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.
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)