Enfield Town 0 Brightlingsea Regent 1
Report By Andrew Warshaw
Those who were there couldn’t believe what they witnessed.
Total domination practically from first minute to last, no fewer than NINETEEN chances, the woodwork hit FOUR times, a missed penalty and an outfield player forced to go in goal but with nothing to do except pick the ball out his net once.
If you think we didn’t take the Velocity Cup seriously on Tuesday, think again.
Yes, Gavin Macpherson made wholesale changes, some of them enforced. And yes we had no back-up goalkeeper on the bench with Reece Beckles-Richards forced to go between the sticks when Rhys Forster came off with concussion.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing and if you look at previous team sheets, only on one, perhaps two, occasions this season have we had a goalkeeper on the bench. Not only that. You can count on two fingers the number of times our keeper has had to go off in recent campaigns.
The fact is we should have beaten Brightlingsea Regent by a landslide to reach the fourth round. Instead we are now out of all domestic cup competitions before Christmas.
With so many either still recovering from injury niggles or sickness, the management team quite understandably decided to look at some of our fringe players and in that respect it was a hugely worthwhile exercise.
Jordan Adeoye, only 17, looked assured and accomplished in a rarely employed back three while Obi Onyeahgwara and Gucchi Soulya-Osekanongo were just as eye-catching.
Mickey Parcell skippered the side and straight from kick-off the chances came thick and fast.
Soulya-Osekanongo sent a flying header just wide and Beckles-Richards thumped a shot against the post.
On 33 minutes, Reece volunteered to take over the goalkeeping gloves after Forster – who had earlier been unceremoniously flattened by Derek Asamoah and needed lengthy treatment – continued to feel the effects of the heavy challenge and had to come off.
The chances kept coming our way however, Soulya-Osekanongo and Lewis Taaffe having shots blocked before we were awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime.
With Sam Youngs among the heavyweight subs, Marcus Wyllie – who had come off the bench to take Beckles-Richards’ place up front – stepped up but blasted the spotkick against the bar.
It seemed only a matter of time, however, before we would open our account as we carried on where we left off but Regent continued to ride their luck.
Marcus clipped the post, Taaffe somehow didn’t score from three yards but out of the blue, right on the hour, Regent delivered a sucker punch, scoring with their only effort on target through a Zack Littlejohn header from a freekick.
We should have been out of sight by then and continued to pepper the visitors’ goal but to no avail.
Kyle Bailey rattled the bar from a corner, only to for the ball to fortuitously bounce back into keeper Lewis Greene’s ’s arms. Greene then pulled off a miraculous one-handed save, Youngs drove over while a string of crosses continued to strike a visiting player first.
It wasn’t to be our night but Gavin Macpherson was philosophical in defeat.
“That’s football but there were plenty of positives,” said Gavin. “A few players came in tonight, one or two from the academy, and did themselves a power of good. That needs to be put out there.”
“We changed almost an entire side yet I’ve been more disappointed at times when we’ve won games. It was probably the most chances we’ve created in any game this season.
“Did they do what they were asked and gave everything? Yes. Did we not quite have the quality in front of goal? Also yes. But sometimes you have to scratch your head and move on.”
Forster (Wyllie 33); Parcell (youngs, 70), Adeoye, Bailey; Knight, Birch, Donnellan, Soulya-Osekanongo, Onyeagwara (Davies, 75); Beckles-Richards, Taaffe.