CLAUDIU’S REPEAT LATE SHOW
Enfield Town moved up to 6th place in the Ryman Premier table with a narrow 2-1 win at home to relegation-threatened Brentwood Town at the QEII on Sat
Enfield Town moved up to 6th place in the Ryman Premier table with a narrow 2-1 win at home to relegation-threatened Brentwood Town at the QEII Stadium on Saturday. After 27 league games, Town now have four more points than at the same stage last season.
Corey Whitely, Bobby Devyne and Harry Ottaway all featured together in the starting line-up for the first time since the 2-2 draw against Billericay Town in early November, and Town went straight onto the attack against a side that had been out of match action since 19th December.
Devyne fired wide and Whitely had a header over the top early on and then, on ten minutes, Whitely hit the bar from an Evans Kouassi cross, before later blasting over from Ottaway's pass. After half an hour, Tom Richardson fed Shad Ngandu for Brentwood, and the latter’s close-range shot was brilliantly tipped over by Nathan McDonald.
Town deservedly took the lead, albeit in fortunate circumstances, courtesy of a free-kick in a central position just beyond the half-hour mark. Devyne floated it into the danger area, and Blues debutant keeper Andrew Plummer appeared to react late, possibly distracted by player movement in from of him, with the ball bouncing beyond his grasp into the net. In the 39th minute, McDonald raced out of his goal to make a vital tackle on the lively Richardson. Claudiu Vilcu then had a header just over the bar a few minutes before the interval.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Brentwood Town 0
The weather worsened in the second half as the hitherto intermittent rain set in, blown horizontally across the visitors' backs. After former Towner Mitch Hahn had hit the woodwork for the Blues (who were playing in claret on the day), Connor Hogan shot across the face of the home goal and Richardson had another attempt blocked. At the other end, another Whitely effort was only parried by Plummer, but Ottaway couldn't put the loose ball away.
In the 64th minute, Brentwood’s endeavour drew them level, Richardson firing past McDonald from Ngandu’s cut-back. Four minutes later, Devyne missed a glorious opportunity when he beat the offside trap but, with only Plummer to beat, he flicked the ball wide of the post.
Ryan O'Rawe was perilously close to netting an own goal when he headed a dangerous Enfield corner fractionally wide of his own upright and, with time running out, Ottaway was wide with another effort. But as the game entered stoppage time, a cross from Phil Lowen was headed home by Vilcu, for his second winning goal in a week, to leave Town fans relieved rather than frustrated at the end.
Full-time: Enfield Town 2 Brentwood Town 1
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Ryan Doyle, Joe Stevens, Claudiu Vilcu, Harold Joseph, Stanley Muguo, Corey Whitely, Nathan Livings (Phil Lowen 33), Bobby Devyne (Jandir da Cruz 90), Harry Ottaway, Evans Kouassi (Tyler Campbell 46). Unused: Mickey Parcell, Tayshan Hayden-Smith. Booked: Vilcu, Devyne, Joseph.
Brentwood Town: Andrew Plummer, Leon Gordon (Joshua Banton 26), Louis Baucutt, Mitch Hahn, Phillip Anderson, Ryan O’Rawe, Connor Hogan (Sherwin Stanley 64), Connor Witherspoon, Tom Richardson, Shad Ngandu, Andrew Freeman. Unused: Bradley Nobbs, Dwade James. Booked: Witherspoon, Anderson, O’Rawe.