Greene leveller preserves unbeaten start
By Ken Brazier
Wingate & Finchley 1 Enfield Town 1
GREENE LEVELLER PRESERVES UNBEATEN START
Wingate & Finchley 1 Enfield Town 1
At a venue which is always difficult, there was little of the free-flowing football witnessed at Burgess Hill 48 hours earlier, but that had much to do with the opposition, who harried and closed down at every opportunity.
Town didn’t really get going in the first half, and an attritional 45 minutes saw Wingate come out on top. There were chances, but they were few and far between. After Marc Weatherstone had hit the woodwork from an offside position, Bilal Sayoud cut inside from the right, but couldn’t get a shot away, in the ninth minute and Town had a narrow escape when a home corner diverted off Taofiq Olomowewe into Joe Wright’s arms.
There was an eye-catching move involving Sam Youngs, Matt Johnson and Sayoud in the 20th minute, but the assistant referee spotted an offside and the triangular interplay came to an end. Wright cleared his lines with Lewis Putman in attendance, but the opening goal of the game arrived after 23 minutes. Tommy Tejan-Sie won the ball just outside the Town penalty area and fed Marc Charles-Smith who did the rest with his right foot, low beyond Wright’s right hand.
Wingate’s Scott Shulton, sporting a head bandage throughout, shot narrowly wide, before Rob Laney was in the wars for the second time, having treatment to what looked like a cut around the eyebrow area, before coming back on.
Shane Gore in the hosts’ goal saved from Sam Youngs following an Aaron Greene cut-back from the left and there were half-hearted home appeals for hands in the Town penalty box waved away as the opening half came to a close.
Half-time: Wingate & Finchley 1 Enfield Town 1
After the break there was far more action as Town looked to get back into the game. Liam Hope looked to have picked up a rebound off a defender in a promising position, but another offside flag was raised. The introduction of Lewis Taaffe ten minutes into the second period increased the variety of attacking moves that Town had to offer, but the visitors were still wary of the speed of Wingate’s counter- attacks, with Wright saving well from Reece Beckles-Richards.
A whipped Johnson cross from the right was headed wide by Youngs, and then the same player fired too high. Just beyond the hour mark, Taaffe went for the byeline and crossed low and hard but no-one was able to get on the end of it.
Gore was called into action to save from Taaffe and Youngs in quick succession, and then the Blues’ keeper was quickly off his line as substitute Brandon Adams bore down on goal, and he did just enough to force the young striker wide and to run out of turf. Putman arrived at the back post and looked certain to score for Wingate, but Wright thwarted him, conceding a corner in the process.
Town deservedly drew level in the 72nd minute. Taaffe played the ball to Johnson, whose inviting right-foot cross was converted at the far post by Greene to scenes of relief both on and off the pitch. Greene then looked to extend Town’s lead shortly afterwards but he turned into a tackle, and later on Mickey Parcell couldn’t quite find Taaffe with an attempted through ball.
At the away end, Blues’ centre-back Sean Cronin didn’t connect properly with his head in a promising positon and, at the other, a Taaffe free-kick had just too much pace on it to trouble Gore. The final chances of the match came aerially to Weatherstone and Charles-Smith, neither of whom could convert.
A point apiece was probably about right; Town remain unbeaten and now look forward to this coming weekend’s home game against Dorking Wanderers.
Wingate & Finchley: Shane Gore, Luke Ifil, Layne Eadie (Ola Williams 77), Marc Weatherstone, Sean Cronin, Scott Shulton, Lewis Putman, Rob Laney (Isaac Ebelebe 81), Marc Charles-Smith, Reece Beckles-Richards (Tim Monsheju 86), Tommy Tejan-Sie. Unused subs: Jack Humphrey, Afolabi Obafemi.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Mickey Parcell, Matt Johnson, Taofiq Olomowewe, Rian McLean, Bilal Sayoud (Lewis Taaffe 56), Sam Youngs (Brandon Adams 67), Liam Hope, Sam Chaney (Ryan Blackman 86), Aaron Greene. Unused subs: Mason Tunbridge, Junior Mubiayi. Booked: Greene, McLean.