Enfield Town 2 Cray Wanderers 0
Report by Andrew warshaw
Not our best performance but probably our best win. That’s how Gavin Macpherson summed up yesterday’s hard-fought victory over Cray, marking the finest start in the club’s history at Step 3 level.
Early days still of course but Town remain top of the table on goal difference despite missing not only Jake Cass but three or four other key players.
Joe Payne became the latest casualty when he failed a fitness test just before kickoff, Mickey Parcell switching to the left.
Marcus Wyllie, leading the line in the absence of the injured Jake, almost opened the score after 10 minutes from Mickey’s sublime through-ball, only for Shaun Rowley to pull off a stunning save.
Town didn’t have things all their own way in an even first half marked by a raging thunder and lightning storm that for a while represented monsoon conditions though the pitch held up well.
Cray, who made the playoffs last term after finishing fifth, looked dangerous whenever the pacey Yahaya Bamber and midfielder Frankie Raymond had the ball while Anthony Cook headed inches wide.
If the first half was a tight affair, the second belonged to Town.
Wyllie wasted a freekick, awarded after Reece Beckles-Richards had his shirt tugged for the umpteenth time, by shooting well wide but he soon made up for it.
On 55 minutes, Reece’s cross was headed straight into the path of Marcus who kept his composure to fire across goal and into the corner.
Eight minutes later, Town’s main man up front made it five goals in four games, turning inside his marker before seeing his sharp effort loop over Rowley via a Cameron Black deflection (pictured).
Marcus could have had a hat-trick, only to spoon an arguably easier attempt over the bar, and as Cray tried to rally they were thwarted by two fine stops from Rhys Forster while James Richmond and Josh Okotcha again formed an impressive defensive partnership.
Ultimately Town were worthy winners on the day in front of 526 fans as we preserved our 100 percent record.
Gavin had been concerned beforehand about Cray being a false position and about growing number of injuries but got the perfect response
“I don’t want to take any credit but all we did in the second half was change to a 4-1-4-1 and drop Reece down to nullify what Cray were doing and stop them playing,” said Gavin.
“What we did then on a skiddy surface was ask the boys to put balls down the channels. It was just a couple of subtle changes. But then of course you need the execution. With Marcus, he’s a natural centreforward. I said that from day one. It’s just a case of letting him go and play without putting too much pressure on him.”
Looking ahead to Haringey Borough, Gavin says he will have assess the players on Monday morning with Carlos Garcia-Velasco, who grew into the game after a tricky first 20 minutes, the latest one to struggle with injury.
“I never expected this to be our best performance but we came through it,” said Gav. “Everyone knows they’ll be some highs and lows this season but we’ve had a great start.”
Forster; Parcell, Okotcha, Richmond, Garcia-Velasco; Knight (Bessadi, 88), Youngs, Thomas, Adjei-Hersey ( Soulya-Osekanongo); Wyllie, Beckles-Richards