a result of a multi-player scuffle, Nathan moved to his left to save low down from Rakim Richards but Stefanos Georgiou was first to the loose ball, belting it into the net despite clearly having encroached into the area by several yards without either the referee or the linesman seemingly noticing.

It left a sour taste in the mouths of every Towner fan after a typically competitive derby that was followed by another unwanted incident near the tunnel.

Haringey had achieved what they set out to do by drilling arguably the largest hole to date into our playoff chances – hopefully one that can still be repaired in the final two outings.

Town

McDonald; Renee, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Isaac (Wilson-Braithwaite, 83), Youngs; Della-Verde (Coker, 63), Cunnington (Bakare 38), Cass.

Town Stung Badly By Hornets

Horsham 3 Enfield Town 1

Report by Martin Bentley

Enfield Town’s play-off hopes took a major hit at the Camping World Community Stadium as defensive errors, as well as a brilliantly executed freekick, saw a disciplined Horsham side take the three points.

 Town are still clinging on to fifth but are now just one point ahead of the chasing pack fronted by Cray, with three daunting-looking final games remaining.

Town welcomed back skipper Scott Thomas to the starting line-up, with Josh Okotcha replacing an ill Lewis Knight at the centre of the defence.

The game started with a bang with both sides squandering a good chance in the opening five minutes, Jake Cass for Town, and Jack Mazzone for the home side.

Apart from Mazzone’s 16th minute deflected effort that was gathered by Nathan McDonald, the main feature of the ensuing period were yellow cards for Andre Coker and Horsham’s Chris Sessegnon for a goalmouth dust-up, and one for Cass, following an incident involving Town’s centre forward and the home keeper Taylor Seymour’s water bottle.

Five minutes before half time though, the home side got their noses in front. Joe Payne pulled back Tom Kavanagh as he raced into the box, and Mazzone sent McDonald the wrong way from the penalty spot.

The second half saw Town introduce Adam Cunnington in place of Coker, and they got themselves back on level terms after eight minutes, Cass volleying in Payne’s right wing corner.

Five minutes later though, Town found themselves behind once again. Okotcha conceded a freekick 25 yards from goal, and home skipper Kavanagh proceeded to whip an unstoppable effort over the wall and past a helpless McDonald.

Once again Town chased an equaliser, their best opportunity falling to Cass, whose effort was well saved by Seymour.

Andy Leese introduced Khale da Costa and debutant Michael Bakare up front late on, but the home side made the game safe ten minutes from time, James Richmond’s miskick presenting Charlie Hester-Cook with an unmissable opportunity from ten yards.

 It was a frustrating end to a disappointing Town performance, and immediate improvement is required to cement that final play-off place, starting with arguably our most crucial game of the season at home to Haringey Borough on Monday.

“Defensively today we weren’t good enough,” said Andy afterwards. “Bitterly disappointing and it’s made it harder for us. It’s still in our hands but we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were today.”

Town: McDonald, Renee, Payne, Thomas (Bakare 76), Okotcha, Richmond, Taaffe, (da Costa 76) Youngs, Cass, Dayton, Coker (Cunnington 45).

Horsham Preview

Saturday’s trip to Horsham marks the first in an eagerly anticipated Easter double header for Town as we bid to hold on to fifth spot and potentially climb even higher, with Haringey Borough to visit us 48 hours later on Easter Monday.

Eighth in the league and still in with an outside chance of a playoff position themselves, Horsham can be a tough nut to crack as last weekend’s surprise win over Hornchurch illustrates.

Horsham were trailing 2-1 with less than 10 minutes to go when Hornchurch had a a goal disallowed for offside. Video footage suggests there was nothing wrong with the goal and Horsham scored twice more in the last  seven minutes.

Nearly 1,300 were at the game and a similar attendance is expected this weekend with a significant Town contingent.

The crowd is expected to be boosted by a kids go free for Easter policy.

In midweek, Horsham’s last chance of silverware vanished when the Hornets crashed to a 4-1 loss at Hastings to exit the Sussex Senior Cup at the quarter-final stage. 

But that should perhaps be viewed in isolation given their league position.

For any Towners planning to travel on Saturday, there is a supporters’ coach leaving at 11am prompt.

Departure Point: QE II Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield, EN1 3PL

Departure Time: Leave 11.00.a.m. PROMPT

Cost: £18.00.

For Bookings please contact Les Gold on 07979727563

or lesgold@enfieldtownfootballclub.co.uk

For those travelling independently, use the following link.

Town Still In Box Seat

Enfield Town 1 Cray Wanderers 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

If you can’t beat one of your nearest rivals, make sure you don’t lose.

So it was against Cray on Saturday though there was a sense of frustration at conceding an equaliser late on.

Cray, riding a four-game winning streak, will feel they did enough to deserve a point and the neutrals may agree with them. But nothing changes as far as the playoff places are concerned, meaning we remain in the box seat.

After the battle of fifth versus sixth, we still have a four-point gap in front of Cray and Lewes – who also drew – with four games left, every one of them a cup final.

With so much at stake for both sides it was a niggly, fragmented affair with several mini flare-ups off the ball, not helped by a heavy pitch, which passed a morning inspection.

Neither side could muster much rhythm in a war of attrition but the flow of the game wasn’t helped either by a spate of unnecessary stoppages caused in part by a referee making his Step 3 debut who was clearly out of his depth.

It wasn’t only the fact that he brandished a series of highly questionable bookings – five of them to Town and almost all them soft, yet now resulting in a financial sanction.

He also waved away at least two possible penalties and possibly a couple of red cards.

As for the game itself we got off to the perfect start on six minutes when visiting keeper Shaun Rowley, after making a superb double save moments earlier, proceeded to fumble a routine corner and Adam Cunnington pounced.

Cunns then appeared to get an elbow in the face, for which nothing was given, while a decent penalty shout for a Cray handball was waved away.

In a stop-start game of few clearcut chances, Town, unchanged from the impressive display against Hornchurch in midweek, might have been further ahead at the break.

The Wands offered little in the opening period and Freddie Carter was fortunate to only receive a caution for a late lunge on James Dayton.

Cray worked themselves back into the game in the final  minutes of the first half but there was little at halftime to suggest we couldn’t go on and win the game.

H-T 1-0

Perhaps it was inevitable, however, that we would drop off given the heavy pitch and that fact that Tuesday sapped a lot of our energy.

Whatever the reason, Cray started to move the ball quicker and commit more men forward.

Cue a timely double substitution by the management to try and help us get over the line.

It very nearly worked, only for the visitors to grab an 81st minute equaliser.  A goalbound Dan Bassett volley was blocked and when Cray kept the ball alive, Harrison Sodje followed up to unleash a sublime low effort into the corner from 25 yards.

James Richmond, who put in another excellent shift, came to our rescue by getting his body in the way of a Destiny Oladipo effort from eight yards but in the last 10 minutes we came again and so nearly snatched a winner.

Rowley tipped away a goalbound inswinging corner, then did even better in a goalmouth scramble to pull off a terrific close-range save from Khale da Costa who in the ensuing ruck of players appeared to be impeded.

Andy Leese rued the late equaliser. “Nothing changes in terms of the table but it’s still incredibly  frustrating,” said Andy. “I didn’t think we were going to concede. The lads tell me it was a foul on Khale at the end but we didn’t get beaten and now we go again in the last four games.”

Town:

McDonald; Renee, Knight, Richmond; Payne, Dayton (Isaac, 60), Taaffe (Della-Verde, 86), Youngs; Cass, Coker (De Costa, 60), Cunnington:

Cray Preview

Having put on a superb display in the 1-1 draw against Hornchurch in midweek, Enfield Town go into the final three weeks of the regular season with arguably an even more important six-pointer against Cray Wanderers tomorrow (kickoff 3pm)

In what is the crunch game of the day, fifth meets sixth separated by just four points — weather permitting, it has to be stressed.

