Adams double boosts Town
By Ken Brazier
Folkestone Invicta 2 Enfield Town 3
It was a dream start for Andy Leese’s new-look squad by the seaside on the opening day of the 2018/19 campaign.
On a warm, sunny day with a gentle breeze, the visitors were without Dan Rumens, Mat Mitchel-King (both injured) and Ryan Blackman (unavailable), while Billy Bricknell was nursing a minor strain but made the bench. Matt Johnson captained the side.
Town got off to a disappointing start when, after Adam Yusuff had almost intercepted a through ball only to be denied by an onrushing Joe Wright, Invicta man-of-the-match Kieron McCann received the ball on the left wing, cut inside Sam Hatton, and buried a low right foot drive on six minutes. A couple of minutes later Lewis Taaffe had the ball in the home net but was well offside.
Sam Youngs fired way over the top but, out of nowhere Town found themselves on level terms. In the 12th minute a free kick out on the left from Lewis Taaffe made its way past home keeper Tim Roberts with home defender Nat Blanks being accredited with a decisive touch.
Play swung from end to end and Sam Chaney fired over after a promising move. Approaching the half hour mark, Wright was again smartly off his line to thwart a dangerous attack involving Yusuff and McCann, amidst home shouts for handling offence outside the area waved away by referee Ryan Whitaker.
Ten minutes before the break, Town fell behind again when a free kick on the hosts’ right was only partially cleared and Yusuff drove home the loose ball impressively. The goalscorer was substituted shortly afterwards before Youngs had a low shot saved by Roberts down low to his left. Folkestone whipped in a handful of inswinging corners from their right as half time approached and, after surviving these, Aaron Greene had an effort from distance, but it lacked power and drifted wide. At the opposite end, McCann blazed over after again cutting inside.
Half-time: Folkestone Invicta 2 Enfield Town 1
Early in the second period Taofiq Olomowewe had a shot charged down and Youngs was denied from close range by Roberts’ legs but the offside flag was up. Taaffe went on a good run into the box and Olomowewe appeared to have been impeded in the area but again referee Whitaker was unmoved.
With twenty minutes or so to play, Brandon Adams came on for Liam Hope and this triggered the game being turned on its head. After 77 minutes, a long kick from Wright found its way to the substitute, and he outpaced the home defence to keep his cool and fire in a second equaliser. Not content with this, barely another minute had passed when Youngs found himself in space and clipping the underside of the bar, but Adams was on hand to convert the rebound from close range.
It could have been an even more disastrous few minutes for the hosts when Jerald Aboagye almost turned the ball past Roberts, but Invicta’s keeper kept it out. As the game entered stoppage time Mickey Parcell charged down the right and had options in the middle but he elected to take the ball into the corner. Four minutes of added time did little to soothe the nerves of travelling supporters, but the final whistle sounded with no further alarms.
Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Jerald Aboagye, Nat Blanks, Matt Newman (John ter Horst 86), Callum Davies, Jack Evans, Sam Hasler, Ronnie Dolan (Alfie Paxman 67), Ian Draycott, Adam Yusuff (Kane Rowland 36), Kieron McCann. Unused subs: Micheal Everitt, Nicholas Shaw. Booked: Hasler.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Remi Sutton, Matt Johnson, Taofiq Olomowewe, Rian McLean, Lewis Taaffe (Mickey Parcell 88), Sam Youngs, Liam Hope (Brandon Adams 72), Sam Chaney, Aaron Greene (Bilal Sayoud 75). Unused subs: Mason Tunbridge, Billy Bricknell.