Battling Potters Bar Town claim FA Cup draw at Ryman League Premier Canvey Island

PUBLISHED: 20:12 17 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:18 19 September 2016

Eoin Casey chases down a defender

Eoin Casey chases down a defender


Potters Bar Town twice led higher-ranked Canvey Island in the FA Cup second qualifying round this afternoon (Saturday) but in the end had to settle for a 2-2 draw and a replay at the Pakex Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Scholars, currently sitting 20 places and one level lower than their Ryman League Premier hosts, flew out of the blocks and in less than two minutes had struck first.

Billy Baird’s tantalising cross was met by the unlikely head of tricky winger Ashley Nathaniel-George as Bar stunned the home crowd.

With a snarling wind, flying in off the nearby River Thames Estuary, at their backs, the visitors defended for all their might although Canvey’s efforts were on the whole disappointing.

Just as though it seemed Bar would take their lead into the half-time break, striker Martin Touhy latched onto a deep cross to neatly chip keeper Ben Goode in added time.

The second period served up less entertainment but the same quota of goals.

Canvey were unlucky not to go ahead on 64 minutes.

Goode, who had been impeccable up to that point, flapped at a lofted ball into the box, which dropped to the swivelling George Sykes who shot for goal. Carl McCluskey just managed to prevent the effort crossing the line via a determined header.

That was the slice of luck Steve Ringrose’s men required and three minutes later they were ahead again.

The quiet Danny Hart delivered an inch-perfect cross for the arriving Eoin Casey to divert beyond keeper Conor Gough.

Canvey were to force the replay though as a wicked ball was played into the box and substitute Tony Stokes was most alert to nod an equaliser for the home side.

Nevertheless Bar will be in the hat for Monday lunchtime’s draw and knowing success the following day will see them reach third round qualifying for the first time since 2009.

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