Crucial win keeps promotion hopes alive for Potters Bar
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 January 2018
Potters Bar kept their promotion hopes from East League Division Two South well and truly alive with a 3-2 victory at home to Bedford 2nds.
The two sides had gone into the day tied on points, Bar one place above their rivals in third.
And goals from Miles Tomkins, Ed Whybrow, Christos Votsis mean they are now just two points off new league leaders Crostyx who beat the old leaders Witham.
The Walk-based hockey club needed to dig deep to secure the victory but were almost at full strength.
And there were no signs of rustiness from the prolonged festive break as the hosts flew out of the traps, taking the lead inside the opening 10 minutes.
A series of well-executed penalty corners was finally converted by Tomkins from the top of the D and Potters should have had a second shortly after but Whybrow scuffed his shot.
Bar had further chances and it looked as though Bar would take their lead into half time until an interception was driven beyond Ben Balmforth for a Bedford equaliser.
With possession fairly evenly distributed in the second half, Bar were content to sit deep and then try to unlock the Bedford defence on the counter attack.
This created several good chances, one of which Bar took. It came from another short corner and was again dispatched clinically, this time by Whybrow.
Having had to wait a long time for their second goal, the third followed hot on the heels.
Mark Turpin found space on the left and when his cross-shot was deflected up and across the goal mouth, Votsis was on hand to knock the ball home.
But any comfort Bar had with the 3-1 lead soon dissipated.
A green card to Jon Elms and injury to Raymond Li put Bedford on the front foot and a slice of good fortune brought them back into it.
A hard, flat ball into the D looked to be covered by Chris Chittleborough’s stick until it hit an undulation in the pitch and hit him in the thigh instead, giving Bedford a corner and from that a goal.
But Bar maintained their impressive discipline to see out the remaining minutes without giving Bedford another sniff at goal.
They will hope to continue this excellent form when they go to second-placed Witham on Saturday.