Last Saturday’s 5-3 win over Horsham made it four wins out of four for free-scoring Cray, an indication of just how tough the encounter will be at QE11.

Cray are level with Lewes on 63 points with the Wands having a slightly better goal difference but any team down to Carshalton in 10th still have a realistic chance of making the play-offs.

 In the reverse fixture in October, we drew 1-1 with Cray, Marcus Wyllie netting for the Town, and although a similar result would keep our noses in front, a win would give us a terrific boost and keep us in pole position going into the final four games of the campaign.

Usually games with Cray have tended to be high scoring affairs and with plenty of fire power in both sides, Saturday promises to be a mightily significant as well as entertaining affair.

Every game now is like a cup final for us and your support will once again be invaluable as we edge nearer to achieving our goal.

There will be a pitch inspection at 10:30 AM on Saturday morning because of the rain we have been experiencing.

In the event the game is postponed it could be arranged for Tuesday 4 April.

ETFC Badge

New Arrivals

We are pleased to confirm that we have signed two players to help us negotiate a tough run-in to the season in our quest for a playoff place.

Hugely experienced forward Michael Bakare, whose international clearance didn’t come through in time to him to play against Hornchurch, has played for a plethora of clubs, most recently Helsinki IFK.

“We felt that was an area of the pitch where we needed to have more options,” Andy Leese said in the Hornchurch match programme.

We have also secured the services of Carlos Velasco, a Spanish rightback who has been training with us and has gone to Welwyn Garden City on a dual registration.

Welcome, gentlemen!

Classic Draw With Urchins

Enfield Town 1 Hornchurch 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

What a fine advertisement this was for Step 3 football.  Two teams going for it, individual battles all over the pitch, Town brave on the ball and in the end the points shared.

In terms of our run-in, it was extremely heartening, the only slight frustration being we couldn’t quite get the win against the league leaders.

The game plan, however, worked extremely well with two holding midfielders to close down space that might otherwise have been exploited by Hornchurch, combined with a counter-attacking system in which Andre Coker, especially, excelled.

Controlling the tempo of the game and matching our high-flying opponents augers well for what is in a sense an even bigger game on Saturday against Cray, the nearest play-off challengers below us who are now four points behind.

In what was effectively our game in hand – twice previously postponed due to the big freeze and county cup games – the rain that lashed down prior to kick-off thankfully survived a pitch inspection.

Town rewarded James Dayton for his excellent display against Herne Bay with a place in the starting line-up while Adam Cunnington was selected up top alongside Jake Cass.

Town started on the front foot and Tom Wraight was booked for a late challenge on Sam Youngs. After 11 minutes, a 25-yard Joe Payne freekick couldn’t have got much closer as it skimmed the top of the bar.

Payne was then called into action at the other end as he somehow cut out Liam Nash’s first-time shot.

Next came a chance for the visitors’ Jordan Clark who found space on the edge of the box but thankfully placed his shot too close to Nathan McDonald.

As the end to end action continued, McDonald dropped on the ball in a goalmouth scramble whilst for the Town James Richmond saw his goalbound header cleared away.

 James Dayton went into the book for a foul on Sam Higgins but on 37 minutes Coker produced a moment of magic, turning inside his marker before lashing a shot goalwards, only for Joe Wright – one of three ex-Towners in a red shirt – to turn it aside.

Hornchurch appeals for a Lewis Knight handball went unheeded and as half time approached, so both goals came – within 30 seconds of each other.  

First, Nash converted a Clark cross from the left but before Hornchurch could celebrate, we equalised straight from the restart.

Johnville Renee, who spent most of the evening looking after chief dangerman Ade Youssef,  made a rare foray forward, exchanged passes with Coker and fired home (Pictured).

H-T 1-1.

Not surprisingly, given the frantic pace of a breathless opening 45 minutes, there was a quieter start to the second period which brought two more yellow cards, firstly for former Towner Mickey Parcell and then Lewis Knight.

Urged on by the 600-plus crowd, we kept probing and midway through the half Coker broke clear but was stopped by a fine Rickie Hayles tackle. At the other end Richmond did brilliantly to fend off Yusuff.

With 15 minutes left, we made a double change – Khale Da Costa replacing James Dayton and Lyle Della-Verde for the tiring Coker.

Della-Verde was quickly involved with a pair of freekicks centrally placed just outside the area.

Against most opponents, at least one of them would have gone in. But Hornchurch had done their homework and both efforts were  headed off the line by another former Towner, Remi Sutton, though from the second one – in the final minute of normal time — Cunnington so nearly converted the rebound to win the game, Joe Wright coming to the rescue.

Seven minutes earlier, Hornchurch themselves might have snatched a late advantage when Higgins, taking advantage of the offside flag inexplicably staying down, shot towards the far corner, only for McDonald to thankfully save with an outstretched leg.

It was that kind of game but the fact that we had double the shots on target says much about how we performed and Andy Leese was delighted.

“I thought we were excellent,” said Andy. “Probably a spell in the first half where we lost our way a little but the second half I thought we dominated. Really heartened by today’s performance: disciplined, battling. We just lacked a little bit of quality at times but generally really pleased.”

Town:

McDonald; Renee, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Taaffe, Youngs, Dayton (Da Costa, 74), Coker (Della Verde, 74); Cunnington, Cass

Hornchurch preview

It’s finally come round and promises to be a cracker.

Tuesday night we entertain league leaders Hornchurch  (kickoff 7.45) at the start of a tough six-game run-in that will determine where we end up in the league.

It’s a game we have all been waiting for, with three ex-Towners possibly in their starting line-up, and has been given extra spice by the fact that the Urchins lost at the weekend while our confidence has been boosted with back-to-back away wins.

Victory tomorrow night in what is effectively our game in hand will put us just two points behind Canvey and Aveley, who are third and fourth, and we are expecting a bumper crowd, probably our biggest of the season.

Hornchurch’s shock 3-2 home defeat to Margate on Saturday after being two goals in front was their first in the league for 12 games stretching back to the end of January.

In the corresponding match against us at the start of the season, we narrowly lost 3-2 at their place. We all know about their fire power but on our day we are a match for anyone and will be out to avenge that result as well as the heartbreaking playoff semifinal loss at the end of last season.

With sixth-placed Cray Wanderers to come at the weekend – another massive six-pointer – it’s all about maintaining our resolve during what promises to be a nail-biting finale over the next month when we play four of the top six.

COYT!

Towners keep Herne at bay

Herne Bay 1 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Three inspired substitutions from the management team and a couple of magnificent saves from Nathan McDonald got us over the line against a side who looked far from relegation material.

So, it has to be said, did an absolute worldie from Adam Cunnington to restore our lead after we had been pegged back by a team that had won three of their previous four despite their perilous league position.

Winning back-to-back away games cannot be under-estimated  in terms of restoring confidence and has set matters up beautifully for our game in hand on Tuesday night against  leaders Hornchurch and a chance to avenge last season’s playoff semifinal defeat.

Some things, however, are more important than football. We can only wish Herne Bay captain Laurence Harvey well after he was stretchered off with concussion and a suspected broken jaw following a sickening accidental early clash of heads that required immediate and then lengthy medical treatment.

Bay appeared to recover well from the setback but on 21 minutes we took the lead playing into the wind in yellow and white. A Joe Payne long throw was flicked on by Jake Cass and when Sam Youngs laid the ball back into his path,  Jake thumped it home.

As Bay rallied, a superb block by Lewis Knight thwarted the dangerous Jerson Dos Santos, playing only his second game for the Kent side.

Yet one minute later some clever interplay between Dos Santos and Mike West resulted in the former being tripped by Knight. Up stepped Marcel Barrington to send McDonald the wrong way from the spot to level at 1-1.

