MATCH REPORT: SAFFRON WALDEN 1-0 ENFIELD

Enfield fell to their fourth straight league defeat after going down 1-0 away at Saffron Walden. James Crane scored the only goal of the game in the first half for the Bloods, who now move up to 5th in the table.

The home side looked the strongest in the opening exchanges and had the first opportunity of the game. The ball fell into the path of James Crane, whose powerful effort was off-target before not long after, Gavin Cockman headed over from a Crane free-kick.

Meanwhile, up the other end, Enfield had their first chance of the evening on six minutes. Roman Michael-Percil was played through and made a darting run towards goal before striking just over. Five minutes later, the E’s were awarded a penalty after Michael-Percil went down in the area. However, after consulting the linesman, the referee overturned the decision, and no penalty was given.

Shortly after, Walden continued to dominate in front of goal and came close to taking the lead. An excellent ball was played into the path of Cockman but the forward’s shot was wide. Seconds later and the home side managed to find the back of the net after Hurley headed home. However, a free kick was given to Enfield for a foul on the defender.

Saffron Walden continue to have the better share of possession in the first half and came close again. Cockman delivered in a long throw towards the path of James Solkham but his header was inches wide. Midway through the first half though and Enfield had a rare sighting on goal as Toby Barlow’s free kick fell to Kieran Bishop, but his header was easy for the goalkeeper.

As the half wore on, Enfield were starting to grow into the game while Walden were still hunting down the opening goal. However, that goal soon came for the Bloods five minutes before the break. Scott Piggott’s skewed cross wasn’t dealt with by Alex Warman, who gifted the ball straight to James Crane, leaving him to score from close range.

Meanwhile, right on the stroke of half-time, Enfield had a golden opportunity to get level. Dwade James was played clean through on goal and came close to finding the back of the net, only to be denied by the post. Despite that, Walden went in at the break a goal to the good thanks a deserved opener from Crane.

It proved to be a quiet start to the second half with neither side being able to create much in front of goal. However, on 54 minutes, Enfield had the first shot on goal since the restart. Emmanuel Ewosu cleared the ball into the path of James who opened up space for a shot before firing straight at James Young in the Walden goal.

Just shy of the hour mark though and Enfield came very close to drawing themselves level. Following a great counter-attacking move, Alfie Mason slid the ball into the path of Michael-Percil whose shot cannoned back off the post before the follow-up struck the side netting. The E’s had made a big improvement in the second half and came close again after Bishop’s shot was struck straight at the goalkeeper.

With ten minutes to go, Enfield continued to go in search of a goal and were once again close to doing so. Michael-Percil delivered the ball into the middle towards the substitute Louie Johnson, whose strike crashed back off the woodwork. It just wasn’t proving to be Enfield’s night in front of goal.

In the dying embers of the game, Bishop laid the ball into the path of Michael-Percil, who managed to find space for shot before dragging his effort wide. It ended up being the last chance of the game as Walden held on for all three points on what was a disappointing night from the E’s.

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