Town up to 6th
Enfield Town 3 Burgess Hill Town 1 - match report by Aaron Patel
Town up to 6th
Enfield Town 3 Burgess Hill Town 1
On a blustery day, the first ten minutes of the game were scrappy, with neither side getting hold of the ball for long before conceding possession writes Aaron Patel. New signing James Mulley made his debut in midfield, while Sam Hatton partnered the returning Dan Rumens at the heart of the defence. Joe Wright returned in place of Matt Nolan, while Marc Weatherstone, Aaron Greene and Sam Chaney were unavailable.
It was the visitors who had the first real effort of the afternoon when Jared Rance’s tried his luck from 25 yards out but was well wide. In the 13th minute the same player swung in a free-kick for the visitors in a dangerous position but Town’s reshuffled back line managed to clear. Hill began to see the better of possession, were winning many of the the one-to-one battles and were looking the more likely to break the deadlock, although in truth they didn’t manage to create any clear-cut opportunities.
In the 20th minute, after being played through, Sam Youngs bore down on goal but his right-foot shot was off target. Moments later, Town keeper Joe Wright dropped the ball straight at the feet of Jack Malleret, but the Hill striker dragged his effort wide – a massive let off for Town.
Slowly but surely Town began to get a foothold and, just before the half-hour mark, a corner from Youngs was flicked on in a crowded box for Karl Oliyide to tap home and give Town the lead. It wasn’t to last, however, as a few minutes later Aaron Smith-Joseph’s delivery from the left found Rance unmarked at the back post and he struck the ball past Wright to make it 1-1.
The pace of the game improved towards the break; Billy Bricknell had the ball in the back of the net, but it was chalked off for offside.
Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Burgess Hill Town 1
There was a much brighter start to the second-half for Town; a long Matt Johnson throw-in was launched into the Hillians’ box and Sam Hatton directed a header towards goal, but Josh James held his effort. In the 49th minute, another Youngs’s corner was swung-in from the right, the ball was headed across the box by Rumens and Bricknell was on apply the finishing touch from close-range to restore Town’s lead.
Town nearly added a third after more great work down the right from Youngs to keep the ball, get into the box and pull it back for new signing James Mulley but the former Maidenhead man’s effort was straight at James.
As the game hit the hour mark, Town were continuing to press. There was finally some breathing space in the 62nd minute when Matt Johnson picked up the ball in midfield after the visitors failed to clear their lines and picked out Bricknell with a superb pass, onside, and he took a touch before sliding home to give Town a two-goal cushion.
Bilal Sayoud struck an effort of from twenty yards but James was equal to it. Bricknell was on the hunt for his hat-trick and came close in the 75th minute, picking up the ball just outside the box but flashing a left-footed effort just wide.
In the closing stages of the game Town were forced to stand firm at the back as Hill came onto them, but an improved second half display saw the game out and they currently sit a point off the play-off placings, in advance of the visit of Bishop’s Stortford in the semi-final of the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday night at the QEII.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Ryan Blackman (c), Mickey Parcell, Matt Johnson, Sam Hatton, Dan Rumens, Sam Youngs (Junior Mubiayi 85), James Mulley, Billy Bricknell (Josh Davison 81), Karl Oliyide (Kezie Ibe 69), Bilal Sayoud. Unused subs: Dan Heald, Matt Nolan.
Burgess Hill Town: Josh James, Boris Kipeya-Bonno, Tom Cadman, Steve Sargent, Tolulope Jonah (Aiden Enver 69), James Richmond, Jared Rance (Charlie Bennett 69), Pat Harding, Dan Beck (c), Aaron Smith-Joseph, Jack Malleret. Unused subs: Josh Tuck, Josh Short, Dan Choules.