With their tails up, the hosts almost snatched the lead on the stroke of halftime when Barrington worked his way into a scoring position, only for his shot to be blocked for a corner.

H-T 1-1

Despite being forced into another substitution during the break, the home side came within a whisker of a second goal when a well-worked free kick found defender Dan Johnson who fired narrowly over from close range.

Cue the first of three Town changes, James Dayton replacing Mo Kamara and bringing stability and composure to the centre of midfield.

Johnville Renee saw his delicious low centre evade everyone in front of goal while Cass, a handful all afternoon for the home defence, carried the ball 30 yards before playing in Khale da Costa who blasted over.

The next goal was always going to prove crucial and Herne Bay might well have had it, only for McDonald to keep the scores level. First he managed a spectacular finger-tip save to keep out Jack Sammoutis’ low 25-yard effort. Then he pulled off an equally brilliant flying stop to deny Barrington.

On came Cunnington and Lyle  Della-Verde and the game quickly swung our way.

On 76 minutes, just after Harry Brooks had been forced into a double save, Cunnington found himself in a pocket of space and unleashed an unstoppable 25-yard screamer that almost burst the net (pictured).

Now it was a question of making the game safe and with time running out, Della-Verde was blatantly tripped as he outpaced his marker while bursting into the area from the right.

It was the 14th penalty Bay had conceded this season and Cass smashed it straight down the middle to the delight of a healthy Town following in the 604-strong crowd on Non-League Day.

“Another important win as we challenge to secure a top-five place,” said Andy Leese. “We had to weather a couple of spells of pressure as you’d expect away from home.”

“They didn’t really trouble us much apart from two stops from Nathan. We made changes at a good time in the game and all the subs made a significant contribution to the result. It sets us up nicely for this week with two more difficult games to come.”

Town McDonald;  Renee,  Knight, Richmond, Payne; Taaffe ( Della-Verde 69’), Youngs,  Kamara ( Dayton 59’), Da Costa (Adam Cunnington 69’

Herne Bay Preview

Town make their first ever visit to Herne Bay on Saturday for what promises to be an eagerly anticipated occasion at both ends of the table.

Just as we need maximum points to stay in the hunt for a playoff place with the mother of all run-ins to come, so Herne Bay are fighting for their lives at the bottom and are making a serious fist of trying to hold on to their Step 3 status having been promoted at the end of last season.

This is the last of five successive away league games for the Town and three points would set us up nicely for next Tuesday’s mouth-watering home tie with Hornchurch.

The Bay may be currently 19th in the table but are only two points behind Kingstonian and had a great result at Carshalton last Saturday, winning 3-1 with goals from top scorer Marcel Barrington (two) and Finn O’Mara.

In fact they are in a timely rich vein of form having won three of their last four including home wins over Bognor and Horsham, breezing past the latter 3-0.

In the corresponding game back in October Barrington also scored twice but wasn’t enough to stop us running out 4-2 winners.

If you’re travelling to Herne Bay you may find this link helpful

https://www.hernebayfootballclub.co.uk/a/how-to-find-us–directions-37039.html

The Club will also be running a coach. The Details are:

Departure Point: QE Stadium, Donkey Lane, Enfield, Middx. Departure Time: Leave 11.00.a.m. PROMPT.  

Cost: £18.00

For bookings please contact Les Gold on 07979 727563

lesgold@enfieldtownfooballclub.co.uk

COYT

That’s more like it

Corinthian Casuals 0 Enfield Town 3

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town got back to winning ways on Saturday as we comfortably dispatched relegation-threatened Corinthian Casuals in what was a must-win game to get us back on track after recent disappointments.

Despite a couple of fresh injuries, we deservedly took the points against a side for whom another defeat meant the departure of the manager who was shown the door almost immediately afterwards.

There was a determination and enthusiasm about Town straight from the off, with Sam Youngs moving back into a holding position and Mo Camara and Lewis Taaffe further forward.

Any nerves the players might have felt were settled after just eight minutes as we went in front, aided in part by home goalkeeper Callum Coulter. A poor clearance was pounced on by Camara whose curling effort came back off the woodwork and was finished off by Khale da Costa for his second goal in as many games.

Simba Kudiywa shot into our inside netting but most of the attacking was in the opposition’s half and Taaffe, frequently finding space near the back stick, had one shot cleared off the line and half hit another  when racing unmarked into the box. Thankfully Lewis was not seriously hurt when clattering into the flimsiest of perimeter fences at one point.

We did have a serious let-off when Joe Halsey put a great chance wide but just after the half-hour mark we doubled our lead when Jake Cass got to the ball before Coulter who had no option but to bring him down.

It was a clear spotkick and Jake did what he does best by smashing the penalty into the roof of the net.

It was almost three when successive flicked headers from Cass and Adam Cunnington set up Johnville Renee who bent his effort just over.

McDonald had to be alert to palm an accidental back-header by James Richmond away for a corner before Casuals’ Shaun McAuley lashed inches wide. But the hosts couldn’t shoot straight and we were well worth our halftime lead.

H-T 0-2

A grimacing Cunnington had to stagger off early in the second half but we continued to pose the greater threat as Da Costa dragged his shot just wide after more fine work by Cass whose hold-up play was excellent all afternoon.

There then ensued a brief halt in play as the referee intervened following a complaint by Nathan that he had been slapped by a couple of frustrated Casuals behind the goal.

Thankfully the incident wasn’t serious and a steward was put in place to avert any more disturbances.

Substitute Andre Coker and Cass both had further efforts to extend our lead before linking up to make the game safe with a gorgeous goal on 70 minutes.

Coker cleverly dummied his marker when collecting a raking Lewis Knight pass, played a one-two with Cass and dinked the keeper with a sublime finish (pictured).

Knight preserved the clean sheet with a fantastic double block late on, much to the delight of the travelling Town faithful, who made the trip despite one of the least enjoyable car journeys at the best of times being made all the longer by the train strike.

With a rapidly improving Herne Bay to come next Saturday, followed by the toughest run-in of all the playoff contenders,  Andy Leese was a satisfied man after a professional job in the fourth of five successive away league games.

“Pleased to see us defending better today and taking some of the chances we created,” Andy said. “They didn’t really trouble us in the second half after a change of shape.”

“We had some better performances today and it was good to have Cass back fit.  It was important to win with everybody else around us winning.  The result helped our goal difference which will be important in a few weeks’ time. Hopefully this restores some confidence to the group for the remaining games.”

Town: McDonald; Renee, Richmond, Knight, Payne; Taaffe, Youngs, Kamara, Da Costa (Della-Verde 73); Cass (Wyllie, 82), Cunnington (Coker, 56)

Casuals Preview

Eight games to go and the toughest of run-ins. Which makes tomorrow’s fixture at Corinthian Casuals, the fourth of five consecutive away league games, so important.

Disappointing though our Middlesex Senior Cup exit might have been, we are still in those vital playoff positions but we need a win to boost morale.

What better chance to collect three valuable points than our visit to a Casuals team languishing near the foot of the table?

Make no mistake, they are just as keen as us to grab a maximum points haul and as we know very well, sides near the bottom are fighting for their lives.

Last Saturday, Casuals lost 1-4 at home to Carshalton and haven’t actually won in the league since Jan 2 — over two months ago.

But home draws against Hornchurch and Canvey Island prove they can be a formidable challenge on their day.

So, of course, can we and we can only hope the injuries we sustained on Tuesday are not too serious as we approach the business end of the season.

Due to limited demand, we will NOT be running a supporters’ coach to this game

Here is the link for those hoping to travel by road, given tomorrow’s train strike

:     http://www.corinthian-casuals.com/getting-here.html

Town Blow Last Trophy Chance

Enfield Town 1 Harrow Borough 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Enfield Town’s recent inconsistency cost us dearly on Tuesday night as we bowed of the Middlesex Senior Cup in the semi-finals with another indifferent performance.

