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Enfield Town boss praises best performance of season after FA Trophy win over Cambridge City
Enfield Town boss Steve Newing admitted his side produced their best performance of the season after thrashing Cambridge City 4-1 in the FA Trophy.
The Towners came into the game off the back off a difficult run in the Ryman Premier but they proved far too strong for the visitors as they booked a second qualifying round tie away to Concord Rangers at the end of this month.
Newing said: "It was very good and we played our best football of the season. It was an even first half and although we went in 2-1 up a draw probably would have been a fair result. But we changed the shape of the team and we controlled the second half. Everyone is very pleased. It was a very good all-round performance.
"We knew we weren't playing badly recently but we had just had some tough fixtures against teams like Margate and Hampton & Richmond Borough. It was a case of cutting out the mistakes because we knew that we're a threat going forward. We knew that we could cause them problems.
"We weren't low in confidence going into the tie because we knew that we were playing OK. We had just shot ourselves in the foot in some of the recent matches."
Enfield opened the scoring when Jordan Lockie's strike beat Zac Barrett. But Mitchell Bryant quickly brought Cambridge level. The hosts took a slender lead into the second half when the unmarked Mark Kirby headed Town 2-1 up.
The visitors thought they had equalised from Bryant's effort but the referee decided the ball had not crossed the line.
Cambridge were punished heavily in the second half as Enfield eased to a convincing win. Liam Hope headed in their third after 56 minutes and Adam Wallace scored from an acute angle to seal their place in the next round. Newing said: "It is possible for somebody to have a run in the competition because Wealdstone managed to get to the semi-finals last season. It will require a bit of luck but it is possible. Ultimately our priority is on the league but the FA Trophy is the other competition we want to do well in. I played my strongest side on Saturday and will continue to do that this year."
Enfield handed a debut to former Derby County and Birmingham City midfielder Jonathan Hunt during the cup win.The 40-year-old has spent the last three seasons with AFC Hornchurch and Newing is hopeful the veteran can prove an astute signing for Town.
The manager said: "He has experience and has played at the top level of English football before. He brings us a touch of class and I hope that he will want to stay with us until he decides to stop playing football. He will add experience to us."
Enfield are not in action this weekend because scheduled league opponents Hastings United are still involved in the FA Cup. Newing will use the spare weekend as extra training and take the chance to watch their next Ryman Premier opposition East Thurrock United.