Best is yet to come for Enfield Town, writes Arthur Salisbury
Enfield Town were 2-0 down at Lewes, but two goals from Billy Bricknell in the last ten minutes earned them a point.
Bricknell, signed from Billericay Town in June, has only played eighteen minutes of football this season but already it’s clear that he will have a major role to play if Enfield are to win promotion from the Isthmian Premier League.
It has been slightly difficult to gauge how well the Town have played so far. Over the course of a season, the table doesn’t lie, but after only seven matches there is a wide margin of error – and having won three and drawn four, Enfield might consider themselves slightly lucky to be sitting in third place.
The giddiness of a rare good start to a season has been tempered by being dumped out of the FA Cup 3-0 at home to lower-league opposition. And, while new players like Sam Chaney and club talisman Liam Hope have sometimes shined, nearly every match has had a period of sluggishness, or panic, or both.
Enfield Town, as a fairly young club, are arguably yet to reach their natural level. The old Enfield FC were giants of the non-league game and were twice winners of the Alliance Premier in the 1980s, including the year before automatic promotion and relegation between it and the Football League was introduced.
Crowds are not currently as big as they were in this heyday, but at an average of around 450 they are in the upper third of the division and growing. It is a fan base big enough to sustain the club at least a level higher.
Last season’s 17th place finish is best viewed as an anomaly, caused by then-manager Bradley Quinton’s decision to leave for Braintree Town, taking with him almost the entire starting line-up. In the years leading up to that, Enfield had finished 7th, 6th and 4th.
Supporters at Donkey Lane should be excited for the year ahead, in an unusually open division without the perennial financially-doped favourites. The restructuring of the non-league pyramid that took effect this year has resulted in six of the top ten from last season having been promoted or transferred elsewhere. Even without possessing the clinical air of a title-winning side, it would be a surprise not to see Enfield Town in the play-offs come the end of the season.
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