More nervous than it needed to be for Potters Bar Town in win at Merstham
PUBLISHED: 17:31 05 January 2020 | UPDATED: 17:31 05 January 2020
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Three points and a 3-2 win for Potters Bar Town at Merstham was very much what the doctor ordered after their festive disappointments but as has been the case too often this season they made life overly difficult for themselves.
That had distinctly not looked the case after 30 minutes when they were sitting pretty thanks to two Josh Hutchinson goals and facing 10 men following Omar Folkes dismissal.
But the Surrey hosts pulled one back after the break and although Ben Ward-Cochrane hit a third on 57 minutes, a second home goal 12 minutes from time made for a nervy finish.
The three points though helped ease the back-to-back home defeats by Kingstonian and Enfield Town and keep the Scholars firmly in the middle of the Isthmian League Premier Division pack.
Hutchinson is now up to 16 in the league and 19 in all competitions this season and he didn't need long to bag his first of the new year, just two minutes in fact.
And ith Bar in rampant form there could have been more too before they eventually doubled their tally.
Both Brad Sach and Hutchinson had shots saved by the Moatsiders keeper Matte Pierson before Ward-Cochrane tested him with a fine free-kick which he touched over for a corner.
But Hutchinson did get his and the Scholars' second on 25 minutes, heading home from a near-post flick following a corner.
Just two minutes later Folkes drove into the Potters Bar penalty box and was incensed not to get a penalty as he fell in the box.
And amid the protestations from the big striker he appeared to lash out at a Scholars defender leaving the referee no course other than to show a red card.
They kept the pressure on with Andy Lomas heavily involved but half-time arrived with the score still at 2-0.
But just three minutes into the second half any complacency from the fans turned to alarm as R'avan Constable misjudged a back-pass to let in Shola Ayoola.
It made for a very different game and even when Ward-Cochrane scored from a Keagan Cole corner, Merstham continued to play at a gallop.
Edwin Mensah's goal made it nervy final 13 minutes and it was blessed relief that greeted the sound of the final whistle from all in maroon.