Enfield Town 2 Folkestone Invicta 0
By Ken Brazier
Match report by Aaron Patel
The opening half of this game saw precious few opportunities for either side, and an off-colour Town in particular. Kieron McCann latched onto Tim Roberts’s long goal-kick early on but his shot was charged down, and, ten minutes later, Adam Yusuff attacked down the left and a good cross ended with Ian Draycott heading over.
Alfie Paxman sprung behind the Town defence, staying onside but his effort was saved by the legs of Matt Nolan (Joe Wright having failed a late fitness test on his kicking leg) in the 20th minute. This was just one of many instances where Town were caught out after losing possession but, thankfully from the hosts’ perspective, Folkestone did not capitalize.
With half an hour played, chances continued to be at a premium, but another chance went begging for the visitors when Paxman’s effort from close-range was dragged just wide of the post, after a scramble in the box ten minutes before half-time. The visitors looked far more likely to score before the interval.
Half-time: Enfield Town 0 Folkestone Invicta 0
Town created and missed a great opportunity six minutes into the second-half. A free-kick was swung-in, flicked on and met by the head of Karl Oliyide at the back post, but the on-loan striker didn’t connect properly and his hear flew over the bar. Invicta broke into the Town half shortly afterwards but more wayward shooting, from Yusuff and McCann, went on to cost the visitors dearly.
Two minutes shy of the hour, Town took the lead against the run of play; a long ball punted forward was met by the head of Matt Johnson on the left hand side of the Invicta penalty area, and he did well to leap and head goalwards, and the ball sailed above Tim Roberts in goal to nestle in the back of the net.
Town at last began to find some rhythm and searched for a second with far more purpose. After Nolan had come out to block Yusuff, Oliyide began to have more impact down the right and after beating Nat Blanks for pace he blazed his effort high and wide.
Yusuff was shown a second yellow card after following through on Jay Porter, an offence similar to his earlier yellow card lunge on Ryan Blackman after half an hour. Substitutes Kezie Ibe and Sam Youngs, combined well in the 62nd minute, with Youngs shooting over from Ibe’s pass.
Mickey Parcell’s effort was turned behind for a corner by Roberts in the 65th minute, after a good sequence of passes. Then a long-range effort from Youngs from 35 yards was held by Roberts. Town continued to look strong, searching for a second goal to put the game to bed.
The second finally came after some great persistence from Billy Bricknell. The prolific striker latched onto a long ball played forward, took the ball past two defenders on the edge of the box and, after making space for his right foot, slotted the ball into the bottom corner past Roberts with only nine minutes left.
Not a classic encounter to say the least, but after a fairly dire opening half Town managed to keep in touch with the other play-off contenders thanks to a solid second-half performance.
Enfield Town: Matt Nolan, Sam Hatton, Jay Porter, Matt Johnson, Marc Weatherstone, Dan Rumens, Mickey Parcell (Bilal Sayoud 88), Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell, Karl Oliyide (Kezie Ibe 67), Sam Chaney (Sam Youngs 68). Unused: Josh Davison and Aaron Greene. Booked: Weatherstone, Youngs.
Folkestone Invicta: Tim Roberts, Josh Vincent, Nat Blanks (Ira Jackson 73), Finn O’Mara, Callum Davies, Alfie Paxman (Johan ter Horst 77), Scott Heard, Micheal Everitt, Ian Draycott, Adam Yusuff, Kieron McCann. Unused: Ethan Madden and Nicholas Shaw. Booked: Yusuff. Sent off: Yusuff.