Potters Bar Town hit by late sucker-punch as FA Trophy run ends against Horsham
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:00 10 November 2018
A goal two minutes from time sent Potters Bar Town crashing out of the FA Trophy at Horsham.
It had been a gritty if unspectacular cup game prior to that but if anyone looked like grabbing a winner, it was Potters Bar who finished strongly after a sluggish opening.
But as the Scholars pressed, a free-kick was scrambled clear and suddenly the Hornets were away.
Lee Harding held it up superbly before playing it out to Tyrell Richardson-Brown and with the Bar defence struggling to get back, it was slipped inside to Chris Smith who hit it first time past the despairing dive of Berkley Laurencin.
The Bostik South East Division side had already accounted for another Premier Division side in this run, sending Corinthian Casuals out, but Bar will think their second-half showing was at least good enough to have earned them a replay.
The game itself had its moments but not enough for the 147-strong crowd as Potters Bar struggled to click.
Much has been made of the change in management and disruption that followed and the Scholars looked like a side still getting used to the new set-up.
Scott Cousins and Lee O’Leary have made a small tactical tweak and when it works, like Wingate & Finchley last Saturday or Bishop’s Stortford before that, it is a joy to watch.
The first half at Lancing’s Culver Road was not one of those occasions and regardless of the formation, this was a 45 minutes of football where Potters Bar were well off the pace.
And their hosts took full advantage, visibly growing in confidence the longer the half went off and putting Bar under pressure.
Berkley Laurencin made two important stops, pushing a low Steve Metcalf shot that skimmed across the surface round the post before holding on to a wicked Tyrell Richardson-Brown effort.
The Horsham winger was causing plenty of problems for skipper Chris Doyle and Bar needed the long legs and solid tackling of Sean Grace to get them out of trouble.
When they did go forward they didn’t do much to threaten Josh Pelling in the home goal, the one shot from Dernell Wynter not only clearing the bar but the 20 foot safety netting behind as well.
The second half started much better though and while chances were still limited, there was finally an urgency to the Potters play.
Bradley Sach got one caught under his feet as he received the ball on the edge of the area and from slightly further out Andrew Lomas fired well over.
The left back also whipped in a low cross that was just too far ahead of Wynter.
Horsham still had chances and the ever dangerous Richardson-Brown set up Chris Smith for a turn and shot that Laurencin had to kick away.
But the game finished with Scholars pressing hard.
Lomas stung the hands of Pelling with a firm drive before a succession of corners flashed across the box, the second of which was headed over by Aaron Morgan-Cummings.
But just as the pressure began to mount, so the moment of rapture arrived for the Horsham faithful.
Potters Bar Town: Laurencin, Doyle, Lomas, O’Leary, Budden, Grace, Wynter (Nicholas 66), Adcock, Cole, Sach (Morgan-Cummings 60), Costa.
Subs (not used): Wambeek, Taylor.
Horsham: Pelling, Metcalf, Sparks, Lovegrove, Shelley, Merchant-Simmons, Hayward (Harding 82), Brivio, O’Toole (Hoare 69), Smith (McElligott 90+3), Richardson-Brown.
Subs (not used): Hyde, Baxter.
Goal: Smith 88
Booked: Merchant-Simmons 87
HT: Horsham 0 Potters Bar Town 0
Referee: Jim Paterson (Scotland)
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