Bishop goal enough for Enfield to see off Stansted!

Enfield ended a run of four straight defeats with a crucial 1-0 win over 2nd place Stansted. A stunning strike from Kieran Bishop proved enough for the E’s, who picked up their first league victory of 2022.

Three changes were made by Enfield after Tuesday’s defeat to Saffron Walden. Vinny Murphy came into the back four in place of George Essuman while in midfield, Alex Warman made way for Dave Cowley. Elsewhere, Roman Michael-Percil moved into the front three with Dwade James droppingto the bench as midfielder Jack Cousins made his first start of the season.

The match got off to a quiet start with Stansted providing the early threat but to no avail. Jack Mitchell’s early effort was blocked in the opening two minutes before the resulting corner fell to Brad Russell, whose strike was well over.

Neither side had been able to pose much threat to either goalkeeper with the game very much all to play for. Meanwhile, midway through the first half, Enfield had their first real shot on goal. A fantastic through ball from Vinny Murphy reached Alfie Mason, whose attempt was comfortably gathered by Jarvis Monk.

However, just two minutes later, Mason almost gave Enfield the lead. The returning Cousins delivered in an excellent cross towards the unmarked Mason at the backpost but his close-range effort struck the side netting.

Moments later though, the E’s managed to break the deadlock just shy of the half-hour mark and in some style too. Kieran Bishop latched onto a wonderful through-ball from Michael-Percil before getting past the Stansted defence and striking home a fine finish past the goalkeeper. Bishop’s first goal for Enfield to make it 1-0.

Up the other end, Stansted were looking for a route back into the game after conceding and come close on a few occasions. The visitors pushed forward with former Enfield man Michael Salako squaring the ball to Connor Hammond, who saw his shot blocked. Seconds later and John Clarke delivered in the corner towards Finley Gregory, whose header was cleared away.

Aside from the half-chances by Stansted, there proved to be very little action since Bishop opening the scoring with the home side looking the much better side and keeping hold of their 1-0 lead. The E’s kept their advantage heading into half time but there was still plenty to play for in the second half.

Enfield started the second half how they ended the first and almost doubled their advantage straight from kick-off. The captain Reece Conway laid the ball off to Cowley, who fed through Michael-Percil but Monk was down to make a good save. Defender Jack Grosvenor headed over from the resulting corner.

Not long later, the home side were close to scoring once againthis time through Cowley, whose free kick almost swerved into the back of the net, but the ball deflected out. Meanwhile, the corner from Mason almost curled in but was hit just wide of the target.

The away side were looking to respond with an equaliserthough the effort from distance by Clark was struck well off-target. However, just moments later, Enfield threatened once again through Mason as his attempted cross almost caught out Stansted ‘keeper Monk but his effort was off-target.

With the match heading towards the closing stages, the visitors threatened an equaliser as Clarke’s throw-in fell toSalako but the forward’s header was comfortable for Emmanuel Nwosu, who hadn’t been tested much by the Stansted attack.

However, on 78 minutes, Enfield had a huge opportunity to make it 2-0 and wrap up the three points. Michael-Percil made a darting run down the near side before finding Bishop in the middle, whose shot was inches wide.

Heading into the dying embers of the game, the E’s again missed a vital chance to double their lead. The home side broke away on the counterattack with the two substitutes combining. Louie Johnson played through Dwade James, who rounded Clarke and Monk before being denied by the latter. Ididn’t matter though as Enfield held out to pick up a much needed three points.