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