Isthmian League: Potters Bar Town delighted with four-star win over Bishop’s Stortford
PUBLISHED: 21:42 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:42 01 October 2019
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Potters Bar Town rocketed back to winning ways with a comprehensive 4-1 success away to Bishop’s Stortford.
On a rain-soaked night at the ProKit UK Stadium, goals from Josh Hutchinson, Brad Sach, George Craddock and Ben Ward-Cochrane ensured a well-deserved victory against a lacklustre Blues outfit.
Bar's FA Cup exploits aside, their last victory came on August 17 with five Isthmian League Premier Division games since then.
The last four have ended in draws and that sequence has seen Bar settle into mid-table.
But with another FA Cup tie looming on Saturday, this one away at Ware, three points and a disciplined and exciting attacking display was just what the doctor ordered.
Getting to ground proved difficult with flooding causing chaos on the roads and the rain was still sheeting down as the game kicked off.
The Scholars looked far more comfortable in the opening stages than their hosts and created two decent chances.
First George Craddock pulled a shot wide and then moments later Sach got just in front of a Thomas Gogo cross which meant he could neither direct nor generate enough power to beat Fred Burbidge.
But slowly Stortford managed to wrestle some control back and play began to switch to the other end.
The slick conditions were allowing the ball to zip around the park with consummate ease while at the same time giving defenders nightmare.
But despite all of the sliced clearances and attacking positions, the Blues only real chance saw Ryan Charles fail to connect with any real venom and Andy Lomas blocked it.
Bar were enjoying plenty of joy down the wings and their solid defensive base allowed some good opportunities to be crafted on the break.
Gogo fashioned one of them by leaving his full-back for dead but after the cross kicked up off the surface and Sach took a touch, the striker couldn't guide it round the keeper and it went wide.
That was on 27 minutes and it was a similar move that eventually brought the opening goal.
This time it was a beautiful through-ball from Chris Doyle, threaded between full-back and centre-half that sent Ben Ward-Cochrane clear.
He had time to look up and pick out Hutchinson and from 10 yards out the top scorer swept the ball across Burbidge and into the corner.
The rain had eased towards the end of the half and it had eased at the start of the second period. However, over half-time it had unleashed its fury again to keep the pitch tricky.
And Bar used that to increase their lead.
George Craddock did what surprisingly nobody had done previously and cracked a low and hard shot across the surface.
Burbidge could hang on to it and Sach was the only one to react, passing it round the recovering keeper and into the net.
From a long period after that chances were at a premium. Stortford continued to search for a way back into the game but Bar were looking dangerous on the break, especially through Gogo.
But suddenly the game went through a purple patch with three goals in five minutes.
Craddock looked to have finally killed off the home challenge with what might be called a disputed goal.
It finally fell to the midfielder after a brief bit of pinball in the box and his shot was on target but a deflection off someone, seemingly another Bar player, made sure it beat Burbidge.
Jamie Cureton's reply was to make a double substitution and it paid instant dividends, resurrecting any nerves among the Maroon support.
But two minutes after Shomari Barnwell's header had looped back across goal and beyond R'avan Constable, the Scholars definitely made sure of the win with a lovely break.
Gogo again was the architect with a pass into Hutchinson and after he slipped the defender he looked likely to add to his season's tally.
He decided, perhaps, to pass instead, squaring across goal for Ward-Cochrane to tap into the empty net.
From there it was easy street for the away team with the visiting support chanting "it's just like watching Brazil" in sheer delight.
They also wanted five but while they had to settle for just the four, the performance will give them great belief for Saturday's big FA Cup clash.
Bishop's Stortford: Burbidge, Sampayo, Thomas, Robbins, Henshaw, Charles, Warman (Mason 72), Cureton, Greene (Barnwell 72), Renne, Gregan.
Subs (not used): Mycroft-Edwards, Miles, Haines.
Goal: Barnwell 73
Potters Bar Town: Constable, Doyle, Lomas, Cole, Budden (Humphrey 65), Quarrington-Carter, Ward-Cochrane, Craddock, Hutchinson (Young 87), Sach (Kartita 79), Gogo.
Subs (not used): Powell, Ehui.
Goals: Hutchinson 37, Sach 51, Craddock 71, Ward-Cochrane 75.
Booked: Cole 23, Sach 63
HT: Bishop's Stortford 0 Potters Bar Town 1
Referee: Stuart Cheek (Stevenage)