Ryman League Premier: Enfield Town 2 Brentwood Town 1

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A late Claudiu Vilcu goal dampened Brentwood Town’s New Year festivities after a 2-1 away defeat to Enfield Town in Mike Flanagan’s first game in charge of ‘The Blues’.

Brentwood slip to eight points off safety despite having four games in hand and remain without a win since early November.

Bobby Devyne grabbed a first-half opener with his free-kick, which went straight in to set Enfield on their way.

‘The Blues’ levelled the match in the second half through the return of Tom Richardson, as his close range strike gave the away side holding a vital point.

But on the approach to injury-time Vilcu headed home to snatch yet another late victory to continue their hopes of possible promotion.

Flanagan brought back two absent Blues players Ryan O’Rawe and Tom Richardson with the introduction of new keeper Andrew Plummer from Brightlingsea Regent to the starting lineup.

Tom Richardson had an early shot for the visitors, as he checked back to evade the defender inside the box but his shot was straight at Nathan Mcdonald.

Enfield had a great chance 15 minutes in as Evans Kouassi burst down the left flank into space, his cross into the box broke for Devyne whose shot came off the crossbar and was eventually cleared by Brentwood.

Corey Whitely was put through for Enfield shortly after, breaking through the Brentwood defence but his snap shot went wide of the target.

Brentwood crafted an opportunity for the lead, as Richardson did good work out wide and whipped a ball in for Shad Ngandu whose free header went over.

Richardson turned his man once again to put Brentwood on the attack, he then laid the ball to Ngandu whose shot was parried over the bar by Mcdonald.

Ngandu gave away a needless free-kick for Brentwood just inside their own half, which resulted in Enfield taking the lead as Devyne lifted the ball into the box which caused confusion and found its way in.

Brentwood almost equalised five minutes into the second half, as Mitch Hahn whipped in his first time cross which was overhit but came back off the crossbar.

Enfield nearly doubled their lead, as Whitely’s strike from outside the box was palmed into the path of Devyne whose heavy touch was clawed off the line by Plummer.

Brentwood equalised 65 minutes in, as Ngandu was able to cut the ball back across the box after beating the defender for Richardson to tuck in from close range.

Devyne got himself through on goal shortly after, and had just Plummer to beat but his poked shot went just wide of the post.

Enfield were pressing for the winner and Harry Ottoway nearly grabbed it for the home side but his shot went wide of Plummer’s near post.

The hosts broke Brentwood’s valiant defence on the brink of injury time, after a half cleared corner was clipped to the far post to be headed home by Vilcu to snatch the three points.

Enfield Town Lineup: 1 Nathan Mcdonald, 2 Ryan Doyle, 3 Joe Stevens, 4 Claudiu Vilcu, 5 Harold Joseph, 6 Stanley Muguo, 7 Corey Whitely, 8 Nathan Livings (36), 9 Bobby Devyne (92), 10 Harry Ottaway, 11 Evans Kouassi (45)

Substitutes: 12 Phil Lowen (36), 14 Jandir Da Cruz (92), 15 Mickey Parcell, 16 Tayshan Hayden-Smith, 17 Tyler Campbell (45)

Brentwood Town: 1 Andrew Plummer, 2 Leon Gordon (29), 3 Louis Baucutt, 4 Mitch Hahn, 5 Phillip Anderson, 6 Ryan O’Rawe, 7 Connor Hogan (54), 8 Connor Witherspoon, 9 Tom Richardson, 10 Shad Ngandu, 11 Andrew Freeman

Substitutes: 12 Sherwin Stanley (54), 14 Bradley Nobbs, 16 Joshua Banton (29), Dwade James

Attendance: 352


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