Stortford steal it
By Ken Brazier
Bishop's Stortford 2 Enfield Town 1
A winner from the evergreen Jamie Cureton at the death consigned Town to defeat in cruel fashion after they had battled their way to parity and looked all set to have picked up a hard-earned point.
On a miserable night of swirling drizzle on a poor surface, the visitors were still missing Joe Wright and Dan Rumens while, in addition, Aaron Greene and Sam Chaney were unavailable. The versatile Mickey Parcell switched to left back and Bilal Sayoud came into the side, initially on the right and later switching wings with Karl Oliyide.
The first action of the game saw Sam Youngs sliding in to get on the end of a ball in from the right and claiming, unsuccessfully, that he was impeded by Mark Haines. Matt Nolan was then at full stretch to palm away a dangerous cross from the hosts’ right while his opposite number Arthur Janata dealt with a Sayoud cross comfortably.
Stortford took an early lead on 7 minutes. After Billy Bricknell had been beaten to the ball in a central area, former Towner Nathan Livings fed Ben Worman, who pulled the trigger with a powerful left-foot drive from twenty yards that gave the diving Nolan no chance.
After Remi Sutton had fired well over the top, there was a marginal offside decision which ruled out a fine Marc Weatherstone header from Sayoud’s whipped in free kick on the right after 18 minutes. Stortford’s route one approach was proving to be more suited to the conditions, and a shot from Ryan Charles was cleared by Sutton. Mickey Parcell blazed off target for the visitors and, five minutes before the break, Cureton headed into the Town net past Nolan but this time the offside decision was clear cut. Cureton then shot wide after a Nolan kick had been played straight back into a dangerous area. As the half drew to a close, Sutton just failed to get his head onto the end of a Parcell free kick.
Half-time: Bishop’s Stortford 1 Enfield Town 0
Stortford almost increased their lead three minutes after the interval when Blues half time substitute Luke Callendar hooked a decent effort over his shoulder, narrowly missing the angle of post and crossbar. An on-target effort from Ryan Blackman was inadvertently blocked by a pink shirt, and a Sayoud effort with his right foot flew harmlessly over. Cureton narrowly missed connecting with an attempt at a diving header following a cross from the left, while a Bricknell free kick was easily held by Janata.
There followed a spell of home pressure, and a shot from Worman was well tipped behind by Nolan, but Town managed to draw level with twenty minutes to go. A ball into the box from Johnson on the left was helped on by Sutton, and sub Kezie Ibe turned the ball into the net from close range.
Good saves by Janata and Nolan kept the scores level, but there was a final twist when skipper Ryan Blackman unfortunately slipped deep inside his own half, and the ball was worked out to the right via Alex Warman and Johnville Renee before being played low into the box and flicked home by Cureton from close range. There was still time for a long clearance to be chased down by the accelerating Josh Davison but, having got past Ryan Henshaw he could only find the roof of the net.
Overall, a below par performance from Town which may on another night have yielded a point, but there was no denying Stortford created more chances and they would have no doubt felt aggrieved had they not netted their very late winner.
Bishop’s Stortford: Arthur Janata, Ben Sampayo, Christopher Gregan, Sam Robbins, Ryan Henshaw, Mark Haines, Johnville Renee, Nathan Livings (Alex Warman 88), Jamie Cureton, Ben Worman, Ryan Charles (Luke Callander 46). Unused subs: Haaroon Belaid, Olly Miles, Jack Thomas. Booked: Sampayo.
Enfield Town: Matt Nolan, Sam Hatton, Mickey Parcell, Matt Johnson, Marc Weatherstone, Remi Sutton, Bilal Sayoud, Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell (Josh Davison 86), Sam Youngs (Kezie Ibe 68), Karl Oliyide (Junior Mubiayi 78). Unused subs: Brad Empson, Steve Wales. Booked: Sutton, Hatton.