Hopes were high that we could reach the final of the only cup competition left to us this season but despite taking a first-half lead, we allowed our visitors back into the game and never recovered.

To make matters worse, we suffered a number of injuries with no indication yet as to the extent of their seriousness.

On a cold, wet and windy night there was no indication in the first half that we would have any difficulty dispatching an under-strength Borough who are in the lower reaches of their division, also in Step 3.

Khale da Costa, signed a few hours earlier from Step 2 Chelmsford, showed what a strong asset he will be for us with several penetrating runs.

And it was Khale who gave us a 25th-minute lead on his debut, following up to score after a Joe Payne shot was parried but not held by Harrow’s 19-year-old keeper (goal pictured).

We had several other gilt-edged chances, notably two James Richmond headers and Marcus Wyllie thrashing the ball over from close range.

A limp Harrow team offered little apart from a dangerous Benjamin de Lacey Turner shot on the counter-attack, saved by Nathan McDonald.

H-T 0-0

With Payne taking a knock, he was replaced at halftime by Joshua Okotcha while Scott Thomas came on shortly afterwards for Chez Isaac, only for the luckless Scott to last only a matter a minutes before he, too, had to be substituted.  

Harrow themselves had brought a couple of their big guns off the bench for the second half but there was still no reason for our sudden capitulation.

On 64 minutes, Lewis Knight was dispossessed as he  waited for the ball to go out of play and from the resulting move, Anointed Chukwu laid on De Lacy-Turner to drive home the equaliser.

Goals change games – none more so than this as Harrow unexpectedly took control. 

Chukwu’s turn and shot saw the ball come off the bar, De Lacy-Turner thankfully steering the rebound inches wide. McDonald’s hands were then stung by a 30-yard Moore piledriver, Richmond just managing to clear the rebound from under the nose of Kai Omoko Brosnan.

Two more decent Harrow efforts were blocked by a defence that was beginning to work overtime. And just as it looked like we might force penalties, we lost the game in the final minute of normal time.

A needless foul by Lyle Della-Verde just outside the box saw Moore dummy over the ball and Quaine Bartley smash home the freekick via a wicked deflection off the wall.

It may have been a cruel way to go out but we were the architects of our own downfall.

Win the next two games, however – both away at relegation-threatened sides – and we can look ahead with renewed confidence for the difficult league run-in.

Town: McDonald, Da Costa (Coker, 68), Payne (Okotcha, 45), Camara, Knight,  Richmond, Taaffe, Isaac (Thomas, 48; sub Youngs, 52), Dayton (Cunnington, 70), Wyllie, Lyle Della-Verde

Town Add Da Costa

We are very pleased to announce the signing of winger Khale Da Costa from Chelmsford City. Khale, 29, is a former Fulham and Luton youngster with plenty of experience at the higher end of the non-league pyramid with the likes of St Albans, Braintree, Concord Rangers and Tonbridge Angels.

Gaffer Andy Leese said: “We are pleased to welcome Khale to the club. He is well known to us and will bring experience and quality to the squad. He’s been playing at step two with Chelmsford this season but has experience at step one as well. He was keen to come here which is what we like and will boost the squad for the run in. Please welcome Khale as he goes into the squad for tonight’s game”

Welcome, Khale!

Cup Semi-final

Tomorrow evening sees us take on Harrow Borough  for a place in the Middlesex Senior Cup Final against either Hayes & Yeading or Brentford B (kickoff 7.45).

This is a welcome relief from our exhausting league campaign and gives us a fantastic chance to stay on course for a significant trophy.

Like us, Harrow are in Step 3 and play in the Southern League Premier Division South.

They may be in the lower reaches of that division but have had some eye-catching results this season, not least in the FA trophy where they took National League Halifax Town to penalties before exiting in the fourth round.

Inconsistent Town Slip To Fifth

Lewes 1 Enfield Town 0

Report by Martin Bentley

A lifeless Enfield Town performance at the Dripping Pan saw them slip to defeat at the hands of Lewes, with a 41st minute strike from Deon Moore sufficient to secure the three points.

With all of the teams around them, Bishops Stortford excepted, managing to win, Town dropped to fifth place in the table and further into the chasing pack aiming for a play-off place.

Town lined up with Johnville Renee playing against his old team (pictured) and recalled Chez Isaac and Andre Coker to the starting line-up. Reverting to a 4-3-3 formation they began slowly, with the home side’s slick passing game a marked contrast to Town’s more direct approach.

Lewes, however, had only a couple of blocked and off-target efforts to show for their endeavours, and Town slowly grew into the game.

Coker was off target with a 13th minute effort, but clear chances were at a premium until the 40th minute. A Scott Thomas corner was cleared by the home defence to the industrious Moore near the halfway line. With Town short-handed at the back, the Lewes striker was able to run through and beat Nathan McDonald from the edge of the box.

H-T 1-0

No-one, however, suspected that this would prove to be the last meaningful effort on goal in the entire game.

The second half saw the home side control possession for long periods without troubling McDonald further, and Town had to wait until the 85th minute for their only shot on target, Lyle Della Verde’s freekick looping off the defensive wall to be flipped over the bar by home keeper Lewis Carey.

Apart from Lyle’s effort, the final ten minutes of the game were truly bizarre, with Lewes content to retain possession in their own half, and Town seemingly content to watch them do so. Definitely a game to file under ‘must do better’!

Town: McDonald, Renee, Payne, Thomas (Kamara 74), Knight, Richmond, Isaac, Youngs, Cunnington, Wyllie (Della Verde 57), Coker (Taaffe 79).

Lewes Up Next

After a thrilling draw at Hastings on Tuesday, we are back on the road this Saturday with an important trip to our friends and promotion rivals Lewes.

And we come into it off the back of a three-game unbeaten run as we look to revive the flawless form that has got us so far up the table.

Versatility will be key for Town as it showed on Tuesday. With top scorer Jake Cass still nursing an injury sustained last weekend at Bognor, Adam Cunnington provided the attacking spark and opened the scoring with a header. Wing-back Johnville Renee could also prove important; until this month he had been a Lewes player.

Town will have to be wary of the dangerous Joe Taylor in the Lewes frontline. Having already scored 23 goals this season, 13 of which have been in his last 12 games, he is someone that the Town defence will need to carefully marshal all afternoon. Winger Razz Coleman-De Graft has 10 goals for the season and was among the scorers when Lewes earned a 4-2 win at the QEII in October.

Lewes are without a win in five and will be eager for the points, but they are a potential banana skin for Town, having won the sides’ last three meetings, scoring 4 times in each. Remarkably, the Rooks have not lost on their own patch all season – 8 wins and 7 draws, so the traveling support will need to be in fine voice to spur on the boys to inflict their first home defeat of the season and hopefully bring home 3 points!

  • Address: The Dripping Pan, Mountfield Rd, Lewes BN7 2XA
  • Tickets: Adults £12/Concessions £8
  • By Train: 3 minutes’ walk from Lewes Station, served every 30 minutes from London Victoria.
  • Food/Drink: Loaded Fries & Hotdogs and Pie & Mash are available from Lewes’ two food kiosks. The Rook Inn bar down the stairs of the main stand is well-stocked with craft beers, ciders and soft drinks.

Point Gained in Battle of Hastings

Hastings United 1 Enfield Town 1

Report by Glyn Smith

The 50-or-so hardy Town supporters who made another long trip to the Sussex coast were rewarded with us gaining a valuable point in a highly entertaining game against a very good Hastings side.

With Jake Cass absent due to the hamstring strain he suffered on Saturday,  Adam Cunnington came into an otherwise unchanged starting eleven, who again lined up in a 5-3-2 formation. James Dayton took Cunnington’s place on the bench for a game that was rescheduled after being called off in January because of the big freeze.

