TOWN UP TO THIRD BEFORE RECORD CROWD
A huge travelling contingent boosted the attendance at Potters Bar Town on Saturday to 504, a record for the Pakex Stadium writes John Dolan.
The Scholars took an early lead after five minutes when a free kick was only half cleared to the edge of the penalty area where Sean Bonnett-Johnson hit the ball on the volley low into the bottom right hand corner. Joe Wright would have had a number of players in front of him and, not seeing the ball until the last second, was unable to stop the sweetly struck volley.
Town’s reaction was excellent as Muhammadu Faal equalised just four minutes later after pressure on the home back line resulted in a free kick on the left. A cross from Matt Johnson found Faal with his back to goal, and he swivelled and turned, hitting a volley past the outstretched hands of Berkley Laurencin in goal.
Soon afterwards Billy Bricknell hit a free kick hard and low past the defensive wall and forced Laurencin into a good save low to his left. The game then settled down after such a frenetic start, with both defences taking control on a sticky, bobbly pitch where both sides had decided to not take any chances in and around their own area.
Faal had a shot easily claimed by Laurencin on the half hour mark and, a few minutes later, Bonnett-Johnson had another shot that just flew over the bar. On 38 minutes, a rare flowing move, from the visitors, saw another Johnson cross from the right evade everyone and run clear across the penalty area. There was just time for a couple more crosses before the break, but the excellent Laurencin claimed both.
Half-time: Potters Bar Town 1 Enfield Town 1
After Town had arguably shaded the first 45 minutes, the second period was a far more attritional with both defences in charge and both goalkeepers almost redundant. Both defences usually opted to bypass midfield but, in just beyond the hour ex-Towner Dernell Wynter got free down the hosts’ right and delivered a wicked cross-shot that just beat the far post. By 63 minutes, Faal (who had been unwell) had run out of energy and was replaced by Josh Davison.
Bar’s solid centre-backs looked to be ensuring that the game would end as a draw, but on 86 minutes the Scholars failed to clear another Town free kick and a mad scramble ensued. It started with substitute Bilal Sayoud reacting quickly as the ball fell in the box and his shot hit the bar. Marc Weatherstone's effort from the rebound was somehow tipped onto the woodwork by Laurencin, but the former Wingate man managed to get his head onto another rebound and plant it into the net to the rapturous celebrations of the travelling faithful.
Town managed the game well by playing the last few minutes in Bar’s half as the referee finally blew for full time. At times it looked as though both sides were making sure they didn’t concede, but Town had a never-say-die attitude, and centre-backs Weatherstone and Dan Rumens took many plaudits in the clubhouse after the game.
Potters Bar Town: Berkley Laurencin, Lewis Hobbs, Andrew Lomas, Lee O'Leary, James Budden, Sean Grace, Stefan Powell, (George Nicholas 86), Sean Bonnett-Johnson, Josh Hutchinson, Bradley Sach (Sandro Costa 62), Dernell Wynter (Mergim Qarri 78). Unused subs: Mahrez Bettache, Keagan Cole. Booked: Budden.
Enfield Town: Joe Wright, Sam Hatton, Mickey Parcell, Matt Johnson, Marc Weatherstone, Dan Rumens, Sam Youngs (Junior Mubiayi 75) Ryan Blackman, Billy Bricknell, Muhammadu Faal (Josh Davison 64), Aaron Greene (Bilal Sayoud 79). Unused subs: Rian McLean, Remi Sutton. Booked: Weatherstone.
Updated 16:10 - 30 Dec 2018 by Jeff Barnes