Johnson at the double to secure Enfield’s place in FA Cup preliminary round

Enfield booked their place in the FA Cup preliminary round following a 3-1 victory at home to HullbridgeSports. Louie Johnson gave the E’s an early lead before Jack Grosvenor added a second later in the first half. However, the visitors responded after the restart thanks to a goal from George Smith, but Johnson restored Enfield’s advantage to secure the win.

Jamie Cureton’s side made just one change from last week’s opening day win at Sawbridgeworth with Ayo Odukoyacoming in for Kieran Bishop. The match got off to a quiet start but on seven minutes, the home side broke the deadlock. Midfielder Danny Norton played a beautifully timed pass into the path of Johnson, who slotted home from close range to give Enfield the perfect start.

Meanwhile, up the other end, Hullbridge threatened with their first attempt on goal. Joe Gardner delivered in the corner which fell into the path of Roland Oteniya who could only fire his effort over. Heading into the midway point of the first half and aside from the goal, neither side had provided much threat in front of goal.

However, with only their second real effort on goal, the home side doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. Alex Warman delivered in an excellent free-kick towards the towering header of Grosvenor, who headed home past the goalkeeper.Enfield were very much in full control of the tie and headed into the break two goals to the good.

With the E’s leading 2-0, Hullbridge were determined to get back into the match and they did so nine minutes into second half as Smith found the back of the net. Substitute Kieran Bailey played the ball into the feet of Smith, who struck home a powerful drive past James Bransgrove to give the visitors hope of a comeback.

Moments after scoring, Hullbridge almost levelled the game,but Abdus Salami was unable to hit the target as he blasted his shot over. Meanwhile, Enfield went in search of a third goal and nearly did so. Jeffrey Cobblah crossed the ball intoWarman’s path, who took a touch before being denied byLewis Greene in the Hullbridge goal.

However, with 15 minutes to go, the home side restored their two-goal advantage. Alfie Mason latched onto the loose ball before picking out Samrai Gebrai in the middle as the substitute played through Johnson, who rounded Greene before slotting home for 3-1.

The E’s nearly added a fourth with a minute to go after Ayo Odukoya played the ball to Gebrai but the winger was denied by the goalkeeper. However, it didn’t matter as Enfield advanced to the next round of the FA Cup where they will meet fellow Essex Senior League side Ilford.

Enfield: 1. Bransgrove (GK), 3. Mason, 4. Warman (capt), 5. Harold-Egole, 6. Jack Grosvenor, 10. L. Johnson, 16.Adeniji, 19. Odukoya, 20. Cobblah, 21. Corlett, 23. Norton

Subs: 11. Gebrai (for Cobblah, 64 mins), 14. Ramsay (for Harold-Egole, 69 mins), 7. Bishop (for Adeniji, 78 mins)