Friday 23rd September 2005
Enfield Town 1-1 St Albans City
FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round
My only visit to Goldsdown Road came in the 2005-06 season when I was striving to complete a game in every round of the FA Cup. I was on my 4th leg of this journey, in the 2nd Qualifying Round. As I was also watching Wycombe home and away at that time too, it had to be when they were not playing and that was how I ended up spending my Friday night trundling round the M25. For a change it was a journey without massive delays and so I got to Brimsdown at around 6.15. After going to a local shop to get some snacks for the game, I made my way up to the ground. It wasn't a bad game, as this report from the Enfield Town Website can testify
Two late goals keep things all square as Town pushed Saints all the way in this thriller. A late strike for Saints seemed to have given them the glory, but would have been unfair. Town thought so too and equalised in seconds to earn a replay at St Albans' Clarence Park home.
Conference South outfit St Albans were on the back foot for long spells as Enfield Town began this game at a fast pace in front of a big home crowd and did not allow them time to settle. Clearly uncomfortable with the tempo of the game, St Albans had to soak up relentless Town pressure. Scott Cousins was lucky to get away with a reckless challenge in the fifth minute that unfortunately set the tone of the game as Saints tried to intimidate the home side. Despite all the Town pressure, St Albans created the better chances, but were unable to make them count, two shots from Hann going straight at Andy Hall when he should have done better. For Town, Johnny Morgan was proving a handful as he went down the left sending in cross after cross. After 28 minutes Bryan Hammatt unleashed a fierce shot which Bastock could only tip over the bar, while at the other end a five minute spell of pressure from St Albans saw Rudi Hall clear off the line and Andy Hall pull off a fine save to keep the visitors out. Paul Campbell should have opened the scoring for Town after 35 minutes, but put his free header just wide of the post. St Albans replied hitting the bar, before tempers frayed completely. With both sides exchanging reckless challenges, Simon Martin was booked for flooring Steven Velandia, and two minutes later Town's David Allen was sent off after a challenge on Davis, as the referee tried to calm things down.
Despite being a man down for the whole of the second half, Town kept up the pressure and showed more endeavour, as they looked for a winning goal but it wasn't all one way. Nick Roddis was creating opportunities for Saints, but Clarke and Davis squandered most of them, failing to find the target. Kieron Woodward seemed to have been sent clear after 52 minutes only to be brought down by Ada. At the other end, Roddis set up Graham, but he was not allowed to get a shot on target as the Town defence closed him down. Dean Green then had a shot on the turn at the other end, but it lacked power. Town were not sitting back and were looking to win the game, despite the visitor's man advantage. With 61 minutes gone Roddis, having a good game, cut a ball across the box only for Tom Davis to blaze over the bar from 10 yards out. Town brought on Kojo Ofori after 70 minutes, and he immediately caused mayhem in the St Albans defence, giving Patrick Ada a torrid time. With 10 minutes to go, Lee Clarke followed through on Penn as he cleared, as Saints frustrations were growing. A superbly timed Rudi Hall tackle started a move which almost saw Ofori through but he was impeded. Ofori was proving a handful and subjected to some rough treatment as his persistence caused St Albans problems. He seemed clear when Ada brought him down again, but got away with it. Then two minutes from time, St Albans broke out of their half and a through ball found Simon Martin who fired low under the outstretched Andy Hall.
With Saints relieved to have broken the deadlock it looked all over, but Town refused to give up and were level again within sixty seconds. Paul Campbell went on one of his trademark runs, and evaded two tackles before hitting a shot Saint's Paul Bastock could only parry. Kojo Ofori was on hand to fire home the loose ball to the delight of the home support giving Town a deserved replay.
GOLDSDOWN ROAD is actually the home of Brimsdown Rovers FC, Enfield Town lodged there during their formative years. It is a basic pitch with a couple of temporary stands to comply with ground grading regulations. There is also a bar at the ground, which is just as well, as far as I can remember, there is not much near the ground in terms of pubs or eateries.