'Three is the magic number': Maldon & Tiptree FC hopes to turn fortunes around following win against Enfield
By Ben Shahrabi
9th Oct 2023 | Football
Maldon & Tiptree FC got their first league win of the season on Saturday afternoon (October 7) with an entertaining 3-2 victory over Enfield at Park Drive.
Jammers boss Liam Bailey gave home debuts to centre back pairing Jayden Gipson and Jayden Randell (you wait for one Jayden and two come along at once, eh?), midfielder Harrison Chatting and striker Louis Britton.
In spite of the new signings and formation, it was the visitors - who themselves have been much changed in recent weeks - who took the lead after just two minutes. Enfield countered a Maldon throw and Dylan Florence set Rigers Kabashi through one on one with Luca Collins, the Enfield man finished with aplomb - rifling the ball high into the net to leave the keeper with no chance.
Despite being behind, the Jammers were looking bright and there were signs the Enfield keeper and backline still weren't used to each other. On 12 minutes, a mix up between the keeper and defender saw a clearance hacked away when the keeper had called for it. Maldon worked the ball back into a shooting opportunity, but Yassine El-Neyah's effort was tame and goalkeeper Nwosu gathered with ease.
More good Maldon play - this time, it was Hassanally with footwork that wouldn't look out of place on Strictly, dancing through the defence. He should've taken the shot on, however, he opted to pull the ball back but with no one there to convert, the chance was gone.
With just over half an hour gone, the Jammers had the goal their play deserved. Billy Willis put in a peach of a cross that left Louis Britton with the simple task of slotting home his first goal for the club from close range. With that goal, the confidence was coursing through Maldon's veins and we should've gone into half time in front. Britton nearly doubled his tally as he tried to lob Nwosu after he latched into a great long pass from Chatting, but the ball went just over the bar.
Nwosu nearly gifted Maldon the lead just before half time as he made a complete mess of a long ball forward from Gipson when he inexplicably opted to try and kick the ball away rather than catch it. The Enfield keeper completely fluffed his lines, and kicked thin air, allowing Britton to nip in but the ball wouldn't sit for the Jammers man which allowed the keeper to just about recover and put the ball out for a corner although there was a hint of foul from Nwosu, but the referee wasn't interested and the sides went in level at 1-1 at half time.
If you were hoping that Maldon had learned from their slow start in the first half, well that hope was misplaced and Enfield restored their lead seconds after the restart as Caleb Steele stole in to capitalise on hesitation in the Jammers defence to slide the ball home and make it 2-1 to the visitors.
As with the first half though, Maldon didn't panic and still created chances. Louie Remi saw a couple of half chances come and go and Britton headed over the bar - all within four minutes of each other.
Just before the hour, we were level again. Again, it was Britton who was on hand to tap home from Remi's fantastic corner at the back post.
With 25 minutes to play, the turnaround was complete. It all came from some great pressing by Remi and El-Neyah right by the Enfield corner flag. Yassine came away with the ball and fired a cross into the six-yard box and found George Smith on hand with another close range finish to make it 3-2.
Five minutes later, Britton was denied his hattrick when Jack Johnson did just enough to clear his goal bound effort off the line.
A good save by Luca from Frankie Franz with 10 minutes to go was as much as he had to do in what was a quiet second for the Jammers' stopper.
There was still time for substitute Terrell to show the tenacity that has seen him elevate his game this season- winning the ball back on the left hand side before cutting in and testing the keeper with an effort on goal.
The final chance of the afternoon fell Maldon's way as Egbri played in Smith whose near post effort was pushed away by Nwosu.
The final whistle blew to the delight of the Jammers' staff, fans and players - who collapsed to the ground having put a real shift in all afternoon and will be hoping for more of the same at home to Basildon United on Tuesday night.
Earlier this month, against a background of its controversial General Manager admitting involvement in a fraud scheme, friction between fans and the management team spilled over at the club.