Enfield Town 1 Blues 1
Towners end the Blues play off dreams
Leiston’s play off dreams were shattered in the cruellest of finale’s, Enfield Town’s 86th minute equaliser denying Glenn Driver’s side a coveted play off place. Despite spending nearly the entire season in the top five the Blues ended the season in seventh, the lowest position they had held all of the campaign.
Needing a win against the Division’s form side Glenn Driver named an attacking side and surprised the supporters by giving Armani Schaar his first start of the season in a three pronged attacked as the Blues walked out into the North London sunshine in a 4-3-3 formation. Like the visitors, Enfield Town were looking for a first ever play off finish but it was the visitors who made all the early running. Matt Blake saw an early header just clear the bar and then Joe Jefford followed suit from a corner. The main threat for the hosts came down their left with the speedy Oliyide causing Ollie Brown some anxious moments. But while their build up play was exciting, the hosts were unable to get a clear sight of Ashlee Jones’ goal thanks to a well disciplined Leiston rearguard. Leiston, prompted by the excellent Adeyinka Cole in midfield, looked menacing moving forward and a long range chipped effort from Jack Ainsley only cleared the home bar by inches. Armani Schaar and Adeyinka Cole combined down the left that resulted in a clumsy challenge on Jack Ainsley in the box with the supporters screaming for a penalty, it looked a tight call but the decision went with Enfield. But in the final minute of the half the Blues were ahead. Great work from Niko Muir-Merchant down the left saw a neat cross to the far post where from six yards Gareth Heath sent a looping header back across McDonald in the home goal much to the delight of the travelling supporters behind that goal.
After a hard working and deserved interval lead Leiston knew they were 45 minutes from a first ever play off place and as things stood, so were Enfield Town. Early exchanges in the half were even with Matt Blake poking a half chance just wide following some hesitancy in the home defence while Oliyide created an opening inside the Blues box but completely missed his kick at the vital moment. Matt Blake headed wide a half chance but the chances were becoming more and more limited for the Suffolk side as they defended deeper into their own half looking to preserve their one goal advantage. It looked like this ploy would work as the Blues stood firm with some resolute defending but then four minutes from time Enfield were level as two of their substitutes combined. A momentary lapse of concentration down the right from a free kick saw a whipped in centre from Bihomoline find the unmarked Devyne who side footed home from close range. It was a devastating blow so late in the game and despite some frantic attempts to salvage another goal, the Blues were held and their dreams of the play off’s were over for another year.
FT – Enfield Town 1 Blues 1
Enfield Town – McDonald, Muleba, Gabriel, Joseph, Kirby, Shulton, Campbell (Parcell 60 mins), Crook (Bihmoutine 80 mins), Wynter (Devyne 67 mins), Ottaway, Oliyide. Subs not used - Livings and Kiangebeni.
Blues – Jones, Brown, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Schaar (Hubble 78 mins), Heath, Blake, Muir-Merchant, Cole (Marsden 78 mins). Subs not used – Francis, Hutchings and Lay-Fulcher.
Man of the Match – Adeyinka Cole
Attendance - 812