Date: Tuesday 4th November 2020
Venue: Queen Elizabeth II Stadium
League: Isthmian League Premier Division
Enfield Town: White Shirt, Blue Shorts, Blue Socks
Brightlingsea Regent: Red Shirt (Black Strips), Black Shorts, Black Socks
Enfield Town moved up to 3rd in the Isthmian League Premier Division and went into the lockdown with 3-points as they beat Brightlingsea Regent at the Queen Elizabeth II Stadium. It was a game that the hosts dominated but they made hard-work of getting the win as goals from Neville Nzembela, Percy Kiangebeni and Lyle Delle-Verde were enough despite two-goals from the visitors.
Right from the off, Enfield Town dominated the ball. A ball in the early moments was flashed across the face of goal but was just wide before a free-kick was straight into a Regents wall with shouts for handball, which were ignored by the referee. Town continued to come forward as they looked for the opening goal. Percy Kiangebeni played a good ball into the box but Neville Nzembela was only able to direct his shot wide before Lyle Delle-Verde made some good contributions as he made a good run but his pass couldn’t be controlled by Nzembela and his cross was cleared. Despite the good start from the hosts, it was Brightlingsea who took the lead against the run of play. Lewis Byrne-Hewitt picked up the ball on the right-hand side and cut inside, before slotting the ball in at the far post.
Although they had conceded, Enfield continued to dominate as they looked to respond almost immediately. Billy Bricknell went up for a headed but just missed the flight of the ball before a free-kick from distance was cleared, either side of James Crisell getting to the by-line but Enfield dealt with it well. The pressure paid off in the 22nd minute as the Towners brought themselves level. A good ball came into Nzembela who tucked home from close range. The goal had only given Enfield confidence as they filter forward. Delle-Verde was played through but his initial shot was blocked before he couldn’t get it out of his feet and Regents cleared their lines before they had a great chance to take the lead as Billy Bricknell was played through but the keeper stood firm and produced a superb save to deny the Enfield forward. A couple of minutes later, they had their lead as Percy Kiangebeni, in a similar position to Nzembela for the first goal, tucked his effort beyond the keeper.
As the game approached half-time, Brightlingsea had a chance as Byrne-Hewitt picked up the ball and did well to get beyond the defenders but his cross was well held by the keeper but it was Enfield who looked most like scoring. Delle-Verde got beyond the defence but his pull back was cleared before they had a penalty shout, which was ignored by the referee and a shot from Lee Chappell from distance was fired over the bar. On the stroke of half-time, Lyle Delle-Verde had a huge opportunity to get his first of the evening but he somehow fired over from close range after being played through.
Enfield continued the game in the manner they had began as they attacked the Brightlingsea defence as the start of the second-half. Delle-Verde fired over from the edge before a header from a free-kick was just over and an effort from Sam Youngs was inches wide of the target. Despite the strong start, Brightlingsea scored against the run of play again, 9-minutes into the second-half. Charlie Durling rose above everyone and headed home from a corner at the back-post to bring the visitors level. Charlie Turner managed to collect the ball at a 2nd attempt following a diving header before Delle-Verde had another chance to score as he cut inside but his shot was inches wide.
The visitors had a good opportunity to test Nathan McDonald but a free-kick was overhit and went out of play before Enfield looked for a 3rd goal. Lyle Delle-Verde finally had his goal as he smashed the ball in to the roof of the net. Brightlingsea’s Byrne-Hewitt fired a shot from the edge of the box just over before Cadell Fraser-Robinson fired a low ball across the face of goal while Enfield Town also tried to create chances but they couldn’t test Turner in the Regents goal.
As the game reached the final 10-minutes, both sides looked for the next goal. A shot on the 80th-minute was well saved by Turner before Town saw a shot from Sam Youngs fired just wide and a shot from distance well held. Brightlingsea defended well and limited the hosts to limited chances as the clock ticked down, with the hope they could salvage a point late on. With the referee adding on 5-minutes, Town’s Josh Urquhart fired a low ball across the face of goal but it was well cleared. The visitors slowly moved up the pitch, picking up fouls which allowed them to launch a free-kick into the box. They had thrown Charlie Turner up the pitch but nothing had come of the resulting kick. In the last minute of added time, Brightlingsea were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box but despite the pleas with the referee that it was a penalty, the resulting free-kick was inches wide of the target and the game was brought to an end.
Enfield Town: 1 Nathan McDonald, 2 Josh Urquhart, 3 Lee Chappell, 4 Ryan Blackman, 5 Harold Joseph, 6 Adam Pepera, 7 Sam Youngs, 8 Percy Kiangebeni (15 Lewis Taaffe), 9 Billy Bricknell, 10 Neville Nzembela (16 Jared Small), 11 Lyle Delle-Verde (12 Jeremiah Gyebi)
ET (Unused): 14 Junior Mubiayi, 17 Jonathan Muleba
Brightlingsea Regent: 13 Charlie Turner, 2 Zach Smith-Walter, 3 Cadell Fraser-Robinson, 4 Adam Topley (16 Khris Oti), 5 Pip Boyland, 6 Jamie Bennett, 7 Kane Gilbert, 8 Charlie Darling, 9 George Bugg (Joe Heron), 10 James Crisell (Jordan Barnett), 11 Lewis Byrne-Hewitt
BR (Unused): 14 Sonny Bastone, 17 Elwin Lartey