Hutchinson the hat-trick hero as Potters Bar Town beat Brightlingsea
PUBLISHED: 21:41 03 December 2019 | UPDATED: 21:41 03 December 2019
Potters Bar Town put Saturday's disappointment firmly behind them with a 4-2 win over struggling Brightlingsea Regent.
It hadn't been the best of performances against Bowers & Pitsea but Josh Hutchinson made sure those memories were quickly forgotten with a hat-trick, Ben Ward-Cochrane getting the other.
Two goals conceded will not please manager Lee O'Leary but the final score could have been a lot more given the amount of chances created.
It keeps Bar firmly in mid-table in the Isthmian League Premier Division but moving further clear of their initial target - avoiding relegation.
And they will still have one eye on those places further up the league.
The Scholars' preparation was thrown into disarray in the 10 minutes prior to the game when Andy Lomas limped out after the warm-up and Jack Humphrey was rapidly drafted in to start.
But if they were affected it didn't show in an excellent opening.
Brad Sach had already forced Charlie Turner in the Brightlingsea goal to stick a leg out and kick the ball behind but within 60 seconds the hosts were ahead.
And it was a beauty too. Granted the ball sat up lovely but the volley from Hutchinson was executed perfectly and flew in from 20 yards.
Ward-Cochrane tested Turner as well from distance but then the visitors had a couple of chances to remind Potters that this was not over.
Jack Turner was inches away from heading in a free-kick taken from deep on the Regent right wing and then the same man hit another set-piece low and into the clutches of Arthur Janata.
But those were the only real chances they had and it was the home side who could have added more.
They did get one, a super team goal started by the calmness of Keagan Cole and finished clinically by Hutchinson after passing through Thomas Gogo and Ward-Cochrane among others.
Sach should have scored before that after good work this team between Gogo and Dwight Pascal, who put in another impressive performance, but he and Hutchinson seemed to get in each others way and the chance was put over.
If he should have scored that one he must have thought he had made it three after a point-blank header from a sumptuous Gogo cross.
Turner though somehow got a big paw up to claw it out from under the crossbar.
It was as comfortable as they come but as any football fan will tell you there is always the chance of a calamitous collapse.
Those thoughts were seemingly banished 11 minutes after the start of the second half.
Hutchinson had already had a sight of goal moments earlier, dragging a chance of a hat-trick across goal and wide, but Ward-Cochrane arrived perfectly at the back post to tap in yet another sublime Gogo delivery.
But seven minutes the gap was back to two. Lovely play down the Regent right ended with Yasseir Nazor sending in a cross and Romario Dunne prodding it home at the near post.
It led to a period of pressure from the visitors who sensed an unlikely comeback. A succession of corners gave them even more hope although by and large James Budden and his defence were relatively untroubled by them.
And after surviving that spell, the Scholars pressed for a fourth.
Budden almost brought a bizarre own goal from the keeper as Turner batted his header towards goal. The defender on the line cleared.
Pip Boyland then needed to be on the line to clear a Pascal effort that was dinked over the keeper and a defender got in the way as Hutchinson looked for his hat-trick.
The treble did duly arrive though with 13 minutes to go. Hutchinson picked up the rebound after Sach's thumping drive hit the post and after taking a touch, he lashed it into the top corner.
There was still time for George Bugg to pull another one back for the visitors and they had a few chances to make it truly worrying for the home side.
They didn't and the Scholars will now look forward to December's fixtures with hope.
Potters Bar Town: Janata, Pascal, Humphrey, Cole, Budden Quarrington-Carter, Gogo, Nicholas, Hutchinson (Young 88), Sach (Kartita 78), Ward-Cochrane.
Subs (not used): Michael-Percil, Powell.
Goals: Hutchinson 3, 29, 77, Ward-Cochrane 56
Booked: Pascal 83, Young 90+4
Brightlingsea Regent: C.Turner, Howell, Forrest, J.Turner, Boyland, Cripps, Nazor, Brice-Wiffen, Hunt (Johnson 46), Bugg, Dunne.
Subs (not used): Gould.
Goals: Dunne 63, Bugg 85
HT Potters Bar Town 2 Brightlingsea Regent 0
Referee: Stuart Kyle (Cramlington, Northumberland)