Team togetherness delights Lee O’Leary as Potters Bar Town beat East Thurrock United in the FA Cup

PUBLISHED: 23:11 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 23:11 22 September 2020

Ben Ward-Cochrane got the only goal of the game as Potters Bar Town beat East Thurrock United. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Ben Ward-Cochrane got the only goal of the game as Potters Bar Town beat East Thurrock United. Picture: KARYN HADDON


Memories of last year’s epic FA Cup adventure have been stirred again as Potters Bar Town made it into the second qualifying round with a 1-0 home win over East Thurrock United.

Twelve months ago the Bar Army were just weeks away from a memorable pair of matches with Barnet and Ben Ward-Cochrane’s goal midway through the second half at the LA Construction Stadium proved enough to get the wheels moving on this year’s campaign.

And while the result was obviously important, manager Lee O’Leary was delighted with the way the squad performed, especially in the wake of Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Carshalton Athletic on day one of the Isthmian League Premier Division season.

Speaking to the club’s social media channels he said: “I’m delighted with the result but the boys showed great togetherness and it was important we bounced back from the weekend.

“We’ve got a young group of lads and that will do them the world of good, getting the win and getting a clean sheet at home in front of our fans.

“[East Thurrock] started really brightly and you have to give them credit for that but after 20 minutes or so went by we were pretty much in control until they got desperate and started throwing direct balls into our box.

“But to be fair to the back line and Fred [Burbridge] the goalkeeper, they dealt with most things.

“I’m just delighted with the real team performance that put out there.

“We were a little bit wasteful in possession but a little bit better on the counter attack and with our decision making and we may have had a couple more goals.

“On the whole I am delighted.”

Ward-Cochrane’s goal came on 67 minutes with Nana Kyei taking advantage of a slip by a defender to set-him, the forward supplying the cool finish.

Kyei could have had a second shortly after but the Bar Army were mightily impressed with the home debut of Mason Tunbridge.

O’Leary totally understands why.

The boss said: “Mason was brilliant. He’s got so much ability and he’s only a young kid, he’s only 19. He’s got loads to learn but he’s got loads of potential.

“I’m excited by him and I love to watch him play football.

“We’re just trying to help nurture him and make him improve but he can be anything he wants to be.”

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