Barking 2 Enfield Town 4
By Graham Dodd
Town win away
On Thursday October 18th, the Under 23’s/Reserves returned to winning ways with a 2-4 at Barking, which took them back up to 3rd in the table, 1 point behind leaders Bowers & Pitsea, with a game in hand.
Horrendous traffic problems saw the kick off delayed to 8.00pm, with players arriving late, but that did not stop Town storming into a 2 goal lead within 7 minutes. First Brandon Adams took his first chance of the night well and then Mason Tunbridge found the far corner of the net with a shot from the edge of the area. Town were dominant and caused panic in the Barking defence every time the ball was in the last third of the pitch and with a little more accuracy on the final ball could have increased their lead on several occasions.
Instead Barking slowly grew in the game, partly through a more physical approach to the game, but also from their wide right player who saw a lot of the ball, but was generally well marshalled by Dan Heald. Rian Mc Clean and Ben Jones had their hands full with two powerful forwards, but defensively Town looked strong and Matt Nolan on goal was rarely threatened, with only Barking’s corners creating any real concern. Town were disrupted when Luke Wright was forced off with a head injury to be replaced by Dante Mc Inioba on 35 minutes and were sitting a little deeper, becoming more reliant on Nolan’s long kicks for their attacking spark. 2 minutes into injury time Barking almost predictably scored from a corner when the ball was forced home after a scramble in the 6 yard box.
Town changed their shape at half time with the intention of disrupting Barking’s dominance of the ball in the latter stages of the 1st half and the tactic worked well with Town looking more compact throughout the half, making it difficult for the home side to play through them. Ade Adesoyo replaced the injured Mc Kennon minutes into the 2nd half, but Town started the 2nd half well with Joe Devenay worked tirelessly in midfield. Town were looking to hit Barking on the break and on several occasions looked to have sprung the trap only to be given offside. Sonny Bennett-Steele became Town’s third substitution replacing Kyle Lynch, with Tunbridge adopting a more central role, but it was from a Tunbridge corner that Town increased their lead when Jones drilled the ball home from beyond the far post.
Barking made substitutions to try and get back into the game but were being restricted to long range efforts generally wide of the mark. Adams then scored his second and Town’s fourth when he raced through holding off two defenders, attempted to round the keeper but was forced back in the process, only to turn and fire a shot in off the post. That should have been enough for Town to see the game out comfortably, but Adams then gave the ball away deep in his own half and Barking gratefully took the chance to set up a nervy finish. There were a series of corners and a couple of goalmouth scrambles and Nolan did well to push one effort on to the bar, but Town held out for an important win.
Matt Nolan, Duewaan Mc Kennon (Ade Adesoyo 50 minutes), Dan Heald, Joe Devenay, Rian Mc Clean, Ben Jones, Mason Tunbridge, Luke Wright (Dante Mc Inioba 35 minutes), Brandon Adams, Kyle Lynch (Sonny Bennett-Steele), Louie Remi. Sub unused Kobi Coker