The game got off to a scrappy start, perhaps owing to the poor conditions, however on 15 minutes the game sprung into life. Wide-man Curtis Pond latched onto a loose ball from the midfield and confidently stroked past Enfield goalkeeper Michael Corderoy.
The home side’s celebrations were quickly muted as less than two minutes later the E’s struck level. Enfield capitalised on a stationary Tower Hamlets defence and Andrew Tirivanhu made no mistake and poked home, creeping past ‘keeper James Pellin.
The early drama didn’t stop there. On 25 minutes, the referee awarded a contentious penalty against Tower Hamlets for pulling in the box. However, justice was served when Pellin pulled off a fantastic save from John Bricknell’s spot kick.
Hamlets gained momentum following the penalty miss. Immediately, the home side had a golden chance to put themselves back in front. Captain Wale Odedoyin failed to connect with a pin-point cross; any contact and his side would find themselves back ahead.
With five minutes to go until half-time, Odedoyin evaded Enfield’s defence once again, however Matthew Caxton was on hand to recover well and make a fantastic last ditch tackle on the former Romford man.
Similar to the first half, the outset of the second period was one of frustration and ‘nearly’ moments.
On the hour-mark, two chances fell to the E’s in quick succession. However Luke Thomas missed out on vital touches to send the ball goalwards.
A drab second half contest livened up with 20 minutes to go, with both teams eager not to let the tie progress into extra time.
Increasing Enfield pressure finally paid off. A goalmouth scrambled resulted in goalscorer Tirivanhu seeing his shot blocked off the line before Joe Clark hammered in the rebound to put the side 2-1 up.
A looming FA Vase exit had got the better of Tower Hamlets’ players. Jerome Anthony was the first to lose his cool after bringing down Enfield substitute Joe Sykes. An easy decision for the referee to award Anthony his second yellow of the afternoon.
On the 81st minute, the red card was presented once again by the referee. This time in the direction of Tower Hamlets forward Luke With after a late, rash tackle in the centre of the park.
Late into stoppage time and a melee ensued. After the referee restored relative order, Tower Hamlets pair James Pellin and Antonio Monteiro joined Enfield’s Sykes in being shown red cards.
A decent FA Vase contest was overshadowed by impetuous behaviour in the closing stages which saw Tower Hamlets finish with seven men on the field.
Joint Hamlets manager AJ Ashinike gave a frank assessment of the late drama, tweeting: “Time to ship out the bad seeds in my team”.
Enfield 1893 will proceed to the third round of the Vase, with a healthy £900 in pocket for their efforts.