Enfield Town match report
match report by Taimour Lay
There are two key demographics for whom non-league football makes total sense: teens and the retired. Everyone else in the middle really should have something better to do. At 37, I count myself as firmly and shamefully between these two age profiles. It’s been over twenty years since I could legitimately claim that K’s was a healthy hobby and a useful distraction from school. And I still have thirty more years before I can happily spend the state pension on Supporters Club coach trips to Folkestone.
I was thinking of time's passage last Wednesday as K’s drew entertainingly with Enfield on a cold KGF night – because, for the first midweek game in a while, there was a healthy turnout from K’s Youth (“K’s Yoof” on Twitter; and not to be confused with the K’s youth teams), a group of teenagers who huddle, chat and conspire behind the goal. They don’t come to every game, but when they do, I get flashbacks to the mid-90s when we used to spend our nights at K’s because, frankly, there were no other options. It was like going to the park but with a terrace roof when it rained. It was like loitering in Kingston town centre but with an occasional goal to cheer. It was like a party but you didn't need to talk to anyone if you didn't want to. K’s was pretty much free and you got full immunity to abuse opposition goalkeepers. If there’s something better to do at 15, no one has found it. And the football didn't matter too much. The Yoof also seem to have developed an affectionate game where they routinely sneak up behind each other, grab a friend’s legs and then tip the unsuspecting comrade over the advertising hoarding onto the pitch. This often takes up long periods of the game while Hayden Bird’s men are patiently building midfield dominance.
It’s easy to forget, perhaps, but there was a dispiriting period at Kingsmeadow – mid to late Dowse and Tommy – when the K’s crowd was most definitely getting older with not much young blood coming through, a whole load of teenagers having drifted off to watch AFC Wimbledon. I don’t know where the K’s Yoof came from but it’s good they did. Some of them were even mad enough to trek to Leatherhead. And when they jump up and down and sing “if you don’t f****g bounce, you’re AFC!”, I feel that Kingstonian – albeit homeless and hanging on in Tolworth – will probably be OK in the end.
The match? Well, K’s should have won. Gus Sow had two glorious chances, Dan Bennett worked his own fine opening but blasted over and, for the most part, Cooper/Cook kept the prolific Mo Faal quiet at the other end. Two good teams. An entertaining draw. From the old boys in the mainstand to the youngsters at the Industrial End, everyone went home happy. After twenty years of struggle, this is a good time to be K's, whatever your age.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Jonathan Muleba, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Sam Youngs, Sam Hatton, Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal, Bobson Bawling.
Subs: Ken Charles (for Marc Weatherstone, HT), Junior Mubiayi (for Sam Youngs, 35m), Samson Esan, Kyle Lynch, Steve Wales.