Thrilling replay sees Enfield progress to the next round of the FA Cup

Enfield are through to the first qualifying round of the FA Cup after overcoming Stanway Rovers 2-1. Both sides faced each other in the original cup tie on Saturday as it ended 1-1 meaning the match required a replay to determine who would be in the next round. The home sidebroke the deadlock in the first half as the returning Olly Miles slotted home.

However, after the restart, Stanway found themselves level as Blue Molloy powered home a header from a free kick. Not too long after and the E’s re-took the lead thanks to Dwade James as the forward dispatched from close range.The goals from James soon proved to be the winner. Enfield’s reward for beating Stanway is a trip to Brickfield Lane to take on Hadley.

Neither side were able to threaten much in the early stages of the game though on ten minutes, Jamie Cureton’s men almost made it 1-0. Alfie Mason crossed the ball into the middle as it reached Hugo Vasconcelos, who headed off target. Meanwhile, midway through the first half and Stanway came close to breaking the deadlock. The corner was delivered in as the ball fell to Blue Molloy, whose header was caught by James Bransgrove.

Both Enfield and Stanway had started the game well but neither had been able to test both goalkeepers. With 31 minutes on the clock, the home side took the lead. Alex Warman delivered the free kick into the penalty area as the ball was headed straight into the path of Olly Miles with the striker drilling home on the edge of the area. That was his second goal of the campaign but most importantly the scoreline read Enfield 1-0 Stanway Rovers.

Seven minutes later, the hosts were closing to doubling their advantage on several occasions. Goalscorer Miles had a shot on the edge of the area but ‘keeper Harry Aldridge was down to make a save. Moments later, Dwade James made a darting run into the penalty area, but his attempt was kept out by the goalkeeper.

Two minutes before the break and the E’s should have been 2-0 in front. Ryan Ramsay put in the cross towards Reece Conway, but the captain was unable to find the back of the net. Despite Enfield’s numerous attempts to add to their lead, they went in at half-time just one goal to the good. Meanwhile, the visitors will have felt relieved to only be 1-0 behind and were very much in the tie heading into the second half.

The chances dried up at the start of the second half but on 57 minutes, Stanway managed to find an equaliser. Joseph Heron delivered in a brilliant free kick as the ball fell to Molloy, who headed home at the back-post. A huge blow for the E’s as the score was now Enfield 1-1 Stanway. With an hour gone, the visitors were close to taking the lead as Joel Holder was played through on goal, but Bransgrove was on hand to make a vital stop before the rebound was headed wide by Palvey Maduakila. Four minutes later, Stanway continued to threaten as the ball fell to Ezequil Franchi from close range, but his effort was blocked.

Stanway looked the more likely of the two sides to score the third goal of the match but with 21 minutes to go, it was Enfield that scored it. The ball came to substitute Louie Johnson, who after some very good work on the far side, raced into the box before supplying the pass to Dwade James with the striker making no mistake from close range. A calm finish from James for his third goal in this season’s FA Cup tomake it 2-1 to the E’s.

The away side went in search of an equaliser and with eight minutes left, came close to doing so. Heron’s free kick proved threatening but ‘keeper Bransgrove was on hand to make a vital punch. Meanwhile, the E’s felt as though they should have had a penalty after Aldridge looked to have bundled over Miles inside the area. However, nothing was given by the referee.

Deep into stoppage time, Stanway continued to push for a leveller and almost forced extra time. Heron was again amongst the action for the visitors as his free kick was again kept out by Bransgrove. Despite a nervy ending, Enfield held out the victory and, in the process, secured their place in the next round of the FA Cup. Hadley await the E’s in the first qualifying round, which will be played on the 4th of September at Brickfield Lane. Before that though, Enfield return to league action on Saturday as they take on Ilford.