A new venue and a new opposition provide a change of scenery and competition as the Buildbase FA Trophy kicks off for the Fleet at Enfield’s QEII Stadium.
The BetVictor Isthmian Premier side will be targeting this one as an opportunity to make a name for themselves by claiming a higher-division scalp but Kevin Watson won’t let any superior mindset creep into his squad.
“The players will be made fully aware that Enfield Town are a decent team,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who you play, if you’re not on your game, 11v11, [being] two leagues below doesn’t matter to me, we have got to be on it. There’ll be teams from our league this weekend that probably get knocked out. We’ve got to make sure we’re not one of those.”
Fleet have had no problems scoring goals this season and Watson has seen improvements in defence and he hopes that can help overcome a capable Enfield strike force.
“We’re looking more solid the last couple of games, going to a back four,” the manager said. “The last two games, we’ve conceded two goals and there was a point in the season where that was quite a bit more so I know we’re always going to create chances and score goals.
“The issue has been keeping them out at the other end but I think you have seen lately we’ve looked pretty solid. It shows we’re making inroads to where we want to go and what we want to do.”
Enfield were good bets for automatic promotion with games in hand on the leading pack in the Isthmian but they have lost their way a little in recent weeks, shipping four goals to both Bognor Regis Town and Bowers & Pitsea in their last two league fixtures.
It leaves them nine points behind leaders Folkestone but still in the hunt for a play-off place. All that can be put to one side, however, as they seek to continue some decent cup results this season.
Enfield knocked out Braintree Town in the FA Cup and were the first team to beat Maldon & Tiptree this season, in the previous round of the Trophy.
The architect of that win, with two goals, was of course Billy Bricknell and he’ll surely be looking to make a name for himself again at the expense of the club where he scored 31 goals.
Bricknell’s not the only source of firepower that Enfield can call on. Muhammadu Faal, a relation of Liverpool’s Joe Gomez, has scored 20 goals this season and is on the radar of several Premier League and championship scouts.
Former Colchester and ex-Maidstone United youth Ken Charles is another with an eye for goal, just one shy of Bricknell’s 10-goal haul, so the home side are certainly not to be found wanting in attack.
There’s plenty of National South experience elsewhere in their ranks such as Scott Thomas (Boreham Wood, St Albans) and Glenn Wilson (Rushden, Crawley, Margate), with several players having turned out against us before our promotion season.
The home side are likely to be without midfielder Ryan Blackman who is facing a suspension for a recent sending-off.
Stadium information for Enfield Town can be found here.