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.
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’)