Match report: Enfield Town v Merstham

Enfield Town FC 2-2 Merstham

Saturday 28 November 2015
Ryman League Premier Division

Enfield v Merstham(1) 28nov15by Ken Brazier

Following the relatively recent experience against Billericay, a feeling of déjà vu permeated throughout the QEII Stadium at the end of this match, which produced a very disappointing relinquishing of a couple of points when three were there for the taking.

Town had looked full of purpose in the first period, with Merstham’s Josh Smith the busier of the two goalkeepers. Helped by the wind in that half, Town deservedly took the lead after 17 minutes, when Stan Muguo netted his first ever goal in a Town shirt, rifling the ball into the roof of the net following a Nathan Livings corner.

In the 22nd minute, Claudiu Vilcu shot over from another corner and then, shortly afterwards, Corey Whitely had a shot parried by Smith and Harry Ottaway was off target.

On the half hour mark, Merstham’s Charlie Penny played in a dangerous ball from the right, but no-one was on the end of it. As the half-time whistle approached, Fabio Saraiva fired wide, and then Nathan McDonald was called into action to save well from Aaron Rhule.

Half-time: Enfield Town 1 Merstham 0

The second half was barely a minute old when visiting keeper Smith raced off his line and flattened Whitely in the penalty area with a dangerous challenge. It was an obvious red card, and thankfully Whitely recovered after treatment. Moatsiders’ skippper Simon Cooper donned the keeper’s jersey. His first touch of the ball was to pick it out of the net following Nathan Livings’ successful penalty.

After 54 minutes, with Town looking to build on their lead, Tyler Campbell lost possession as he bore down on goal, and the visitors’ subsequent counter-attack was swift and effective. McDonald was ultimately left exposed and was unable to prevent Calum Willock pulling a goal back.

Still Town poured forward and looked the most likely winners. But when Ottaway hit the underside of the Merstham bar on the hour mark, some doubt started to creep in about the eventual outcome.

Claudiu Vilcu had a header saved and, although Samir Bihmoutine netted following a cross from Campbell on 66 minutes, he was flagged offside. In the 77th minute Fabio Saraiva conjured up an unlikely equaliser. But it was no more than the visitors deserved following a spirited second half display, which had included some resolute defending. Indeed, Town fans had their hearts in their mouths after Willock went down in the box after a challenge from McDonald, but referee Matt Corlett ruled that the lively Merstham striker had dived and brandished a yellow card.

Town’s misery was complete towards the end when Whitely found himself with only stand-in keeper Cooper to beat, but a poor second touch gave the Merstham man to chance to smother at his feet.

Attn: 284

Watch the match highlights of previous games on ETFCTV here


Photo courtesy: Tom Scott (full match photos here)
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