Dwade James winner secures comeback win for Enfield

Enfield maintained their advantage at the top of the Essex Senior League after recovering from 2-1 down to defeat Ilford 3-2. Louie Johnson put the E’s in front from the penalty spot before Harry Rawlins levelled for the visitors. Ilford went ahead after the restart thanks to a penalty from Caleb Kofi Adomako-Mensah. However, goals from Danny Norton and Dwade James secured all three points for Enfield.

The home side threatened in the early stages and were unlucky not to have scored. Tyler Corlett headed over from Johnson’s corner before Johnson was played through by James, but his shot was caught by ‘keeper Tim Pitman.

With nine minutes played, Enfield came very close to breaking the deadlock. Norton won back possession on the halfway line before playing through James. However, the forward’s effort was cleared off the line. James came close again just moments later but could only strike the post.

Midway through the first half though and Enfield were awarded a penalty following a handball inside the Ilford penalty area. Johnson stepped up from 12 yards and despite Pitman getting a hand to it, converted to give the hosts the lead.

Enfield continued to dominate in the first half and almost added a second swiftly after. Usman Adeniji’s cross found its way to Jeffrey Cobblah at the backpost, whose first-timestrike cannoned off the post. Not long later, James’ cross found Gavin Cockman in the middle, but Pitman denied him from close range.

With half-time looming, Johnson was unlucky not to have netted his second of the afternoon, but his long-range shot was put wide. Despite Enfield’s dominant display in the first half, Ilford equalised on 40 minutes. Rawlins found space inside the E’s penalty area before taking a touch and scoring past Jarvis Monk.

The E’s went in search of a second goal eight minutes into the restart after Cobblah’s cross fell into the path of James but his shot was straight at Pitman, who tipped over. However, minutes later, Ilford were awarded a penalty which Adomako-Mensah dispatched from 12 yards to put the Foxes in front.

After falling behind, Enfield needed a response and almost levelled on the hour mark. Johnson’s corner reached Norton but again Pitman made a vital stop to keep Ilford’s lead intact. Six minutes later and the home side levelled. Samrai Gebrai’scross was met by the head of Cockman, which was headed towards goal before being forced home by Norton.

It almost got even better for the E’s as Ibrahim Kehinde slid through James, whose powerful effort was saved by Pitman.As the match headed towards the final 15 minutes, Enfield nearly made it 3-2. Alfie Mason’s free-kick fell into the path of Cockman, whose shot came off James and off-target.

However, with ten minutes to go, the home side completed the turnaround and went in front. Cockman’s throw-in was headed on by Jack Grosvenor and towards James, who was in the right place at the right time to prod home. Enfield held out to win 3-2 and now sit five points clear at the top.