Late goals return to haunt Potters Bar as Hawks swoop in to nick all three points

PUBLISHED: 09:33 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 18 February 2019

Niko Tzanev made a number of fine saves for Potters Bar Town at Whitehawk. 

Picture: Karyn Haddon

Niko Tzanev made a number of fine saves for Potters Bar Town at Whitehawk. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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A late goal came back to haunt Potters Bar Town as they slipped to a agonising 1-0 defeat away to Whitehawk.

Sucker punches in the closing stages of games was a feature for the Scholars at the beginning of the New Year but their luck seemed to have changed during a difficult run of away games through February.

However, with seven minutes remaining of their game at the Enclosed Stadium in Brighton, Lucas Rodrigues pounced to settle an even game with the Bostik League Premier Division’s basement club.

This was the fourth away game in a row for Town and the third weekend in a row that the south coast has been their destination.

But the two points garnered from the trips to Worthing and Lewes, as well as the victory at Kingstonian, have seen Bar put valuable breathing space between them and the bottom three.

The trio occupying the relegation spots are all in action tomorrow night (Tuesday) as they play their games in hand on the Scholars.

But prior to those kick-offs the gap is still seven points.

Saturday’s match saw Bar hand a debut to Omar Vassell as well as an excellent display by on-loan AFC Wimbledon stopper, Niko Tzanev.

Brought in as cover for the suspended Berkley Laurencin, he showed why he is hanging onto the jersey with a number of fine saves.

He was beaten by an effort from Rodrigues towards the end of an uneventful first-half but Vassell was in the right place to ensure the sides went into the break level.

The second half saw Josh Hutchinson test Melvin Minter in the Hawks goal while at the other end Nathaniel Pinney had a goal ruled out for offside.

Tzanev produced a stunning stop to deny home skipper Henry Muggeridge and the match looked to be petering out into a draw until Whitehawk got the breakthrough.

The Kiwi goalkeeper had again pulled off a big save to stop Muggeridge but unfortunately for the Hertfordshire side the ball ran into the path of Rodrigues who slammed the ball home to the delight of the home support.

Potters Bar are back at home on Saturday against another one of the strugglers, Burgess Hill Town.

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