In temperatures almost as cold as back then, Town started on the front foot and in the ninth minute a run into the box by Sam Youngs ended with a good save by Louis Rogers in the Hastings goal to prevent Marcus Wyllie scoring from 10 yards out.

 Eight minutes later and great work by the very impressive Johnville Renee saw his deep cross to the far post headed home by Cunnington (pictured) to put Town one up.

Renee continued to be an attacking threat for Town but Hastings responded to going behind with some impressive passing moves without really threatening an equalizer until the half hour mark. Town failed to fully clear their lines following a Hastings freekick and Ben Pope curled a shot from around 30 yards that was destined for the top corner until Nathan McDonald brilliantly dived full length to tip the ball away for a corner in what is probably the save of the season so far.

Four minutes later Town lifted some of the increasing pressure with a cross by Wyllie that saw Cunnington slide in and narrowly miss the target from 10 yards.

The equalizer that had been threatened came two minutes before halftime.

A slick free-flowing passing move from the hosts saw Smith slide the ball into the onion bag with great aplomb past an exposed McDonald.

H-T 1-1

Almost immediately from the restart Cunnington put Wyllie though on goal but his shot was saved well by Rogers at the expense of a corner. Gbode for Hastings responded with a low cross that was well held by McDonald.

A 56th minute cross by Mo Kamara saw Cunnington again thwarted at close range, but with Hastings gaining more of a foothold Andy Leese replaced Dequaine Wilson-Braithwaite with Andre Coker and changing to a 4-3-3 formation.

Coker made an almost immediate impact by putting Cunnington through on goal, but as with Wyllie’s earlier chance Rogers again saved the one on one. Hastings broke quickly from the resulting corner and James Richmond was booked for fouling the dangerous Smith.

With 20 minutes remaining Lewis Taaffe came on for Wyllie and his free kick shortly after saw Richmond’s header easily held by Rogers.

As the game became more stretched Chez Isaac replaced Kamara and with 10 minutes remaining another quick break by Hastings saw a low 30-yard drive held by McDonald. Isaac, though, was booked shortly afterwards for a foul on the edge of Town’s penalty area, but fortunately the freekick was curled over the bar.

As the game went into stoppage time another good low save by McDonald from a long shot, and subsequent block by Lewis Knight maintained the status quo.

In a final twist deep into stoppage time Hastings gained a throw in level with the edge of Town’s penalty area. They immediately made their final substitution by bringing on Ollie Black, and his long throw into the middle of the box was back headed over the bar and on to the roof of the net by a Hastings player.

Town – McDonald, Wilson-Braithwaite (Coker 59), Payne, Thomas, Knight, Richmond, Kamara (Isaac 77), Youngs, Cunnington, Wyllie (Taaffe 70), Renee. Unused substitutes Dayton, Della-Verde.

Off to Sussex Again

Six weeks after the original fixture was called off because of the big freeze, our rescheduled game away to Hastings takes place Tuesday night in what promises to be a challenging encounter.

Three days after our much-needed victory over Bognor, we return to the Sussex coast to face a U’s team who are slowly climbing the table and are now just four points behind Town in seventh place.

On Saturday Hastings, who we beat 1-0 in the reverse fixture in November, were held 1-1 by improving Wingate & Finchley, conceding a late equalizer after Joe Gbode had given them a first-half lead.

But they have only lost one of their last five encounters and seem likely to have another bumper crowd to spur them on in what should be a fantastic atmosphere.

Towners Sink The Rocks

Bognor Regis 0 Enfield Town 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Two excellent first-half goals, coupled with clubs around us dropping points, made it a highly satisfying  journey to the  West Sussex coast for Town as we got back to winning ways in the first of five successive away league outings.

Playing in a 3-5-2 formation and with both new signings making their debuts, we totally dominated the first half, then showed the other side of our capabilities by digging in after the break.

Town came flying out of the blocks as Jake Cass burst through, only to smash his effort over the crossbar.

A late challenge on Johnville Renee, playing as a right wingback on his Town debut, resulted in  an early yellow card for Joe Rabbetts – Bognor’s player of the month for the last three months.

Cass saw another effort deflected  past the post before James Richmond missed from a mere two yards as he came up for a corner, holding his head in his hands as he somehow wellied the ball over when it seemed easier to score.

New boy Mo Camara, in central midfield alongside Scott Thomas, fired straight at the keeper before Joe Payne went into the book for a late challenge on Alfie Bridgman.

On 35 minutes, Town got what their attacking play deserved. With Bognor screaming for a penalty after Nathan Odokonyero went down in the box, we surged up the end  and Cass played the ball across for Marcus Wyllie – a threat all afternoon – to supply the finish and wheel away in celebration (pictured)

Three minutes the lead was doubled, with scorer and provider reversed.  Matt Rowley spread himself to keep out Wyllie’s effort but Cass showed fantastic control to thump home the rebound on the volley.

Sadly for Jake and the team, he had to be replaced just before halftime with a hamstring injury, the extent of which was being assessed.

Cameron Black’s toe poke moments later, clutched on the line by Nathan McDonald, was the closest Bognor had come to scoring  in a half we comfortably controlled.

H-T 0-2

Although Bognor looked far more menacing after the break, they didn’t carve out the clearcut chances their possession had threatened.

Dan Gifford diverted a corner over our bar when unmarked on the back post while Isaac Olaniyan’s dangerous cross evaded everyone.

We were still threatening on the counter and Richmond’s flicked header found Adam Cunnington whose own header was directed straight at Rowley.

 Kamara’s physical presence was eye-catching throughout for Town, his only blemish coming when he went into the book.

As Bognor’s desperation grew, so they threw men forward but got little change out of our defence, back to performing as a composed unit.

And there was still time for substitute Andre Coker to twist and turn his way into the box before forcing Rowley into a smart save.

“A much-needed win and better performance from us,” said Andy Leese after we cemented fourth spot and put pressure on those above us, with two more long trips to come this week.

“We adapted our shape and it gave us what we wanted. Bognor may have had the possession in the second half but I felt we defended well and created a few decent opportunities ourselves. Pleased with Mo and JV on their debuts. Both slotted in really well after just one session with us. The win sets us up nicely for a hugely challenging week.”

Town:

McDonald; Wilson-Braithwaite, Knight, Richmond; Payne, Youngs (Isaac, 67), Thomas, Camara, Renee; Wyllie (Coker 76), Cass (Cunnington 44)

Bognor Preview

After a three-game blip that didn’t thankfully do us much damage as far as the table is concerned, we aim to get back to winning ways on  Saturday with the first of five successive away league fixtures.

We travel to Bognor Regis who are currently 15th in the table with 37 points from 33 games. Back in October we drew 1-1 at the QEII Stadium, Jake Cass equalising from a penalty after Nick Dembele had given the visitors an early lead.

Bognor are one of those teams who have definitely under-performed this season and have lost their last four in the league.

 Yet they beat Bishops Stortford and Haringey in early February and we may well need to keep concentration for 90 minutes to take maximum points before another long haul to Hastings three days later.

Bognor were given a strong confidence boost on Tuesday by thrashing Bexhill United 6-1 to reach the semifinals of Sussex Senior Cup.

If you are travelling on Saturday the information on the link below maybe helpful.

https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/bognorregistownfc/a/first-time-visitor-information-47966.html

There is also a supporters’ coach to both Bognor and Hastings. You can book your seat by contacting Les Gold on 07979 727563 or email lesgold@enfieldtownfootballclub.co.uk

As some of you will know we have signed versatile midfielder Mohammed Camara on a dual registration basis from Concord Rangers. Andy Leese described him as a great boost to our squad and he should be available for selection on Saturday

Our new Mo

We are delighted to announce that versatile midfielder Mo Kamara has joined us from National League South Concord Rangers on a dual registration

“We are delighted to welcome Mo to the club, he’s a player we know well from his impressive performances against us and he’ll provide a fantastic boost to the squad as we approach the business end of the season,” said Andy Leese.

