Five-star Enfield see off Clacton in scintillating second half

Enfield took a huge step towards the Essex Senior League title with a convincing 5-1 victory over Clacton. Following a goalless first half, Tom Richardson broke the deadlock after the restart before Junior Mubiayi and a Luke Hirst double made it four. Adam Tilson pulled one back for the Seasiders, but Alex Warman added a fifth for Enfield to wrap up a brilliant second half performance.

With just three minutes on the clock, Enfield almost made the perfect start. Louie Johnson delivered the corner towards Richardson, but the forward’s shot was cleared off the line. Meanwhile, up the other end, Clacton came close to opening the scoring as Jack Marshall headed wide from Billy Wales’cross.

In what was an entertaining start to proceedings, the home side nearly took the lead as Kieran Bishop made a darting run into the penalty area before being denied by Luke Avenell. Moments later, Alfie Mason, who scored a brace in the reverse fixture, came close to scoring but his curling effort was just wide of the target.

The E’s continued to search for the opener as Tyler Corlett’s cross was parried by Avenell towards Mason, whose effortwas just over the bar. Seven minutes later, Jack Johnson almost found the back of the net, but the defender’s first-timestrike deflected wide. Two minutes before the break, Junior Mubiayi headed over from Johnson’s free-kick as the game was goalless going in at half-time.

Enfield had plenty of opportunities to make the breakthrough in the first half, but the Clacton defence were holding firm. However, you could sense a goal was very much coming from the hosts. The E’s continued to pile the pressure on the Seasiders after the restart and were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Aaron Greene stepped up but was denied by Avenell.

On 56 minutes, however, Enfield at last made the all-important breakthrough. Greene delivered in a brilliant free-kick towards Richardson, who rose the highest to head homeand score his third goal in as many games for the E’s. The forward almost scored another six minutes later after being played through by Solomon Ofori, but his shot was kept out by Avenell.

Midway through the second half, Enfield almost doubled their lead after Bishop set up substitute Luke Hirst on the edge of the area, whose first-time strike crashed back off the crossbar. The E’s soon added a second with 17 minutes to go. Mason crossed the ball into the middle from the free-kick for Junior Mubiayi to head in unmarked.

It soon got even better for the home side as just three minuteslater, they added a third. Bishop delivered the ball into the middle to Hirst as the substitute slotted home from close range. The E’s were now very much on course for a huge three points. Enfield nearly made it four with three minutes to go as Jarvis Monk’s goal kick fell kindly to Ofori, whoseeffort lobbed over Avenell before drifting wide.

The home side added a fourth in the 90th minute as Hirst got the better of Wales before catching Avenell off his line and netting from distance. However, the scoring wasn’t done there as Clacton scored a consolation after Reuben Cowler’s crosswas headed home at the backpost by Adam Tilson.

Enfield soon restored their four-goal lead in the closing stagesto wrap up the scoring. Ofori set up substitute Alex Warman from inside the penalty area, who marked his return in style by curling the ball into the back of the net. A perfect end to a perfect afternoon from the E’s, who maintain their advantageat the top with five games to go.