Mason at the double as The E’s return to winning ways

Enfield ended a run of back-to-back league defeats with a 2-1 victory away at Clacton to move back to the top of the Essex Senior League. The E’s made the perfect start as within the first ten minutes, Alfie Mason scored twice to put the visitors in a commanding position. Mekhi McKenzie pulled one back for Clacton in the first half but were unable to find an equaliser as Enfield held on for all three points.

Heading into the game, both sides came off the back of disappointing defeats with Clacton losing 1-0 at home to Woodford Town while Enfield were narrowly defeated away at Athletic Newham by the same scoreline. Jamie Cureton made two changes from the Newham defeat with Louie Johnson and Dwade James coming in for Reece Conway and Gavin Cockman.

With just under two minutes on the clock, Enfield made the best start possible and took an early lead. The E’s had a free-kick on the edge of the area which was taken short by Tom Hanfrey to Louie Johnson, whose cross was cleared straight into the path of Mason. The ball fell kindly to the defender as he found the bottom left corner for his first of the season.

Eight minutes later and the away side swiftly doubled their advantage with Mason scoring his second of the evening. Hanfrey played the ball out wide to Kieran Bishop as he crossed the ball into the middle which fell kindly to Mason at the backpost, who drilled the ball home. Enfield continued to dominate the opening exchanges while Clacton were yet to conjure an effort on goal.

The away side were pushing for a third. Hanfrey’s corner almost found its way into the back of the net before being cleared by goalkeeper Luke Avenell into the path of Bishop, but his shot was blocked. Meanwhile, up the other end, Clacton threatened for the first time but Teddy Collis’ strike was comfortably gathered by Jarvis Monk.

The Seasiders improved towards the latter stages of the first half and almost pulled a goal back. Jenson Mulqueen crossed the ball towards Teddy Collis but his header hit the side netting. However, Clacton did manage to find the back of the net on 41 minutes. Jack Johnson’s cross fell kindly to Mekhi McKenzie as the league’s top goalscorer was there to prod home from close range.

Despite the goal from the home side, Enfield led 2-1 at the break but still had plenty of work to do. Five minutes after the restart and Clacton went in search of an equalising goal but Charlie Collis’ free-kick was off-target. The Seasiders were very much the better side in the second half but struggled to break down an Enfield defence coping very well with the constant pressure.

As the match headed towards the latter stages, the E’s almost netted a third. The ball fell to Alex Warman on the halfway line, who almost caught the goalkeeper out, but his shot was inches wide. However, in the final seconds of the game, Clacton were inches away from drawing level. The ball was delivered into the penalty area towards Kyle Ferguson, whose header hit the crossbar before the rebound was put over by captain Billy Wales as Enfield did enough to pick up a much-needed victory.