Lift off for Town
Tooting & Mitcham United 0 Enfield Town 4
Town chalked up their first win of the season at a sunny and humid Imperial Fields on Saturday.
On a lush surface, the visitors had the lion’s share of possession in the first period, but only one goal to show for it at the break. In the second half, however, their dominance was converted into goals, with the hosts playing with ten men from the 48th minute.
Playing with width, Town pressed from the first whistle, with Aaron Greene prominent on the left. And it was Greene who had Town’s first effort on goal in the second minute, which was blocked following a deep cross from Ryan Blake on the right.
Tooting’s Chace O’Neill was similarly thwarted at the other end as the game settled. Kyle Merson in the home goal was called into action to gather a Greene free-kick, and his afternoon was to become increasingly busy as the match wore on.
Blake fired well over the top and a Drew Roberts effort shortly afterwards flew even higher. O’Neill got the ball past Joe Wright and into the Town net following a through ball from Ollie Bennett, but he was way offside. On 22 minutes Sam Youngs fired wide with his left foot and, a minute later, was also narrowly off target with his right – Merson motionless as the ball narrowly evaded his right-hand post.
A few minutes later, Sandy Cunningham was allowed a free header but he didn’t trouble Wright. Home full-back Peter Wedgeworth had a good run down the left and produced a dangerous cross, but it came to nothing. Wright then saved a free-kick from the same player at the second attempt.
The goal that Town deserved finally arrived in the 37th minute, Rob Bartley rising to glance home a Youngs free-kick. Tooting forced a number of corners as the half came to a close but Town’s defence stood firm. Merson gathered at his near post from Blake as the interval whistle sounded.
Half-time: Tooting & Mitcham United 0 Enfield Town 1
The game took an unexpected turn three minutes after the restart when Mickey Parcell went for a loose ball with Wedgeworth and, with the referee right next to the incident, there was no hesitation in the brandishing of a straight red card for what looked like a dangerous challenge by the home left back.
Greene fired wide shortly afterwards and then the Town wide man couldn’t quite connect with a deep Parcell cross. Parcell charged down the right again and cut inside but unfortunately ran the ball out for a goal kick in a promising position. But there was another surprise to come when Merson inexplicably kicked the consequent dead ball straight to Blake, who advanced, took the ball to his left round the stranded keeper and rolled the ball into the net with his left foot from an acute angle.
In the 72st minute, four minutes after Blake’s goal, another stray home clearance hit Drew Roberts, bounced nicely for him to run onto, and he finished with aplomb to effectively secure the points. Barely a couple of minutes later, Thomas found himself in the box, and he beat both Merson and Dan Clements before applying an emphatic finish from close range.
As the game drew to a conclusion, there was just enough time for Jack Higgs to fire over and for Greene to drag an effort wide on a very satisfying afternoon for Town’s travelling support.
Tooting & Mitcham United: Kyle Merson, Dan Clements, Peter Wedgeworth, Eddie Dines, Sol Patterson-Bohner, Quincy Rowe, Ollie Bennett (Callum McNaughton 53), Chace O’Neill, Mike Dixon, Billy Dunn (Danny Bassett 60), Sandy Cunningham (Jeff Baxter 74). Unused subs: Juevan Spencer, Tenny Adebowale. Booked: Patterson-Bohner. Sent off: Wedgeworth.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Mickey Parcell (John Kyriacou 75), Danny Rumens, Rob Bartley, Darren Purse, Jack Higgs, Aaron Greene, Sam Youngs, Ryan Blake (George Beattie 75), Simon Thomas (George Quarrington-Carter 78), Drew Roberts. Unused sub: Taylor McKenzie. Booked: Thomas.