Enfield Town entertained a youthful Barnet side at Donkey Lane is this afternoon for their first pre-season friendly in the build up to the 2016/17 campaign. Bradley Quinton gave debuts to Curtis Ujah (centre back signed from Chesham United) and Merrick James-Lewis (a 24 year old midfielder who counts many former clubs to his name who played for Mertsham, Canvey Island and Farnborugh last season) in the starting XI with Nigel Nieta (a centre forward who started with Arsenal's academy and has most recently been playing with VCD Athletic and Met Police), Nikki Ahamed (an attacking midfielder most recently with the Met Police but has also played for Wealdstone and clubs in Germany - he was a youth platyer with Chelsea) and Bobby Fannela (GK) new names on the bench.
In very hot conditions both sides played some good football with many of the young Barnet players looking technically good on the ball. They had a chance to make it 0-1 from the spot after a trip in the box but the penalty kick was well saved by Nathan McDonald in the Town goal. On 35 minutes they did make it 0-1 when their most experienced player Shaun Batt scored after some terrific play by Shane Cojocarel. The Romanian teenager was one of the stand out players for me - very small in stature but played well between the lines of midfield and forward with an eye for goal too. The same sort of build and style of play as Erhan Oztumer who starred for Dulwich Hamlet and went on to move to Peterborough United - I think he has a good future in the game.
|A GOOD CROWD OF 383 WATCHING THE ACTION WITH FANS OF BOTH SIDES MIXING TOGETHER, WHICH WAS GOOD TO SEE - PROPER FOOTBALL!|
There was a good atmosphere behind The Town goal with a small number of away fans standing side by side of The Town fans exhanging some banter - "Your just a small team from Enfield" and "Your just a small team from Edgware" were two of the songs exchanged beteween the rival fans. Both sets of fans applaued for the 19th minute in memory of Barnet fans Chris East who tragically died of a heart attack on his way to a game in March. He was just 19 years of age when he sadly passed away.
Town went 2-1 just into the second half when the impressive Ricky Gabriel ran into the box and slotted the ball home confidently. Lots of changes followed with the away side pushing for an equaliser later on forcing Bobby Fannela, who had replaced McDonald, into making some good saves.
The last time Enfield Town and Barnet played was in a pre-season friendly back in 2006 when 358 people saw The Bee's record a 1-2 victory with one of the goals scored by Jason Puncheon - What ever happened to him??
Barnet's first team were also playing today away at another Ryman Premier Division side in Staines Town winning 0-2 through a double from Ryan Watson who was signed from Premier League side Leicester City this week.
Town entertain Reading U21s in their next pre-season friendly on Tuesday evening.
|BARNET'S SCORER SHAUN BATT CELEBRATES HIS GOAL|
|BARNET'S SHANE COJOCAREL (NUMBER 45) IMPRESSED AND LOOKS A GOOD PROSPECT|
|COREY WHITELY CELEBRATES HIS GOAL WITH MARK KIRBY|
NATHAN McDONALD, JORDAN LOCKIE, RICKY GABRIEL, CURTIS UJAH, MARK KIRBY, MERRICK JAMES-LEWIS, MICKY PARCELL, BILLY CROOK, COREY WHITELY, HARRY OTTAWAY, TYLER CAMPBELL.
SUBS - CONNOR BOLTON, TAYSHAN HAYDEN-SMITH, NIGEL NIETA, NATHAN LIVINGS, CLAUDIO VILCU, VANCE BOLA, STANLEY MUGOU, NIKKI AHAMED, BOBBY FANNELA.
KAI McKENZIE-LYLE, JUSTIN NWOGU, WESLEY FONGUCK, DARNELL SMITH, BEN TOMLINSON, NARA KYEI, SHAWN BATT, SHANE COJOCAREL, RICARDO THOMPSON, ANDRES KITOTI, JAMES PEARSON.
SUBS - MAURO VILHETE, THEO ALEXIS, BENJY AGHADIUNO, RIO DAVIDSON-PHIPPS, EPHRON MASON-CLARKE, DON CHEEMA.