Goals from Reece Conway and Olly Miles helped Enfield get their Essex Senior League off to the best possible start as they beat Clapton 2-0 at Woodside Park.
It was an equal first half between the two sides as both sets of players come forward and tested the keepers, but it was Enfield who controlled the second half, with the visitors having rare flurries forward.
Within second of the kick-off, Enfield looked to break the deadlock as they came forward. The ball fell to Alex Warman in the box, but his effort was blocked from close range. Clapton settled into the game and looked to attack in the opening minutes, but they were limited to an effort from distance, with the shot comfortably held by James Bransgrove.
The visitors didn’t feel like sitting back as they had a couple of chances, but couldn’t take them. A ball was flashed across the face of goal, but no one was close enough to tap home before a header from defender to goalkeeper, had to be tipped over the bar by the latter. A minute or so later, Clapton called for a penalty as the forward went down under the pressure of Bransgrove, but the referee awarded a corner instead. From that the E’s looked to counter, but Olly Miles’ attack was halted by a great challenge.
Despite another good chance for the Ton’s as a ball was fired towards the far post, but was just wide, it was Enfield who got a foothold in the game and began to dominate proceedings. A free-kick from Miles was fired over the bar before Luke Wilson headed the ball onto the post from a corner kick. Louis Johnson had a couple of efforts, but again wasn’t able to find the break through. He created space for himself just outside the box, but his shot was comfortably held by the keeper, before a similar effort a few minutes later resulting in the same outcome.
As the first half approached it’s end, Enfield continued to come forward. Vinny Murphy aimed a free-kick towards the head of Wilson, but the keeper did well to claim under pressure before the ball was played into the feet of Dwade James, but the talisman was held off well by the Ton defenders and a header from Luke Wilson was onto the roof of the net. The pressure finally paid off in the 44th-minute as Enfield took the lead as Captain Reece Conway slide in to tuck a cross into the net.
Enfield come out the strongest in the second half as they looked to build on their lead. Dwade James looked to poke an effort home in the early moments, but the defender managed to get ahead before he looked to get onto the ball in the box, but again, it was well cleared.
The early pressure from the E’s came up trumps as they doubled their lead in the 61st-minute. Jack Folan did well to stand the ball up towards the penalty spot and Olly Miles were there to head his effort off the crossbar and into the goal. Despite finding themselves two-nil down, Clapton had a good chance to pull one back as a shot was fired towards goal, but the effort was dragged just wide.
Enfield got back on the ball and almost had a third in the 75th-minute as Callum Ibe looked to flick the ball beyond the keeper, but the goalie did well to hold onto his effort. With less than 10-minutes to play, Clapton were looking to avoid conceding any further goal as Enfield continued to come forward. Jack Folan tried his luck from distance, but his effort was fired over before Callum Ibe looked to get on the end of a cross, but the keeper saved well. Ibe had shouts for a penalty waved away as he went down under the challenge of the keeper in the 88th-minute, with neither sides adding any goals in added time.