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.
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.”
Foster; Parcell (Bailey, 68), Okotcha, Richmond, Payne; Beckles-Richards (Sykes, 82), Youngs, Thomas, Adjei-Hersey; Onyeagwara (Keeya, 58), Wyllie.