First half collapse seals fate
Thurrock 3 Enfield Town 1
On a miserable afternoon of incessant drizzle, the travelling Town contingent’s mood was darkened even further during a torrid opening 45 minutes during which their side conceded three goals without reply. Keeper Matt Nolan, making his second appearance of the season in for the suspended Joe Wright, had little chance with any of the home strikes.
With Ryan Blackman installed as skipper, Town looked positive going forward in the opening stages, and Ryan Blake forced Ben McNamara into the first save of the game with a left foot shot following Blackman’s flick. Samir Bihmoutine tried his luck from distance but blazed over. Timothy Ogunrinde was causing problems down the Thurrock right and, from one of his crosses, Dan Rumens conceded a corner which, when it was swung in, was punched clear by Nolan. A low shot from James Goode was spilled by Nolan but the visitors managed to scramble the ball clear amid half-hearted home appeals for a penalty.
The hosts took the lead after a quarter of an hour. An unhindered run down the Thurrock left flank ended with a low ball across the Town box and an unmarked Jordan Clark applied the finishing touch at the far post. A couple of minutes later, Brad Wadkins headed Adam Martin’s chip over the top from close range. At the other end, Clark nearly doubled the hosts lead when he headed Joe Oseyemi’s cross over.
In the 28th minute, Wadkins tried to curl the ball around McNamara, but his side-footed effort went wide. Blake headed a Parcell cross wide, while Nolan was thankful that Ronnie Winn didn’t catch the ball cleanly when he found himself in a promising position. McNamara made further saves from Blake and Wadkins, and then Martin screwed an effort wide. Tyler Campbell cut in from the left but fired over.
The game slipped away from Town in a very disappointing five minutes before the break. Firstly, an inswinging corner was bundled home by Perry Dunn and then, as the referee’s half-time whistle was about to blow, the game was effectively over when Clark and Winn combined on the left and Clark cut the ball back Joe Christou to apply a calm finish.
Half-time: Thurrock 3 Enfield Town 0
The second half saw a combination of the visitors showing a determined effort to get back into the game and the hosts taking their foot off the gas.
Campbell had a shot which had the sting taken out of it by a home defender and McNamara was able to gather. Nolan made a stop low down from Sutton and, soon afterwards, Winn got beyond Bihmoutine to get in a cross, but Oseyemi was well off target. A Sam Youngs cross found Curtis Ujah stretching, but again McNamara collected the loose ball. Christou fired wide for Thurrock and then a long throw from Martin hit Wadkins but the ball bounced kindly for the home keeper.
Town reduced the arrears in the 75th minute when Parcell met a Youngs cross with his head, the ball looped over McNamara, and the onrushing Liam Hope made sure from virtually on the goal line. Three minutes later, Hope was off target, and then, with five minutes left, a magnificent long range effort from Youngs crashed against the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
Dunn, for Thurrock, and Hope and Blackman, for Town, had further late efforts but a flurry of home substitutions signalled that time was up. Another tough fixture, Lowestoft away, awaits Town on Tuesday night.
Thurrock: Ben McNamara, Jordan Clark, Remi Sutton, Perry Dunn, Curtis Ujah, Joe Christou, Joe Oseyemi, James Goode, Timothy Ogunrinde (Joel Brown-Bampoe 85), Ronnie Winn, Joel Nouble (Ibrahim Kehinde 85). Unused subs: Claudio Ribeirio-Goncalves, Toby Smith, Reece Cave.
Enfield Town: Matt Nolan, Mickey Parcell, Samir Bihmoutine, Mat Mitchel-King, Taylor McKenzie, Dan Rumens (Simon Thomas 46), Ryan Blackman, Adam Martin, Brad Wadkins, Ryan Blake (Sam Youngs 58), Tyler Campbell (Liam Hope 73). Unused subs: Mario Noto, John Kyriacou. Booked: Blackman.