Potters Bar Town get the plaudits after 'thoroughly deserved' victory against Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 20:26 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 20:26 08 February 2020
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Potters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary claimed it a "thoroughly deserved" success as his Scholars side bagged a 2-1 win over Hornchurch.
They blasted out of the blocks with two goals from Ben Ward-Cochrane in the opening 12 minutes and although Jamie Cureton pulled one back on his first start for the Urchins, a second-half of pressure from the visitors failed to breach a valiant and resolute defence.
And it was those defensive efforts that pleased the boss.
O'Leary said: "We had a couple of reports on them and we knew what to expect so we set up in a way to nullify their threat and play a little bit on the counter-attack.
"That reflected in personnel and it seemed to pay off with two early goals.
"But the win was thoroughly deserved. We defended well for large parts of the game although everyone could see their goal was from a defensive error.
"But even that's a positive because normally we capitulate a little bit after that type of error but today we stood firm and were strong and saw the game out really well."
It was James Budden who had to hold his hands up after Cureton's goal but that was his only slip, as from then on he and centre-back partner James Humphrey headed, blocked and tackled any threat that came their way in a hugely-impressive show.
"They were brilliant," admitted the manager. "They made good decisions and were aggressive. When they needed to follow defenders in, they did and when they had to keep their shape and their line, they were nice and patient.
"Buds made up for his mistake with a great block in the first-half too."
At the other end of the pitch O'Leary had swapped things around, dropping Josh Hutchinson into a deeper 10 role behind Ward-Cochrane, giving Thomas Gogo and the returning Nana Kyei the starts on the wings.
He said: "Josh links the game really well and it was important we put pressure on their full-backs to stop them hitting their front men early.
"They linked up well and got in some good areas and caused them some problems.
"The second-half was a different story and a different game but we did what was asked of us and we managed the game better than we have all season.
"That's the biggest compliment I can give the chaps."