“Thanks to Rob Small and Concord Rangers for their help and professionalism in getting this over the line.”

Town Fail To Open Gate

Enfield Town 0 Margate 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

 (with contributions from Jake Coburn)

Frustration was the name of the game for Town as we were held by a battling Margate despite being in control for long periods.

The good news is that we are still fourth with plenty of games to go in our quest for another playoff place and even automatic promotion.

And the fact that we welcomed almost 650 spectators on our annual Women and Girls Day that created a real feelgood feeling.

The not so good news is that we have taken only one point from nine, have failed to score in open play  in five outings and now face five away league games in March.

Conditions weren’t easy on a bumpy pitch in a biting wind, rendering chances few and far between though it was clear from the very outset that Margate came looking for a point.

Town were unlucky to lose Andre Coker to injury on 20 minutes after he went down for the third time and limped off holding his right leg.

His replacement, Lyle Della-Verde, almost gave us the lead seven minutes later,  latching on to a neat pass from Sam Youngs before shifting the ball onto his favourite left foot and unleashing a venomous strike that was palmed round the post by Daniel Jinadu.

The only other notable incident in the first half were the theatrics of Margate’s Phillip Roberts, booked for simulation after tumbling in the penalty area on the stroke of half time.

H-T 0-0

For some reason – maybe as a result of those back to back 3-0 defeats —  we just didn’t have enough confidence on the ball and were therefore short on spark and invention.

Our best chance came on 53 minutes as a Joe Payne long throw was flicked on by the tall presence of Adam Cunnington and fell to Lewis Taaffe, whose low shot was brilliantly saved by the feet of Jinadu. Cunnington also had a shot blocked by Nathan Wood (pictured).

Margate’s only real threats  came either side of the  hour mark. First Roberts flashed a left-footed cross beyond everyone in the area when all it needed was a touch goalwards. Then  Roberts was teed up on the edge of the box by Harvey Smith but his fierce effort was bravely blocked by James Richmond.

That was all Margate delivered and as the clock ticked down, Town threw on top scorer Jake Cass in the hope of finding a late winner.

His first touch very nearly did so, a header from a Taaffe corner dropping agonisingly wide of Jinedu’s goal.

And in the 82nd minute Cass was denied again by a timely challenge from Sinn’ Kaye Christie as he was about the pull the trigger.

All that was left was for the referee to book four players, two from each team, following an ugly brawl in stoppage time.

One piece of encouragement for Town was the solid performance of Josh Okotcha who was given a rare start in the absence of Lewis Knight – not permitted to play against his parent club – and showed what a useful member of the squad he is.

“Very frustrating performance yesterday. We dominated possession but it counted for nothing in the end,” said Andy Leese.

“Only positives were that we didn’t concede and gained a point. We have this week to reset ahead of a crucial run of away games.”

Town: McDonald; Wilson-Braithwaite (Cass 67), Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Isaac (Wordsworth 73), Youngs, Taaffe; Cunnington, Coker (Della-Verde, 20)

Celebrating Women in Football

Saturday’s home game against Margate is important in so many ways.

Firstly we need to bounce back after rare back to back defeats against Canvey Island and Folkestone.

Secondly it’s our last home league game until we meet Hornchurch at the end of March.

But perhaps most importantly of all, to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, we are opening our turnstiles free of charge to all women and girls to mark our Annual Ladies Day.

We would like as many female fans as possible to come and watch in a safe, fun and affordable environment and to join our club whether as players at adult/youth level, members, supporters or volunteers.

Margate will be without midfielder Sam Blackman, as he completes a two-game ban, as well as defender Emmanuel Oke who starts a three-match suspension while midfielder Cameron Brodie has been recalled by parent club Dartford.

But that will allow other players to step up to the plate and the club will have been buoyed by their midweek win over Cray Valley PM to reach the last four of the Kent Senior Cup.

In the league Margate are 16th and although they have taken two points out of a possible 15, they only narrow lost to Bishop’s Stortford in mid-February and have proved at times this season they can be formidable opposition on their day.

Kick-off on Saturday is 3pm and we are hoping for another bumper attendance to match our Public Services Day.

Town Feel Folkestone Force

Folkestone Invicta 3 Enfield Town 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Despite being the better team for much of the second half, Enfield Town suffered a second successive 3-0 away defeat on Tuesday night with manager Andy Leese saying he was “bitterly disappointed”

Not since late August/early September had Town lost successive league games but a mixture of defensive mistakes, poor collective decision making and bad luck cost them dearly on the Kent coast.

Fortunately Town didn’t lose ground in the leading positions and remain in fourth but we have now played as many games as everyone else – and one more than Hornchurch – making the need for three points at home to Margate on Saturday even more paramount.

The management team made a couple of changes to the side beaten 3-0 at Canvey Island with Marcus Wyllie and Lewis Taaffe both given starts and Adam Cunnington unavailable.

But within 12 minutes we were beaten for pace down our right-hand side and Ira Jackson’s cross was turned in by new signing Louis Collins who looked threatening all evening.

Although we tried to respond, we invariably chose the wrong options in attack or were quickly closed down and were perhaps fortunate to go in at the break only one down. A teasing  low cross eluded  three Folkestone forwards in the box while Jackson got between Lewis Knight and  the advancing Nathan McDonald to lob the ball inches over the bar.

H-T 0-1

Whatever Andy said to the players at halftime, we came out with loads more energy and urgency and almost levelled straight away as Patrick Ohman in the Folkestone goal scrambled ball clear.

Jake Cass then flicked a Taaffe freekick over the bar and Wyllie sent in an excellent low cross that flashed across the six-yard box with no Enfield Town player to meet it.

Lewis Knight was booked for simulation when we had a decent shout for a penalty but just as we began to look the more likely of the two sides to score, we fell further behind on 70 minutes.

Scott Thomas lost crucial possession on the halfway line and the ball was fed into the path of Jackson who cut inside and unleashed a curling effort beyond McDonald.

Unlike at Canvey on Saturday, we continued to probe but had no luck at all when Wyllie hit the post with an angled drive (pictured).

The introduction of Andre Coker had an immediate impact but once again we were made to pay for hesitancy at the back. McDonald managed to parry Jackson’s shot following a poor back-header and Ibrahim Olutade reacted quicker than two Town players by sliding in to convert.

As we continued to go forward, a Wyllie volley was well saved but it was too little, too late in what was generally another below-par display.

“Bitterly disappointed with the performance,” said Andy afterwards. “More of what we saw last Saturday unfortunately. We are still in a great position but we have to respond this week in training and the next game.”

Town:

 McDonald, Wilson-Braithwaite (Okotcha, 86), Payne, Thomas (Lyle Della-Verde, 78), Knight, Richmond, Isaac, Youngs, Cass, Taaffe (Coker, 68), Marcus Wyllie

Folkestone on Tuesday

Following our disappointing defeat last Saturday, we have an ideal opportunity to immediately bounce back tomorrow, Tuesday, when we visit Folkestone Invicta on the Kent coast

Folkestone are currently mid-table following their 3-2 win over Corinthian Casuals on Saturday but have taken seven points from their last three games and are perhaps one of those sides who are under-performing in the division.

In the reverse fixture, our very first game of the season, we drew 1-1 at home and will be looking to hopefully improve on that at the The Buildkent Stadium, kickoff 7.45

COYT

Gulls Clip Town’s Wings

Canvey Island 3 Enfield Town 0

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Canvey Island was the birthplace of Dr. Feelgood, one of Britain’s best-loved rhythm and blues bands.

But there was precious little of the feelgood factor to take away from Town’s visit to that particular corner of Essex on Saturday.

