Controversial penalty secures Baldock a share of the spoils
Feisty local derby ends all square.
After drawing a blank the previous Saturday, Potton shuffled the deck for the visit of local rivals Baldock.
Martin Danobrega was given his first start after 10 weeks out with an illness in place of Aaron Murrell and Ryan Don returned to central midfield in place of Gareth Hunt.
Potton were playing with virtually a front four of Webb, Ansell Carter, Ahmed and Danobrega which was loaded with pace.
Potton did not start the match well though and it was the visitors who were on top in the opening twenty minutes.
Robbie Buchanan who was recently signed on loan from Biggleswade Town broke free on 8 minutes but his shot was wide of Tyler Josephs goal.
10 minutes later Baldock did take the lead when the Potton defence was slow to react and left the experienced Kim Forsythe against Jonny Hall who he beat for pace and slotted home to the left of Tyler Josephs.
This seemed to wake Potton up though and they equalised three minutes later when Martin Danobrega robbed the Baldock defence as they tried to play out for the back and looked up to place his shot low to keepers Harpers left.
On 24 minutes Potton had the lead after a move of high quality. Mo Ahmed released Danny Webb whose cross was met by a powerful Ansell Carter shot into the back of the net on 24 minutes.
Potton were on top now and another great Ahmed ball to Danny Webb should have led to a third goal but the Royals wide man’s shot was too close to Harper, who pulled off a save.
On 33 minutes was Jonny Hall’s turn to play in Webb but his shot lacked conviction and was easily saved again.
Baldock though ended the half stronger and on 38 minutes Liam Brooks shot was well saved by Tyler Josephs and on 42, Baldock had another chance which Kieran Barnes put just wide.
So Potton went in at half time with a narrow lead and if they could get the next goal then surely the three points would be theirs.
Baldock had the next chance when the ever dangerous Kieran Barnes drilled the ball across the box but no one was there to put the ball in the net on 51 minutes.
In the very next attack Danny Webb was through on goal and it took an excellent saving tackle to prevent Potton from scoring a third.
The game then developed into a midfield battle and apart from a couple of half chances for both sides it looked liked Potton would hold onto their slender advantage.
This changed though on 78 minutes when a ball bounced up and appeared to hit Jonny Hall around the shoulders – despite the fact there was no appeal, the referee adjudged this to be handball due to ‘unnatural movement’ and awarded a penalty.
Kieran Barnes stepped up and just about beat Tyler Josephs to give the visitors a rather fortunate leveller.
The game was then delayed by several minutes when four players were booked before the restart after Barnes kicked the ball at Christian Smail’s head and the melee that followed took nearly 8 minutes to bring under control.
In the very next attack Barnes was shown a second yellow card and sent off when Christian Smail was elbowed.
This brought a further delay as Barnes walked off to the dressing room but stayed at the end of the tunnel.
No side really had a chance after this and despite the referee telling both sides there were five minute left he blew up in the very next attack !
So a strange game ended up all square with neither side happy with the overall outcome. But at least for Potton they played much better than they have in recent weeks and if not for some strange decision from the match official may have come away with all three points.
The Royals have no fixture this Saturday but travel to Wingate and Finchley on Tuesday 5th February to take on Enfield Borough in the league cup semi final.
1. Tyler Josephs, 2. Carl Tappin, 3.Jonny Hall , 4. James Sage, 5. Sam Parrish, 6.Ryan Don, 7. Danny Webb, 8. Christian Smail, 9. Gary Ansell Carter (Gareth Hunt) , 10. Mo Ahmed, 11. Martin Danobrega (Aaron Murrell)