Horsham 3 Enfield Town 1
Report by Martin Bentley
Enfield Town’s play-off hopes took a major hit at the Camping World Community Stadium as defensive errors, as well as a brilliantly executed freekick, saw a disciplined Horsham side take the three points.
Town are still clinging on to fifth but are now just one point ahead of the chasing pack fronted by Cray, with three daunting-looking final games remaining.
Town welcomed back skipper Scott Thomas to the starting line-up, with Josh Okotcha replacing an ill Lewis Knight at the centre of the defence.
The game started with a bang with both sides squandering a good chance in the opening five minutes, Jake Cass for Town, and Jack Mazzone for the home side.
Apart from Mazzone’s 16th minute deflected effort that was gathered by Nathan McDonald, the main feature of the ensuing period were yellow cards for Andre Coker and Horsham’s Chris Sessegnon for a goalmouth dust-up, and one for Cass, following an incident involving Town’s centre forward and the home keeper Taylor Seymour’s water bottle.
Five minutes before half time though, the home side got their noses in front. Joe Payne pulled back Tom Kavanagh as he raced into the box, and Mazzone sent McDonald the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The second half saw Town introduce Adam Cunnington in place of Coker, and they got themselves back on level terms after eight minutes, Cass volleying in Payne’s right wing corner.
Five minutes later though, Town found themselves behind once again. Okotcha conceded a freekick 25 yards from goal, and home skipper Kavanagh proceeded to whip an unstoppable effort over the wall and past a helpless McDonald.
Once again Town chased an equaliser, their best opportunity falling to Cass, whose effort was well saved by Seymour.
Andy Leese introduced Khale da Costa and debutant Michael Bakare up front late on, but the home side made the game safe ten minutes from time, James Richmond’s miskick presenting Charlie Hester-Cook with an unmissable opportunity from ten yards.
It was a frustrating end to a disappointing Town performance, and immediate improvement is required to cement that final play-off place, starting with arguably our most crucial game of the season at home to Haringey Borough on Monday.
“Defensively today we weren’t good enough,” said Andy afterwards. “Bitterly disappointing and it’s made it harder for us. It’s still in our hands but we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were today.”
Town: McDonald, Renee, Payne, Thomas (Bakare 76), Okotcha, Richmond, Taaffe, (da Costa 76) Youngs, Cass, Dayton, Coker (Cunnington 45).