Battling Potters Bar Town's dreams of Red Insure Cup final ended by Premier Division Cambridge City
PUBLISHED: 23:21 01 March 2016 | UPDATED: 23:27 01 March 2016
Ten-man Potters Bar Town's brave Red Insure Cup run came to end at the semi-final stage as they lost 1-0 to Southern League Premier Division side Cambridge City at the Pakex Stadium tonight (Tuesday).
Having beaten fellow Premier Division outfit Slough Town in the third round just over a month ago, albeit via spot-kicks, Town were confident they could topple another higher-ranked opponent and make it to a historic final.
Their dreams were to be shattered by James Hall’s 48th-minute strike, supplied by former Welwyn Garden City striker Joel Norris. That goal just moments after substitute Jerry Maja had struck the upright from Luke Warner-Eley’s corner.
Dave Lawrence’s howitzer of a free-kick from 35 yards in the 33rd minute was the highlight of a cagey first period where both sides battled hard but could not find a breakthrough.
Steve Ringrose’s men would certainly have been the happier of the two sides entering the changing rooms at the interval, frustrating a direct City side that more often than not looked to outwit the Bar backline with pace and long passes rather than guile or quality.
The home side’s one first-half disappointment would have come with the exit of Billy Adcock, scorer of a superb volley in the previous round at Aylesbury United, leaving the field with a back injury, replaced by Maja.
Town exploded out of the traps at the start of the second half and had the sub’s 46th-minute shot been inches to the right, they might have ripped up this formulaic script on the night.
As it was Hall struck to settle travelling nerves. Those jitters were further quelled when Chris Doyle, already on a yellow, was given his marching orders for a deliberate handball which diverted the ball into the net. The leveller the Division One Central side were after but sadly to the disagreement of referee Simon Finnigan.
Ringrose rolled the dice once more with the introduction of Ashley Nathaniel-George and the pacey wide man troubled the City defence with some teasing balls into the box but the vital touch escaped battling Bar.
The game really should have been put beyond doubt in added-time as Bar keeper Ben Goode, caught upfield after wading forward for a late corner, was helpless to watch Hall sidefoot wide of an open goal from 40 yards.
Cambridge were not to rue that gaping miss though as they booked their place in the final while Bar will take their dogged display back to their quest for a top 10 finish in the league.