With skipper Scott Thomas’ three-match ban overturned two days previously, there was every reason to be optimistic of a positive result at The Movie Starr Stadium.

Instead we came away well beaten after one of our most disappointing displays of the season.

Make no mistake, this is one of the toughest grounds to get a result – as both Hornchurch and Bishop’s Stortford have discovered this season.

But after an even first half of few clearcut chances in windy conditions, there was little indication we would come unstuck so badly.

Chez Isaac had arguably the best chance of the opening 45 minutes with a speculative 25-yard drive that was brilliantly tipped over by Bobby Mason while at the other end, Conor Hubble flashed a shot inches over our bar.

H-T 0-0

The first goal was all important and unfortunately it went to the Gulls on 56 minutes.

Straight from a set-piece of our own, Evans Kouassi – who troubled us all afternoon just as he done in our 5-1 FA Cup defeat on the same ground earlier in the season – got the better of Wilson-Braithwaite and slid the ball into the area for the on-rushing Joe Paxman to fire home.

Canvey’s lead was doubled four minutes later, again following a move down our right. Somehow we didn’t deal with Kouassi’s driving run and when he cut the ball inside, Bradley Sach swept it home.

Had we pulled a goal back, who knows what might have happened and we so nearly did,  Mason pulling off a world-class save to keep out a Sam Youngs header (pictured)

Sadly with seven minutes remaining, it went from bad to worse for Town as we lost concentration at a Hubble freekick and allowed Rob Girdlestone to convert at the near post.

There was still time for the referee to brandish a red card to Lewis Knight for two bookable offences, only to realise his mistake and change his mind.

Even then, it wasn’t clear whether he had booked James Richmond instead or had in fact yellow-carded Canvey’s number six Elliott Johnson though in the end it hardly mattered.

All teams lose games though the manner of the defeat was clearly not what we wanted.

On the plus side we are still in fourth spot and handily placed. The challenge now is to pick ourselves up for Tuesday’s long trip to Folkestone.

Town: McDonald, Wilson-Braithwaite, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Youngs, Thomas, Isaac; Della-Verde (Taaffe, 76), Cass, Coker (Cunnington 68)

Canvey Preview

The games come thick and fast and tomorrow we are away at Canvey Island who have surprised some pundits by consistently being in and around the playoff places after being promoted from Step 4.

The Gulls are currently in sixth place on goal difference from Cray in fifth, four points behind Town having played a game more.

They are certainly in decent form having won four of five in 2023 including an upset 3-1 win at Hornchurch.

In the reverse fixture earlier in the season we drew 0-0 having previously been trounced 5-1 at their place in in the FA Cup when  Evans Kouassi notched a hat-trick.

Frustrating though our cup exit was, it is now a distant memory and after grinding out a win over Brightlingsea on Tuesday,  we are arguably the form side of the division.

It certainly promises to be a mouth-watering encounter at the Moviestarr Stadium, kickoff 3pm.

Admission Prices
Adults – £12
Concession – £7
U16s – £2

Address: The Movie Star Stadium, Park Lane, Essex, SS8 7PX

Harrow at Home

We have been drawn at home to Harrow Borough in the semifinal of the Middlesex Senior Trophy on Tuesday March 14, kickoff 7.45

Like us Harrow Borough are a Step 3 side and play in the Southern League Premier Division South where they currently lie in 18th place. Earlier this season they beat Hayes & Yeading and Step 2 Concord Rangers en route to the FA Trophy Fourth Round, where they were only beaten on penalties by Halifax Town of the National League.

Happy Birthday, Andy!

On behalf of the whole club, we would like to wish our manager Andy Leese a very happy 60th birthday today, Thursday.

Here’s to Andy having a fabulous day, followed hopefully by a strong result at Canvey on Saturday.

Many congratulations, Andy!

Town Twice On The Spot

Enfield Town 2 Brightlingsea Regent 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

A brace of penalties, one in each half, pushed us up to third with three valuable points on a night when the opposition at times made life awkward.

Just like the previous home game, it wasn’t always easy against another of those sides scrapping for everything near the foot of the table.

Our first half performance alone, during which we totally controlled proceedings,  justified the win as Brightlingsea hardly laid a glove on us.

After the break, it was a more even contest as Brightlingsea, who had to wear Town’s green kit after their own kit man got caught up in heavy traffic, fought desperately to get something from the game.

The management team made two changes to Saturday’s starting lineup with Jake Cass and Lyle Della-Verde coming into the side — and both more than played their part.

Kick-off was delayed for 15 minutes because of Regent’s travel issues but once the action got under way, we immediately imposed our superiority.

Sam Youngs almost converted an early Lyle freekick while Jake, onside, saw his powerful shot cannon off a defender for a corner.

Town were the team very much in the ascendancy and went ahead on 20 minutes.

Cass stole an underhit backpass away from Regent’s new keeper Lewis Ridd who proceeded to bring him down. The teenager then had no chance with Jake’s confidently struck penalty.

Sam Youngs looked to have doubled our lead as he slotted home beautifully to finish off a glorious  team move but was ruled offside.

Regent’s only threat came when dangerman Jesse Olukolu almost took advantage of us losing possession in midfield, only for Nathan McDonald to pull off a smart save.

H-T 1-0

A Cass turn and shot was pushed away as we started the second half in the same vein.

Scott Thomas, in his last game before a three-match suspension pending appeal, then twice let fly from 25 yards, the second time bringing a superb tip-over save.

Suddenly, however, Brightlingsea got a foothold in the game as they started to pass to feet.

Nathan made a super stop from Andrew George before Zack Littlejohn headed home an excellent left-wing delivery just before the hour.

Town needed to regain the momentum and got the perfect break on 69 minutes with a second spotkick. Andre Coker was blatantly tripped as he weaved his way into the box and was given the penalty honours this time, going for placement rather than power (pictured).

Thereafter it was a case of hanging on to what we had as Regent pushed us back without capitalising on their second-half possession.

“It was a really important three points. Brightlingsea made it really difficult,” said Mario Noto. “Maybe the 10 men for 60 minutes on Saturday didn’t do us any favours.”

“We started really brightly and Jake led the line really well. The performance may not have been the best but we ground out a win. That’s sometimes what you have to do against teams who are fighting for their lives.”

Town: McDonald; Dequane-Wilson, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Isaac (Taaffe, 76), Youngs, Thomas, Della-Verde; Cass, Coker (Wyllie,73)

Lewis Loan Extended

We are delighted to confirm that we have managed to extend Lewis Knight’s loan period until the end of the season.

This runs up to and includes May 1 which is the date of the playoff final

Lewis has been outstanding at the back for the Town since his arrival from Margate as well as scoring crucial goals at the other end of the pitch.

Manager Andy Leese commented: “I’m absolutely delighted. Fantastic player, great acquisition.”

Onwards and upwards, Lewis!

Brightlingsea Preview

What better place to be on Valentine’s Day than supporting Enfield Town.

Following last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Wingate and Finchley, we entertain another of the division’s lower teams tomorrow (Tuesday) when Brightlingsea Regent are the visitors, kickoff 7.45.

Brightlingsea are one place off the bottom with only four wins to their name but as Maz said after Saturday’s game, the teams at wrong end of the table are scrapping for their lives and can pose a serious threat if we are off the pace – like we were in the first half against Wingate and Finchley.

Scott Thomas plays his last game (if selected) before a three-match ban kicks in following his sending off on Saturday.

Although Brightlingsea lost to Herne Bay in a relegation six pointer last weekend, they have done well against some of the higher-placed sides in recent weeks without necessarily getting their just reward.

With Andy Leese back to direct matters in the dugout following his one-match ban, victory could push us back into the top three ahead of a potentially tricky visit to Canvey Island on Saturday.

