ENFIELD TOWN’S slump in form continued on Tuesday night when they fell to a 3-0 defeat at Tonbridge Angels in the Ryman Premier Division.
Having lost three of their previous four matches – all against teams in the lower reaches of the table – on this occasion Town fell short against one of their rivals for a place in the play-offs as they were decidedly second best.
The visitors’ cause was not helped by problems with availability, especially at the back where they had to make do without skipper Mark Kirby, Percy Kiangebeni and Ricky Gabriel.
This led to player-manager Bradley Quinton naming himself in the team for the first time since October, forming part of a back three which also included recent signing Bradley Thompson – who made his first start for the club.
The opening period was relatively quiet as the visitors enjoyed good spells of pressure, creating the first opportunity of the match when Jonathan Muleba crossed low from the right for Harry Ottaway to run on to, but Tonbridge keeper Anthony di Bernardo managed to beat him to the ball.
Ottaway had a header saved on 16 minutes, but it was the hosts who broke the deadlock three minutes later as a corner was played back to Tom Phipp, who delivered a cross to the far post which was emphatically headed into the net by Nathan Elder.
Luke Allen whipped a dangerous free-kick into the Town box soon after which somehow managed to evade everyone, while visiting keeper Nathan McDonald just managed to beat Alex Akrofi to the ball as Tonbridge increasingly began to get the upper hand.
And the visitors found themselves facing an increasingly uphill task after they fell further behind seven minutes into the second half when Allen cut in from the left and scored from distance with a curling shot which beat McDonald’s despairing dive.
Karl Oliyide was denied by two fine blocks from Mitchell Nelson in quick succession as Town looked the hit back, and the same player was put through on goal by Tyler Campbell on 65 minutes – only to place his shot too close to di Bernardo, who was able to make a comfortable save.
Tonbridge continued to generally look the more dangerous side though and Luke Blewden had an effort blocked before they added a third goal in the 73rd minute, Elder bursting away from an attempted tackle and setting up Jack Parter – who scored in emphatic style.
Oliyide though that he had pulled one back in stoppage time when he applied the finishing touches to a flowing move, but his effort was ruled out for offside as the visitors were denied even a consolation goal on a miserable night which dealt another blow to their hopes of securing a top-five finish.
Tonbridge Angels: di Bernardo, Folkes, Parter, Parkinson, Nelson, Phipp, Akrofi (McCollin 78), Allen, Elder (Wheeler 82), Blewden, Scannell. Subs: Udogi, Smith, Copeland.
Enfield Town: McDonald, Joseph, Thompson, Quinton, Muleba, Shulton (Devyne 66), Campbell, Crook, Bihmoutine (Parcell 61), Oliyide, Ottaway (Neita 81). Subs: Livings, Wilson.