Defensive lapses prove costly
VCD Athletic 3 (Simmonds 27, Sappleton 40, Neita 88) Enfield Town 2 (Joseph 42, 77)
A very disappointing outcome at lowly VCD Athletic this afternoon overshadowed some good spells going forward, but Town’s susceptibility to the counter-attack resulted in a nil return from a game in which most supporters would have expected to have gained at least a point.
Home groundsman Colin Powell had produced a lush surface which had been soaked by heavy rain the day before. Early on, Vickers’ keeper Rob Budd was smartly off his line to beat Bobby Devyne to a through ball and, a couple of minutes later, he tipped an accurate low shot from Claudiu Vilcu round the post. Approaching the quarter hour mark, Devyne fed Harry Ottaway, who was thwarted by an offside flag and then, from a Corey Whitely cross, Ottaway headed downwards for Devyne to apply a finishing touch but the assistant referee’s flag intervened again.
In the 27th minute, Donovan Simmonds chased a through ball more in hope than expectation, but some fatal hesitation between Harold Joseph and Nathan McDonald allowed the striker the opportunity to poke the ball home for the opening goal.
Tyler Campbell had a left-foot shot saved by Budd and then Whitely fired narrowly wide, but disaster struck for the visitors in the 40st minute when a mistake by Nathan Livings led to the much-travelled L’heureux Menga feeding Ricky Sappleton, who rounded McDonald to extend the hosts’ lead. Barely a minute later, however, Joseph headed in a corner by Livings from the left to claw Town back into the game. There was still time for another scare for the visitors when Simmonds went close a couple of minutes before the break.
Half-time: VCD Athletic 2 Enfield Town 1
The second half was all Enfield in terms of possession but VCD, defending in numbers, were difficult to break down. The home side had their moments, however, and Simmonds was guilty of spurning a great chance soon after the restart.
In the 53rd minute, Devyne played a square pass to Ottaway, but Budd came out to smother the striker’s shot. Campbell had a shot tipped round the post and, at the other end, McDonald did well to grab the ball with Sappleton lurking in a dangerous position. The former Billericay, Bishops Stortford and Kingstonian striker then chipped over McDonald onto the roof of the Town net as the game entered its final quarter.
Whitely and Ottaway had further attempts saved by Budd, and then Devyne just failed to connect with a Campbell cross. But Town’s persistence was rewarded in the 76th minute when Ottaway, looking suspiciously offside, got his head to a high ball in the box and Joseph forced the ball over the line from close range.
Town were clearly not content with a draw at this point, and Livings fired wide with ten minutes left. But just as it looked as though honours would be shared, Nigel Neita broke from the halfway line and drilled a shot into the corner of McDonald’s net to secure Vickers’ second league win in four days.
VCD Athletic: Rob Budd, Frantz Tchonang, Ashley Probets, Richard Avery, Joseph Bruce, Ricardo Joseph, Nigel Neita, Davidson Tejaiye, Ricky Sappleton (Kurtis Cumberbatch 89), Donovan Simmonds, L’heureux Menga (Mathias Bakare 70). Unused: Mark Nwokeji, Harry Brickwood, Richie Graham. Booked: Probets, Neita.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Ryan Doyle, Joe Stevens (Samir Bihmoutine 67), Claudiu Vilcu, Harold Joseph, Stanley Muguo, Tyler Campbell, Nathan Livings, Corey Whitely, Harry Ottaway, Bobby Devyne (Evans Kouassi 79). Unused: Mickey Parcell, Phil Lowen, Jandir da Cruz.