A battling display from Bar is left unrewarded as late goals end unbeaten start

PUBLISHED: 11:52 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:52 04 September 2018

Potters Bar Town's Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes had a solid penalty appeal waved away against Merstham. Picture: Melissa Page

Potters Bar Town's Sandro Costa Dias Fernandes had a solid penalty appeal waved away against Merstham. Picture: Melissa Page

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Two late goals from hosts Merstham ended Potters Bar Town’s unbeaten start to life in the Bostik Premier League.

Having taken the lead in the first half through Dernell Wynter’s third goal of the season, the Scholars were pegged back on the hour mark with Tom Kavanagh’s equaliser.

But they were still on course for a hard-earned point until the final two minutes when Tom Bird and Kershaney Samuels landed the hammer blows.

In the end it may have been a fair result with Town having been on the back foot for 90 minutes, but it was still tough to take.

The home side had the better of the opening exchanges with Bar struggling to cope with the pace, movement and passing of Bird and Reece Hall on the left.

But it was the Scholars who could have taken the lead on 13 minutes as a clever chip from Keegan Cole almost caught Chris Haigh in the home goal unaware and off his line.

Minutes later Brad Sach saw his shot fly just over after breaking free from the Merstham defence.

A Reece Hall free-kick driven though the defensive wall needed a fine save from Berkley Laurencin but as the hosts continued to press, the Scholars took the lead on 36 minutes.

A pin-point pass from George Nicholas found Wynter breaking into the box and he slotted the ball home.

The second half again saw Potters Bar under pressure but generally coping well in defence with Steve Brown and Eoin Casey blocking all that came at them.

But with the hour mark approaching the Moatsiders were level, a tremendous 35-yard effort from Kavanagh giving Laurencin no chance.

Bar have two penalty appeals waved away within minutes of each other, the first when Sandro Dias Costa Fernandes looked to be impeded when he burst into the box and the second when Brad Sach went down under a challenge.

But with three minutes remaining, Town were left shell-shocked.

Bird took advantage of a retreating defence to cut inside and drill home the second, again from around 35 yards, and in added time as the Scholars pushed on, Samuels broke the length of the field to put it beyond doubt with another great strike from distance.

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