Lively derby ends all-square
Enfield Town 2 Haringey Borough 2
A lively, and occasionally feisty, north London derby ended with honours even at an increasingly blustery Queen Elizabeth II Stadium, and that was about the right outcome, with Town doing well to play out the last half an hour with ten men.
Sam Chaney came in for the suspended Ryan Blackman in the only change to the starting line-up. Following a delayed kick-off due to one of the match officials being held up, Haringey were first out of the blocks. Winning a corner on their right in the 4th minute, the ball was floated over and an unmarked Rakim Richards was able to head past Joe Wright. Borough’s joy was short-lived, however, following a great move down the Town left. Lewis Taaffe found Aaron Greene, who showed good awareness to look up and pull the ball back for Billy Bricknell to net with great composure on ten minutes.
Visiting keeper Valery Pajetet had to be on his guard to grab a couple of high balls which held up in the wind, and he did particularly well to claw away a goalbound effort from Remi Sutton. But Borough were looking dangerous going forward, with Karl Akinwande demonstrating strong hold-up play and there were plenty of willing runners in support to pose challenges to the Town back line.
On the half hour mark, a great turn by Town man-of- the-match Sam Youngs created space, but his subsequent shot was gathered low down by Pajetet with Bricknell lurking in close attendance. Shortly afterwards, Greene played in Bricknell, but again Pajetet was off his line to smother the danger. Former Town skipper Mark Kirby got his head to a corner, but an off-balance Chinedu McKenzie skewed his effort over the top as the ball dropped to him.
It was end-to-end stuff for the remainder of the half, with both defences managing to get in clearances in the nick of time, until just before the break when Chaney chested the ball to Youngs, whose shot appeared to lack sufficient power but, although Pajetet parried the midfielder’s effort, he was unable to stop the ball crossing the line, giving Town a slightly flattering lead at the break.
Half-time: Enfield Town 2 Haringey Borough 1
Borough again flew out of the traps early in the second period and, following efforts from Lionel Stone and Chinedu McKenzie off-target and saved respectively, Richards bagged his second when he drilled home a loose ball diagonally inside the box five minutes into the half to delight the sizable travelling contingent. Lewis Taaffe fired over after a Matt Johnson long throw on the right had been headed clear, and Youngs was wide of the mark when he got on the end of a low cross from Sam Hatton. Shortly afterwards, Coby Rowe’s curling free kick was then a whisker away from giving Borough the lead.
It looked as though there may well be a turning point in the game on the hour when centre-back Dan Rumens was rightly shown a red card for denying a goalscoring opportunity just outside the Town area with Wright coming out but not necessarily arriving in time to avert the danger; but as it turned out both sides continued to press and there continued to be chances at both ends. Taofiq Olomowewe headed off target, Sam Hatton had a drive blocked, Wright and Pajetet both made crucial saves and Borough hit the woodwork , but there was no breaking the deadlock.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Remi Sutton, Matt Johnson, Taofiq Olomowewe, Dan Rumens, Lewis Taaffe, Sam Chaney (Rian McLean 70), Billy Bricknell, Sam Youngs, Aaron Greene (Liam Hope 78). Unused: Bilal Sayoud, Mickey Parcell, Brandon Adams. Booked: Chaney, Hope. Sent off: Rumens.
Haringey Borough: Valery Pajetet, David Olufemi, Michael O'Donoghue, Rakim Richards, Mark Kirby, Coby Rowe, Lionel Stone, Jorge Djassi –Sambu (Georgios Aresti 79), Karl Akinwande (Anthony McDonald 83), Chinedu Mckenzie (Michael Ademiluyi 65), Joseph Staunton. Unused: Scott Mitchell, Austin Byfield. Booked: Aresti.