On a bleak and cold Saturday afternoon, the weather was a good indicator as to what was to lay in store for Enfield and Lewes at the Queen Elizabeth II stadium, reports James Boyes.
Neither side had enough in them to really make a difference, although on balance maybe the hosts will feel more disappointed about having to share the points with the Rooks writes James Boyes.
Lewes boss Darren Freeman made a couple of changes to the side following the disappointing New Year’s Day defeat to Burgess Hill, replacing Dayshonne Golding and Jonte Smith with Harry Reed and Luke Blewden.
Things looked really positive for Lewes at the start as they made an electrifying start that caught Enfield cold. Omarr Lawson played in Blewden in the first minute but the striker shot wide, disappointed that he didn’t test keeper Joe Wright.
Town’s defence really struggled to cope with Blewden’s running and another example a minute later earned an unlikely corner.
Stacey Freeman broke free from the pack and peeled away to celebrate his cushioned header putting Lewes ahead until Sam Youngs booted the ball off the line.
Lewes looked assured, as if they’d made a dressing room pact to put the New Year’s Day result behind them, helped by Enfield’s general disorganisation.
The opening goal duly arrived in the 11th minute. Blewden’s masterly hold up play kept out Dan Rumens, allowing Lawson to run on into space and blast the ball past Wright to give Rooks a deserved lead.
Instead of pushing on, Lewes melted away and let Enfield back into the game. Only Freeman came between Mickey Parcell and the equalising goal in the 21st minute, and the defender was on hand soon after to block the danger from Billy Brickell, with Lewes keeper Lewis Carey eventually smothering his low shot.
Both sides had half chances but the increasing threat from Enfield saw them equalise eight minutes from time, Brickell’s neat lay-off finding Youngs whose sharp shot on the turn wrong-footed Carey.
Two minutes later Brickell, who was clearly the danger man for Enfield, almost put the hosts ahead, but his volley was tipped away at full stretch by a grateful Carey.
Enfield’s pressure continued after the break, with Carey again keeping out a dangerous free kick from Brickell before the striker had a goal disallowed for offside.
Kieran Pamment’s strong run took him to the by-line but his ball across the face of goal was missing a Lewes response before it was cleared.
From the resulting corner, Frankie Chappell headed the ball into Wright’s midriff but a lightning break from Enfield ended with Brickell shooting wide.
The remainder of the game was played out with neither side showing much urgency, which must have come as a disappointment for the Mayor of Enfield and the other dignitaries who were probably longing for the warmth of the council chamber by this stage.
With the Lewes fans all but resigned to a draw, a corner with ten minutes to go raised expectations but despite creating a great opportunity for himself, James Hammond headed the chance over the bar, along with any remaining hope of the Rooks bagging their first win of the new year.
The Rooks have a much shorter away trip next Saturday when they head to Worthing.
ENFIELD TOWN: Joe Wright; Sam Hatton (Remi Sutton 65); Mickey Parcell; Matthew Johnson; Marc Weatherstone; Dan Rumens; Bilal Sayoud; Ryan Blackman; Billy Bricknell; Sam Youngs (Joshua Davison 81); Aaron Greene (Junior Mubiayi 83)
SUBS: Ryan McLean; Steve Wales
BOOKED: Hatton, Parcell, Johnson
LEWES: Lewis Carey; Tom Day; Leon Redwood; Olu Oluwatimilehin; Frankie Chappell; Stacey Freeman; Harry Reed (Callum Overton 60); Omarr Lawson; Luke Blewden; James Hammond; Kieran Pamment
SUBS: Jonte Smith; Charlie Coppola; Dylan Gifford; Ross Barclay