PBT punished by Enfield Town for another slow start
By Jeff Barnes
Neil Metcalfe at Donkey Lane
It was another slow start for Potters Bar Town but this time they couldn’t undo the damage as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Enfield Town.
Saturday's Bostik Premier Division game at the Pakex Stadium saw Corinthian Casuals take a 2-0 lead after just eight minutes. Bar fought back to earn a 2-2 draw then, confirming their status in the division for another year.
It took 14 minutes at Donkey Lane for the hosts to build up a 2-0 lead before Josh Hutchinson pulled one back. And try as they might, the Scholars were unable to find an equaliser and a third right at the death finished things off.
The game, played in blazing sunshine, had a distinct end of season feel to it with neither side having anything to play for other than local pride.
But Bar's worrying recent habit of conceding early began on four minutes. Kezie Ibe got it as the visitors' defence looked content to simply soak up the rays. They allowed the ball to come across from the left all the way through to the unmarked Sam Youngs at the back post.
He cut it back to the edge of the six-yard box and Ibe did the rest with the first-time shot.
Enfield looked incredibly dangerous in those opening minutes and it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before they got a second.
That duly arrived with another cross from the left, Youngs this time supplying the final touch at the back post.
But from there slowly and surely Bar hauled themselves back into the game. Hutchinson provided the skills to create space for a shot and it was that almost squirmed in, Matt Nolan spilling the attempt and managing to get back in time as the ball spun towards goal.
The striker finally halved the gap on 33 minutes, picking up the ball after a surge forward by George Nicholas, cutting inside James Mulley and then firing off Nolan's near post.
He could have brought parity too after being set up by Nana Kyei but he opted for too much power and it flew inches over the top. A charge forward from Ben Ward-Cochrane saw the Bar player hauled down by on the edge of the box by Enfield's last defender. A free-kick and a booking for Mulley was the outcome, however, with the set-piece being driven into the wall by Kyei.
Enfield only had one chance after their barnstorming opening, Mathew Johnson given too much time and clipping a shot over Niko Tzanev but off the crossbar.
The second half began as the first had finished, with Potters Bar on the front foot.
And they should have got their reward. Ward-Cochrane was played in down the side of the Enfield defence but although his shot beat Nolan, it lacked the power to make the goal and Sam Hatton made the clearance at the second attempt. Hutchinson was then presented with a glorious chance from Ward-Cochrane's pullback and although he hit the target, Nolan was able to deflect it over the top.
Hatton had to block another Ward-Cochrane effort but slowly the opportunities dried up, although Enfield failed to test Tzanev too often at the other end until Aaron Greene stung his hands with 15 minutes to go.
Kyei had one good chance with minutes to go but could only fire tamely at Nolan.
And to rub salt into the wound Bilal Sayoud made it three with a totally unintended shot on 90 minutes. It had started out as a cross but dropped over Tzanev into the far corner.
A disappointing end as Bar's season heads to an close.
Potters Bar Town: Tzanev, Vassell (Lomas 76), Grace, Nicholas, Budden, Powell, Wynter, Sach, Hutchinson, Ward-Cochrane (Morgan 68), Kyei.
Subs (not used): Cole.
Goal: Hutchinson 33
Enfield Town: Nolan, Parcell (Mullet 27), Porter, Johnson, Hatton Weatherstone, Youngs, Chaney (Sayoud 68), Ibe, Davison, Greene (Quarrington-Carter 86).
Subs (not used): Noto, Wales.
Goals: Ibe 4, Youngs 14, Sayoud 90
Booked: Weatherstone 36, Mulley 45+1
HT: Enfield Town 2 Potters Bar Town 1
Referee: Stephen Bates (St Albans)