Potters Bar Town 0-1 Bishop’s Stortford
Pitching In Isthmian Premier, Tuesday 17th August 2022
The Blues made in 2 wins from 2 to start the league season with a hard-fought Hertfordshire derby win at Potters Bar Town. It wasn’t an evening for fans of flowing football, but the Blues ground out an important three points on the road thanks to Chris Harris’ third minute header.
The Blues were out of the blocks quickly and took the lead with the first chance of the contest. Matt Johnson swung in an inviting free kick from the left with Chris Harris rising highest to nod low into the left-hand corner to hand the Blues the lead.
It was a dominant opening first 15 minutes for Steve Smith’s side who came close to doubling their lead five minutes later with Anthony Church’s hitting a powerful dipping volley just over the bar from the edge of the area after good work from Frankie Merrifield to set him up.
Moments later Matt Johnson struck narrowly wide from range before Frankie Merrifield came agonisingly close, striking the post after meeting an inch perfect cross from Jay Porter.
The Blues were drawn into a scrap from that point onwards, with cautions for Chris Harris and Jack Thomas following soon after, although the Blues backline were able to comfortable see out the half without a chance of note for the home side.
Ollie Peters entered the fray for the second half with Ryan Charles, making his 100th appearance for the Blues, picking up a hamstring injury on the stroke of the interval.
It was more of the same in terms of scrappiness, although Frankie Merrifield was somewhat unlucky to be cautioned for a high boot with both players competing for the ball.
The Blues were reduced to ten men on 61 minutes with defender Sam Robbins completely mistiming a challenge on the wing and taking man rather than ball.
Both teams made changes in an attempt to create further chances but in truth it was a battle largely played out in the central areas with no flow to the contest. The official did find a card for a home player with ten minutes to go, former Blue Joe Boachie cautioned for a trip on a breaking Ollie Peters. On 84 minutes Bar skipper Frazer Shaw was perhaps fortunate to escape red for a lunging late challenge on Terrell Egbri.
Bar pushed hard to level with Jack Giddens forced into his first save of the encounter four minutes from time, turning away a powerful Aidoo effort with an outstretched foot.
Giddens was then the hero in stoppage time with a stunning double save from Boachie, reacting quickly to deny the Bar striker at the second attempt after parrying a close-range effort and that proved enough to seal the points from Smith’s side.
Potters Bar: Palmer, Titchmarsh (Aidoo 69), Shaw, Dickson, Kpohomouh, Kaiser, Monville, Christian-Law (Kamara 77), Noel Williams, Boachie, Parchment (Manor 46). Subs Not Used: McRitchie, Osaiya
Blues: Giddens, Porter, Church, Robbins, Henshaw, Merrifield, Johnson, Harris (Egbri 71), Thomas (Olufemi 63), Charles (Peters 46), Haines. Subs Not Used: Foxley, Beadle