Dominant Enfield see off Ilford to close in on promotion

Enfield took another vital step towards promotion with a 2-0 victory away at Ilford. Jack Johnson put the E’s in front midway through the first half as he headed home for his first of the season before Tom Richardson doubled the visitors advantage to net his sixth goal in five matches. The result means Enfield head into the final week of the season on the brink of becoming champions.

With just two minutes on the clock, the E’s almost opened the scoring after Alex Warman’s corner fell to Jack Johnson, who headed over the bar. Johnson came close again not long later from yet another corner with Alfie Mason the provider this time, but the defender’s header was off-target.

As the match approached the midway point, it was proving to be a hard-fought battle between both sides, but Enfield were very much the better side and nearly went in front as Louie Johnson’s effort deflected wide. It was from the resulting corner where it proved third time lucky for Johnson, who headed home from Mason’s cross to give the away side the breakthrough.

The E’s continued to dominate in the first half and almost doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark. The ball fell to Johnson on the edge of the area as his strike drew a good save from Ilford ‘keeper Tim Pitman. Seven minutes later, Johnson was involved again as he played an excellent ball into the path of Solomon Ofori, whose shot was blocked.

However, moments later, Enfield made it 2-0 and from another corner. Mason was the provider once again, this timecrossing towards Richardson where the forward rose the highest to head into the back of the net, which just about crossed the line. Richardson almost scored a second just minutes later, but his header was off-target.

On the stroke of half-time, Samrai Gebrai made an excellent run into the penalty area before his shot was kept out by Pitman. Meanwhile, up the other end, Ilford threatened for the first time and almost pulled a goal back through Josh Boxall, whose strike was saved by Jarvis Monk. In the closing stages of the first half, Mason’s corner was deflected over the bar by Richardson as the E’s went in at the break with a two-goal cushion.

After the restart, it proved to be a quiet second half, but Enfield almost added a third just shy of the hour mark. Gebrai combined with Junior Mubiayi before crossing to Luke Hirst in the middle, but the forward’s shot was well defended. With 15 minutes to go, Hirst latched onto Richardson’s cross beforeunselfishly setting up Ofori, who struck over the bar.

Despite the lack of chances in front of goal from both sides, it was Enfield that came away with all three points after a brilliant display in the first half. With just three games to go, the E’s sit five points clear of Redbridge meaning just four points are needed from a possible nine for Enfield to win the league.