Match Preview: Coggeshall Town

A brand-new season is on the horizon for Enfield and having won the Essex Senior League title and promotion to Step Four the previous campaign, fans and players alike will be hoping for even more success this time round. With a new league, new teams and plenty of optimism, the Isthmian North is no doubt going to provide drama, excitement, and numerous challenges ahead. However, that will have to wait another week as this Sunday, the E’s begin their FA Cup journey with a home tie against Coggeshall Town in the Extra Preliminary Round.

Following a successful run to the second qualifying round in the FA Cup last season, Enfield will be looking to repeat the feat or go one better this time round. The E’s began their journey last season by beating Step Four Hullbridge 3-1 before defeating fellow Essex Senior League side Ilford 3-0 to make it to the First Qualifying Round.

Awaiting Enfield was Step Three opposition in AFC Rushden & Diamonds and despite being two leagues below them, the E’s picked up a 2-1 victory including a last-minute winner from Danny Norton. The E’s faced off against National League South side Billericay Town in the next round and despite a resilient performance, Billericay ran out 4-0 winners but regardless of the result, it was a journey to remember.

Opposition: Coggeshall Town

Enfield face off against a Coggeshall Town side now playing a level below the E’s. Last season was a difficult campaign to say the least for the Essex side. Having made a bad start to the season, the appointment of Saffron Walden manager Jason Maher looked to have gotten Coggeshall back on track and towards an unlikely great escape. However, they ended up finishing in a relegation play-off spot and seven points adrift of safety, meaning they were to face a Step Five team to decide either promotion or relegation. It wasn’t to be for Coggeshall though as a 2-1 defeat to Lincolnshire side Winterton Rangers meant their fate was sealed.

Following on from their relegation, the Seedgrowers are now playing in the Essex Senior League hoping to bounce back to Step Four at the first time of asking. However, it has not been the ideal start to the season for Coggeshall having lost their opening two matches 2-1 and 4-1 to White Ensign and Takeley respectively. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go in the season and Coggeshall have plenty of time to turn their fortunes around.

Player to watch: Sam Bantick

Enfield have been busy over the summer in preparation for the new season and as well as retaining important players from the previous campaign, plenty of new faces have arrived to bolster the squad. However, the most notable addition was the signing of striker Sam Bantick from fellow Isthmian North side Grays Athletic.

Bantick had a prolific campaign for Grays last season, scoring 24 goals and providing 17 assists which contributed to the club finishing in the play-offs. The forward has plenty of experience in the Isthmian North having also played for Hashtag United, who of course won the division last year. Bantick has shown signs of promise in pre-season and will no doubt provide a huge threat in attack for the E’s this season.