Towners’ Winning Run Halted

Enfield town 1 Wingate and Finchley 1

Report by Andrew Warshaw

High-flying Enfield salvaged a late point in a feisty derby despite playing almost an hour with 10 men after skipper Scott Thomas was shown a straight red.

Scott was dismissed around the half-hour mark after the referee adjudged he grabbed Ben Siggers by the throat as he reacted after having being fouled himself.

The man in the middle admitted at halftime that he should have booked Siggers too. But that was of little consolation to the home fans who made up virtually the entire 700-strong crowd including many who took advantage of our Public Services Day.

Despite having won six of seven going into the game, we were strangely passive in the first half and the visitors, in their florescent green away kit, deservedly went in front having already gone close through Akeo Bani’s bending freekick that came back off our crossbar.

And what a worldie their goal was from Antonis Vasiliou, who has hardly shone this season but once again saved his best when playing against Town, showing incredible technique with a sensational overhead kick on the volley.

Town’s best first-half effort fell to Sam Youngs but our quality was poor and Scott’s sending off (he now misses three games starting next weekend) appeared to only make  matters worse.

H-T 0-1

Credit to the management, however, as we brought on Jake Cass to play alongside Adam Cunnington,  sacrificing Marcus Wyllie in the process,  switched to a 3-4-2 system and took control.

Without discernably troubling Wingate keeper Ben Goode whose handling throughout was excellent, it was Town who now looked the team with a one-man advantage as we pushed Wingate back.

The visitors started to resort to giving away a number of freekicks outside their area, one of which rebounded into the path of Youngs who blasted narrowly wide.

We were getting closer and with five minutes of regular time to go,  our courage with 10 men finally paid off.

Numerical parity was restored when Ola Williams was dismissed for a second yellow for a foul on Youngs.

Much to the anger of the crowd, Williams took an eternity to leave pitch-side but Town had the last laugh. From the resultant freekick, Della-Verde produced what he does best with another of his scorching left-foot freekicks, this one deflecting in off the Wingate wall (pictured).

With Andy Leese serving a one-man ban up in the stands it was left to assistant Mario Noto to sum up proceedings.

“We hadn’t really got a foothold in the game and even after the sending off had to go positive so we decided to go two up top in the second half,” explained Maz.

“In the end we might even have nicked it. The boys off the bench did really well to impact the game. Definitely a point gained. It’s not always easy against these teams who are fighting for their lives. But we need to get three points against Brightlingsea on Tuesday.”

Town:

McDonald; Wilson-Braithwaite, Richmond, Knight, Payne (Della-Verde, 68);  Thomas, Isaac, Youngs; Wyllie (Cass, 46), Cunnington, Coker (Taaffe, 68).

Wingate and Finchley preview

Tomorrow we entertain one of our nearest rivals Wingate and Finchley at the QEII Stadium, kickoff 3-pm, hoping to make it seven wins in eight league games.

In the corresponding fixture at the end of November, we won 2-0 with goals from Lewis Knight and Jake Cass.

 Wingate are currently 17th in the table with 25 points from 17 games, just two points clear of the relegation zone.

However, last Saturday against the odds they defeated playoff hopefuls Cray Wanderers 1-0 with a goal from Ben Siggers.

Just a reminder that the game is our public services day.

That means free admission for all those who provide our various public services.


These include those employed in the NHS and Care sector, Ambulance Service, Postal Service, Police Service, Prison and Probation Services, Fire Brigade Service, Councils, Schools, Nurseries and Colleges, Transport Services, HM Forces and Voluntary Sector Organisations.

Hopefully we can treat them to another fine performance and maintain our excellent form among the leading positions.

COYT

Hornchurch Confirmation

Following several enforced postponements, our home game against Hornchurch will now take place on Tuesday, March 28, kickoff 7.45

Hopefully this time we can get the game played at what is likely to be an even more exciting time of the season with only a handful of fixtures remaining thereafter.

To add to the anticipation, it will be our only home league game in March.

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Middlesex Senior Cup Update

There has been some suggestion that we already know our semifinal opponents in this competition so just to clarify, the draw has not yet been made.

The semifinal lineup will be completed by Feb 22 following multiple postponements.

It is anticipated that the draw will then be made before February 24, with the semifinals ideally taking place by the middle of March depending on each team’s schedule.

Hornchurch Off Again

Yet again, our eagerly awaited home fixture against Hornchurch has had to be postponed because of cup commitments.

The game, already switched twice, was due to take place on Tuesday 28th February.

But because Hornchurch have an Essex County Cup semifinal that night, a new date will again have to be found.

We will of course keep all fans posted.

Town Into Last Four

Northwood 1 Enfield Town 2

Report by Martin Bentley

It was hellishly cold, and the football was, for the most part, not pretty.

But Enfield Town successfully negotiated a tricky Middlesex Senior Cup tie at Northwood to secure their passage into the semi-finals.

Town fielded a much-changed side, and gave competitive debuts to Tom Payne and Lucas Jordan.

They started off at a gallop, taking the lead after only four minutes, Jake Cass driving a close range effort past home keeper Andrew McCorkell at his near post (pictured).

Northwood were also looking threatening in the early stages, and debutant Parris Mason levelled after 20 minutes with a smart close range finish.

The remainder of the half was largely uneventful, although the home side had a decent-looking penalty shout when Sandro Costa went down under Jon Muleba’s challenge.

 Town then regained the lead after 38 minutes with a goal from Lyle Della Verde that trod that fine line between genius and fluke (this writer, for the record, favours the former option).

The Town winger received the ball on the right from Lewis Taaffe and curled a brilliant/lucky effort over the scrambling McCorkell and into the far corner of the net.

A lively second half was notable only for the almost complete lack of shots on goal. For Town, Jordan had an effort ruled out for offside, Cass was denied by McCorkell when put through on goal, and Taaffe pinged a 25 yarder deep into the cemetery behind the goal.

The home side threatened frequently from wide areas, but the Town defence coped well with a string of accurately delivered crosses and corners and held on for the win, the relieved travelling faithful trooping

 off in search of somewhere a bit warmer.

Town line-up: Mc Donald, Muleba, Joe Payne, Tom Payne (Youngs 78), Braithwaite, Okotcha, Taaffe, Dayton (Isaac 65), Cass, Jordan (Coker 74), Della Verde.

Unused subs: Richmond, Wyllie

Happy 80th, Tony

On behalf of everyone at Enfield Town FC, we would like to wish Tony Gibbs a huge happy 80th birthday .

Tony is one our longest serving fans and follows us home and away as well as giving up his spare time volunteering the supervision of our various Young Children Disability coaching sessions.

Tony, who epitomises the spirit of our club, acts as the liaison link between the parents, the club and the NHS at three six-week sessions per year staged at the club’s 3G training pitch.

“I’d never been involved in anything like this before but I thrive on it,” Tony told The Enfield Dispatch in a recent interview.

“When you are doing voluntary work, it’s so rewarding. You get back far more than you are able to give. It’s extremely positive not just for the children but also the adults and carers.”

You’re a credit to our club, Tony. Happy Birthday. Here’s to many more….

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Enfield Town FC Public Services Day

We have identified this Saturday’s home game with Wingate and Finchley (ko 3pm)  as an opportunity to say thank you to those who provide our public services.

We will allow all those who work in those services to attend this fixture for free.

These include those employed in the NHS and Care sector, Ambulance Service, Postal Service, Police Service, Prison and Probation Services, Fire Brigade Service, Councils, Schools, Nurseries and Colleges, Transport Services, HM Forces and Voluntary Sector Organisations.

An e ticket is available for people to claim their free ticket but you will also be able to gain entry on production of appropriate ID on the day.

https://enfieldtownfc.ktckts.com/brand/match-tickets

Use the NHS link.

Please share information about this day widely among friends, family and colleagues.