Town Now Playing Catch-up

Enfield Town 2 Haringey Borough 2

Report by Andrew Warshaw

Football can be a cruel game as a draw was clutched from the jaws of victory in the dying moments on Easter Monday to leave Town’s playoff hopes hanging worryingly in the balance.

Seemingly in control against a Haringey Borough side who put up the usual resistance, combined with a fair few tricks of the trade, we  were twice pegged back and ended up dropping vital points that could prove all-important in a couple of weeks’ time.

To put the result in stark perspective, the situation is  no longer in our hands. For the first time since Dec 9, we have dropped out of the playoff places, the previous time being back at the end of September.

Of course nothing is done and dusted by any means. Two strong performances at title-chasing Bishop’s Stortford  on Saturday and then at home to Aveley in our final regular league game could still clinch fifth.

But now we have to rely on Cray, one point ahead of us, to slip up. And maybe also Lewes, Hastings and Horsham, all in the chasing pack just behind us.

It’s a tough ask and three points out of a possible 12 at the business end of the season tells its own disappointing story. But whilst it may look a bleak picture, who’se to say there will be no more twists and turns.

Sometimes you don’t get what you deserve – and on the balance of play we certainly didn’t in front of a near-700 crowd, marred it has to be said by a couple of unsavoury incidents including two so-called “fans” – not Town’s as it turned out  — who proceeded to encroach on to the pitch.

In a swirling wind, the ball often looked more like a beach ball than a football, both teams having to adapt such was the difficulty of finding the right weight of pass.

Lyle Della-Verde, in the starting line-up as one of three changes from the defeat at Horsham, delivered a trademark freekick early doors that Max Ovenden tipped over. Jake Cass then almost converted from a Joe Payne pass while another Della-Verde delivery resulted in a bullet header that was just off target.

The deadlock was broken on 23 minutes when Adam Cunnington was impeded in the box, suffering a nasty wound in the process that needed lengthy treatment as blood streamed down his face (pictured).

Cass walloped the penalty down the middle and although it was saved, he managed to get to the rebound first.

Before Haringey could kick off, Nathan McDonald went down in our area, apparently the victim of beer being thrown from someone in the away end.

Cunns,  bandaged up not once but twice, inevitably couldn’t last much longer and was replaced by Andre Coker with Cass pushed further forward into his favoured position.

With halftime approaching, Haringey levelled after a bizarre passage of play. A poor Nathan McDonald throw-out was collected Matthew Young whose cross found Alphonso Kennedy who let fly.

Nathan appeared to have redeemed himself with a world-class save but from the resultant corner, Scott Mitchell got in front of his marker to head home.

H-T 1-1

If Town edged the first half they were even more dominant in the second but ultimately couldn’t make it count.

As the wind picked up, so Town’s pressure increased but quality in the final third and clear-cut chances were lacking while little luck was going our way as Della-Verde became the second player forced to go off injured.

Haringey had a penalty appeal turned down but on 65 minutes we were deservedly back in front as Cass collected Michael Bakare’s pass, drove into the area and shot powerfully past Ovenden.

Sam Owusu’s chip for Haringey was luckily only half hit but we continued to look the more threatening side and should have made the game safe with the best move of the game.

A sublime Cass back heel found Coker who played ball back into Jake’s path, only for him to blast over with his weaker left foot as his eyes lit up for the hattrick.

It proved a costly miss.  In the last minute of regular time the visitors, who had started to push forward ominously, were awarded a spotkick of their own for handball. 

After a lengthy delay as a result of a multi-player scuffle, Nathan moved to his left to save low down from Rakim Richards but Stefanos Georgiou was first to the loose ball, belting it into the net despite clearly having encroached into the area by several yards without either the referee or the linesman seemingly noticing.

It left a sour taste in the mouths of every Towner fan after a typically competitive derby that was followed by another unwanted incident near the tunnel.

Haringey had achieved what they set out to do by drilling arguably the largest hole to date into our playoff chances – hopefully one that can still be repaired in the final two outings.


McDonald; Renee, Knight, Richmond, Payne; Thomas, Isaac (Wilson-Braithwaite, 83), Youngs; Della-Verde (Coker, 63), Cunnington (Bakare 38), Cass.