Enfield Town opened their Isthmian League Premier Division campaign with a 1-1 draw away at Lewes.

Ken Charles gave Town the lead with a debut goal after 38 minutes, but Stefan Ilic’s low drive late on meant the two sides shared the spoils on the opening day of the season.

Nathan McDonald started in goal for the away side, as did defender Marc Weatherstone and star striker Billy Bricknell.

Enfield looked solid in the opening exchanges and there were signs of some good build-up play from the back being displayed.

When Lewes did trouble the back-line, McDonald was alert to the danger, comfortably gathering a cut-back and then coming out to claim Kieron Pamment’s hanging cross.

Lewes had another good chance when Dayshonne Golding crossed for Ola Adeyemo to head over, but the visitors responded well with two snapshots from Sam Youngs, a sign that they were getting to grips with the difficult weather conditions.

This positivity continued for Enfield and they were only denied the opening goal by a strong save from Nathan Stroomberg, who did enough to keep out Charles’ powerful header.

The debutant wasn’t to be denied again though, and he gave the visitors the lead shortly after when he latched onto a ball on the left and raced away from the defenders before sliding it under Stroomberg.

Lewes’s final opportunity of the half fell to James Hammond after Weatherstone committed a foul on the edge of the area, but his free-kick came off the wall and bounced away to safety.

With the wind now behind them, the first chance of the second half came Enfield’s way and fell to Bricknell, but his poor finish allowed an easy save for Stroomberg.

The Lewes goalkeeper was proving to be a saving grace for his side and he was to deny Enfield again just five minutes later, this time getting across to tip over Lewis Taaffe’s free-kick.

James Potton and Dan Rumens also had attempts to add to the visitors’ score, but the former’s drilled effort went just past the post while Rumens headed off-target from a corner.

In a last roll of the dice, Lewes manager Darren Freeman introduced three substitutes, and it was goalscorer Ilic that made all the difference.

The former Tooting & Mitcham man first won a free-kick that was well-saved by McDonald, but the keeper could do nothing to prevent Ilic’s equaliser as he hit a sweet drive into the bottom corner to level the scores at the death.

It set up a nervy last few moments for Town, but they rode the pressure and came away with a point on the opening day.

As the Enfield Independent was going to print, Town were preparing for their second game of the season and their first at home, a 7:45pm kick-off against Bishop’s Stortford, while this Saturday will see them host Horsham.