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.”


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