Town hang on for important win
Enfield Town 1 Hendon 0
Following an entertaining end-to-end first half, the majority of the second period was Hendon’s and this was ultimately a very satisfying three points based on a highly disciplined defensive display.
The game began at a high tempo, with Hendon looking to consolidate their position as joint league leaders. After a breathless first ten minutes of ebb and flow, Town took the lead with a fine goal. Aaron Greene charged down the left, beat a couple of defenders on a weaving run, laid the ball inside to Sam Youngs, who then cut inside to make an angle for himself and buried a low right foot shot past Greens keeper Tom Lovelock’s right hand.
Youngs turned provider after a quarter of an hour when his accurate diagonal ball found the head of Mickey Parcell, and Lovelock saved his downward header. On 22 minutes, Hendon’s ace marksman Niko Muir was way off target from distance, but Town were keeping up the pressure on the visitors’ back line regularly and, after Simon Thomas had set up Parcell, his dangerous low cross was cleared by Sam Murphy. Youngs fired wide from another Greene pass, and at the other end, Town had a let- off when Oliver Sprague fired narrowly over the bar.
Ten minutes before the break, Muir fired low and Joe Wright did well to save and then Ryan Blackman played in Thomas, whose shot was deflected behind. Wright then made another low stop to keep out a deflected effort, and Mario Noto’s free kick in a dangerous position cleared the Hendon bar. As an action-packed half drew to a close, Montell Moore fired narrowly wide and Thomas was off-target from Moore’s pass.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Hendon 0
Wright was soon in action after the break with another save low down and, as Town searched for a second goal, Thomas played in Moore, but the youngster was crowded out and the ball broke to Blackman, who fired over.
A great cross from Youngs on the right dropped for Parcell, and he blasted the ball goalwards with his left foot but Arthur Lee made a vital block. After Parcell had seen another attempt from a similar position fly over, Hendon came back into the game strongly and Josh Walker blazed over as the game approached its final third. Although Moore had an effort cleared off the line by Rian Bray, Hendon were camped for long periods in the Town half, with Simon Thomas dropping back regularly to help the rearguard action, especially against set pieces. Moore was tiring visibly as an attacking outlet and replaced by Ryan Blake after 74 minutes.
The last twenty minutes seemed like an eternity for Town fans as Hendon won a succession of corners and free-kicks, but Darren Purse and Taylor McKenzie, in particular, held firm. In truth, although their possession percentage was high, the number of Hendon efforts on target was kept to a minimum by Town’s superb organisation at the back. A tense five minutes were added on and the visitors’ final effort came from Matt Ball, who fired over shortly before the final whistle.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell, Danny Rumens, Mario Noto (Adam Martin 76), Darren Purse, Taylor McKenzie, Ryan Blackman, Sam Youngs (Ben Ward-Cochrane 83), Montell Moore (Ryan Blake 75), Simon Thomas, Aaron Greene. Unused subs: Rob Bartley, John Kyriacou. Booked: Blackman, Parcell.
Hendon: Tom Lovelock, Sam Murphy, Oliver Sprague (Matt Ball 66), Keagan Cole (Jake Eggleton 66), Rian Bray, Arthur Lee, Josh Walker (Kezie Ibe 83), Dave Diedhiou, Zak Joseph, Niko Muir, Ashley Nathaniel-George. Unused subs: Michael Corcoran, Leo Pedro. Booked: Cole.