TOWN TAKE DERBY HONOURS
Potters Bar Town 1 Enfield Town 2
On an exceptionally heavy surface, Enfield Town managed to replicate last year’s 2-1 win at Parkfield, and it was a credit to the players that, without creating too many clear-cut chances, they managed to come up trumps after an unrelenting 90-minute slog.
Nathan McDonald was called into action virtually straight from the kick-off, saving from former Town striker Ben Ward-Cochrane with his legs as Bar looked to catch the visitors cold. At the other end, Billy Bricknell later made himself space for a left-foot shot which was comfortably grabbed by home keeper R’avan Constable.
Town engineered a lead on 16 minutes; Lyle Della Verde crossed from the right, Bricknell hooked the ball towards goal and Scholars’ central defender James Budden, who otherwise had a fine game, made a hash of a clearance and only ended up billowing the back of the home net.
Bradley Sach forced McDonald into another save, but he had better luck in the 27th minute when, after Marc Weatherstone had conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, a diagonal ball over the top of the Town back line caused confusion and it was played back square across the six-yard box for the unmarked Sach to convert from close range.
Glenn Wilson made a timely intervention to stop Ward-Cochrane from bearing down on goal and, in the 32nd minute, a header from the impressive Josh Hutchinson flew just wide, again from a dead ball situation. Sam Youngs’ left foot effort lacked sufficient power to trouble Constable as the half drew to a close.
Half-time: Potters Bar Town 1 Enfield Town 2
Immediately after the break, Ward-Cochrane was way off target while, at the opposite end, Constable punched clear under pressure. But, approaching the hour mark, disaster struck for the hosts when a pass back to Constable caused panic and the hard-working Bricknell was on hand to convert the loose ball from the edge of the box.
A superb driven cross from Joe Payne just eluded Bricknell, who later had a free-kick effort fly the wrong side of a post from the visitors’ perspective. McDonald denied Ward-Cochrane again with low, diving save, while Hutchinson’s header from a corner was inches away. Then Imedd Kartita, another former Enfield player in the home ranks, shot wide following McDonald’s punch, and it was all Bar pressure at this point.
The introduction of Bobson Bawling with ten minutes remaining gave Town an outlet and his pace down the right flank started to cause the Scholars problems. From one of his runs he was seemingly in an excellent position to shoot, but he elected to pass to Bricknell, and the chance was gone. Town man of the match Bricknell then attempted an audacious shot from distance with Constable way off his line but the ball drifted wide of the goal.
Not pretty, outplayed at times, but a great effort in demanding conditions as attention now switches to a diametrically opposite 3G challenge at Carshalton Athletic on Saturday (4th January).
Potters Bar Town: R’avan Constable, Kieron Cathline, Dwight Pascal, Keagan Cole, James Budden, Will Wambeek, Imedd Kartita (Ryan Young 86), George Nicholas (Thomas Gogo 90), Josh Hutchinson, Brad Sach, Ben Ward-Cochrane. Unused subs: Roman Michael-Percil, Jack Humphrey, Andy Lomas.
Enfield Town: Nathan McDonald, Sam Hatton, Joe Payne, Scott Thomas, Marc Weatherstone, Glenn Wilson, Lyle Della-Verde (Bobson Bawling 81), Sam Youngs (Jon Muleba 86), Billy Bricknell, Ken Charles (Junior Mubiayi 62), Ryan Blackman. Unused subs: Kezie Ibe, Nathan Livings. Booked: Wilson, Weatherstone.
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