Opening day triumph for Bar over Kettering Town
PUBLISHED: 09:10 20 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:14 20 August 2013
POTTERS Bar Town opened the new season in the Southern League in fine style with a battling 2-0 win over much fancied Kettering Town.
An early goal from last season’s top scorer James Gershfield and a first for the club from debutant Dean Green put paid to any ideas that the former Conference side might have that they would have an easy ride in the lower league.
The Scholars opened the scoring with just one minute and 38 seconds of the game gone.
A long kick from keeper Charlie Crowley split the visitors’ defence with Gershfield finishing superbly.
New boy Green could have doubled the score just nine minutes later as a miskick by Poppies’ keeper Quirke fell to the big striker, but despite going past three defenders he could not take full advantage.
With 18 minutes gone another new signing, Danny Millard, took advantage of yet another Kettering error to break down the left, but he was prevented from shooting by Steve Kinniburgh’s last ditch tackle.
The visitors first effort on goal did not come until the 22nd minute as Louis Hamilton crossed for Lewis Wilson who completely missed his kick from just 10 yards out.
Moments later Wilson was involved again with a hook shot easily saved by Crowley in the home goal.
Green was in the action again for The Scholars, setting up Millard whose shot flew over the top as the home side looked to extend their lead.
The Poppies were reduced to 10 men just before half-time as Andy Gooding was shown red for a two-footed lunge on Bar’s Chris Doyle.
Despite this Kettering finished the first half strongly, as Wilson caused problems up front first by chipping a shot that deflected to Crowley and then setting up Nathan Fox who shot wide.
The second half saw the visitors enjoy much of the possession as they battled with the reduced numbers looking for an equaliser.
But with Jack Friend and Fabian Simms ably marshalling the back four they rarely troubled keeper Crowley.
With the second half only three minutes old Wilson again caused problems for Bar, but Jimmy Martin, another making his Bar debut, cleared before the front man could get a shot away.
Brad Piercewright, up for a corner, saw his diving header go wide and at the other end Green’s cross was cleared.
On the hour, Wilson’s shot was well blocked by Simms, and then for Potters Bar, Gershfield’s free-kick was wide.
Gershfield again featured as a move involving Martin and Josh Hutchinson freed the striker only for his shot to go straight at the keeper.
Moment later Hutchinson again set up Gershfield with his shot going narrowly wide of the post.
Jake Newman had a great chance for the Poppies but his left footed shot after a neat turn went wide.
The game was finally settled in Potters Bar’s favour in the 83rd minute.
Green turned and drifted past three Poppies defenders before slotting past the keeper from outside the box to settle any nerves in the home fans.
But Kettering continued to push and could have got a goal back with 10 minutes to go as a Dave Deeney shot hit he angle of post and bar with the ball falling to Newman who struck the bar from 10 yards out.
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