Enfield Borough 0 Milton Keynes Robins 1
Enfield Borough slumped to yet another defeat at home to Milton Keynes Robins on Tuesday evening. Their cause was not helped by a couple of injuries picked up on Saturday that meant that they were forced to field a very inexperienced team consisting of two players aged twenty-one and nine teenagers. Richard Ennin had the most games under his belt with 109 appearances for the club while the remaining ten could only muster 108 between them.
Borough were missing Frank Chandler and Micah Jackson from Saturday’s line up and they were replaced by Jan Yildiz and Lyndon McGugan while Kacper Wojcik returned in goal. The Robins were on the front foot from the start as Kofi Appiah was robbed of possession allowing Robbie McDonald to try his luck from distance, but he shot wide. Jack Clarkson’s effort was straight at Wojcik and Mason Spence saw his shot strike Yildiz which took the pace off it and made life easy for Wojcik. It was not one way traffic as Blessing Tshibikubla shot over but did better when he latched onto Dawid Nikolaj’s clearance and attacked down the left but his centre was behind the inrushing Ennin. Both teams seemed intent on shooting from distance as McDonald had another crack at goal for the visitors but neither keeper was ever seriously tested, the strong prevailing cross wind not helping with their accuracy. Robins came closer when Appiah was penalised for what appeared to be an excellent tackle on the edge of Borough’s penalty box, but while George Shrieves only narrowly missed, he was still off target. Ruben Carvalho replied with a similar effort minutes later with exactly the same outcome.
One player who was catching the eye was Tiannie Wilson and he combined with Ennin to create a chance but Ennin’s shot only found the keeper’s gloves. Spence wasted a glorious chance when the ball was cleared to him only twelve yards out, but his shot went wide. Haziz Kone failed to really test the keeper with an attempt on goal while Carl Tappin and Spence created a chance for McDonald who fired over. Enfield’s best chance came when Tshibikubla challenged Robins’ keeper Owusu Kyoremateng for Wilson’s high cross and the ball dropped to Ennin, but the striker was leaning back and he shot well over. Just when it appeared that the teams would go into the break level Robins opened the scoring in the forty fourth minute. A long ball downfield was nodded on by Clarkson and Spence managed to outmuscle McGugan before rounding Wojcik and slipping the ball into the net.
It took six minutes after the interval for a chance to be created and when it was, it proved to be Enfield’s best of the match. A high ball to the edge of the box was controlled by Ennin on his chest before turning and shooting. Kyoremateng watched as the ball ran past him, hit the inside of the post and rebounded to the keeper who gratefully collected it. Spence hit the Borough woodwork three minutes later as the Robins turned up the pressure and there was a mad few seconds as McGugan blocked from Spence, Wojcik saved from Clarkson and finally Ryan Coyle shot wide in quick succession. Wilson saw his shot deflected for a corner but when Borough mounted more pressure, Milton Keynes broke quickly to leave a 3 on 2 advantage, but once again Spence was wasteful in front of goal. The visitors appealed for handball against Yildiz and when the referee turned these down, the bench vented their annoyance and one of the substitutes was shown a yellow card and given ten minutes in the sinbin even though he had not yet entered the field of play.
Borough were not out of the contest, but more chances went begging. Jean-Paul Antwi shot too close to Kyoremateng and Christian Beaupierre intercepted a through ball destined to give Ennin a free run on goal. Carvalho played a quick one-two with Ennin but once clear shot over while, when the ball dropped to him with his back to goal, Spence improvised with a back heel that Wojcik saved. The unusually ineffective Appiah was replaced by Eliandro Soque and he made his presence felt by downing the much larger Spence who had two attempts from the resulting free-kick, both coming to nothing. More shots cleared the bar as the game petered out and Tshibikubla was booked as a result of a tackle borne out of frustration. The final whistle sounded the end of a match that will not live long in the memory.
Joint manager Shaun Reece was frustrated at the end of the game. “We were playing well in the first half, but needed to get the ball into our forwards quicker. The lads took that a bit too literally and started launching high balls up to our attack, which is not our method of play and it all unravelled from there. This team is about as young as we have ever fielded and our injury situation is not good, but we need to be more clinical with the chances that we do create. In the past we always knew if we missed one that there would be plenty more to come. That is not the case at present.”
On Saturday Borough make the short trip to play FC Broxbourne Borough in a league match, kick off 3pm.
Team; Wojcik, Antwi, Wilson, Nikolaj (Tamayo), McGugan, Yildiz, Appian (Soque), Kone, Ennin, Carvalho, Tshibikubla.