Saturday 20 August 2011


The 2011/12 season kicks off at Cricklefield

British Summer Time in Ilford....some fans braved the rain, some sheltered under umbrellas and some used the viewing gallery from the bar!!!
The start of the season is usually associated with hot sunny days but it was totally the opposite in the first half today as the rain poured down on a bumpy and patchy Cricklefields pitch. The sun did make an appearance in the second period but it didn't help Town win as they and Ilford shared the points in a 1-1 draw.

Town welcomed debutants Wesley Beckles and Daniel Ailey to their starting line up and took the game to Ilford in the opening stages. I lost count of how many corners the Town won in the first twenty minutes or so as there were so many!!

After Town's sustained pressure The Foxes broke up field and had a great chance to opening the scoring when forcing Rob Blackburne into a fantastic double save that was right out of the top draw!! (see from 1min 43secs on the video)

Daniel Ailey, who showed some impressive touches and held the ball up well, had Town's best chance of the opening exhanges when heading a corner past the far post.

Ilford took the lead after around 30 minutes play when Adam Bolle fired home after a looping cross into the box which Rob Blackburne went to catch but got in a tangle with a jumping Ilford attacker allowing Bolle to poke the ball into the net. Was it a foul or not???  Was there a handball in the Ilford build up play??  It may sound like sour-grapes on the cold end's Enfield Town supporting part... all I can do is remain neutral and recommend you watch the video highlights to make up your own mind?? 

Handball in the build-up to Ilford's goal???
Town made it 1-1 a few minutes later when Ailey headed home a Adam Wallace cross to score his first competative goal for the club. Hopefully this will be one of the many times Daniel will hit the back of the net this season!

The second half saw Town create a number of opportunities but to their frustration the ball just didn't seem to drop right or they found Rob Budd in excellent form. The save he made right at the end of the match was equally as good as Rob Blackburne's in the first half. (see 6mins 30secs on video)

So, Steve Newing and the players will know a 1-1 draw at Ilford, who have been predicted to be one of the relegation candidates, isn't the ideal start to the season. There are alot of positives to take from the performance such as the number of chances Town created that on anther day would of resulted in at least 3 goals being scored.  Fans getting carried away saying it's not good enough should take note that it's not what happens on the first day of the season but where the team finish when it matters that counts.


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