Plenty of possession and chances but Dorking Wanderers defeat continues Potters Bar Town’s worrying slide
PUBLISHED: 16:55 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:58 26 January 2019
It was about this time last year that Potters Bar Town began their winning run that eventually culminated in promotion to the Bostik Premier Division for the first time in their history. Neil Metcalfe went to the Pakex to see if the class of 2019 could repeat the trick.
If there were points awarded for effort and hard lines then Potters Bar Town would be fine. But the reality of their situation is that despite all their possession and promising positions, the 2-0 home defeat to Dorking Wanderers continues a worrying downward trend towards the relegation places in the Bostik Premier Division.
Second-half goals from Lewis Taylor and James McShane handed the division’s second-placed team the win and leaves the Scholars just four points away from danger.
It wasn’t for the lack of trying but as already stated, that counts for nothing at the end of the day.
Town had come into this game on the back of a run of just two wins in 12 games with the first of that sequence a 4-1 reverse at Dorking.
And with the Surrey side on a run of six games without a defeat, it would have taken a brave man to bet against them.
Early indications seemed to back up that assertion with Wanderers having the better of the early play.
But for all that Bar’s on-loan goalkeeper Nik Tzanev only had two saves of note to make, neither of which were too taxing for the AFC Wimbledon stopper.
And slowly but surely the hosts gathered a bit of momentum.
Their problem was the lack of quality when they got into good positions in the final third, and they got there on a few occasions.
Poor control also saw chances slip away from the Scholars’ forwards and when they did get a sight of the goal, the connection wasn’t always what was needed.
Slavomir Huk in the visitors’ goal had to make one save of note, diving to his left to prevent Sean Bonnett-Johnson from opening the scoring, grabbing the ball at the second attempt.
Scott Cousins’ seemed to be going with a formation designed to prevent Dorking from cutting loose, a 4-3-3 although without any noticeable out and out front man.
For that to be truly effective though it needed the hosts to score first.
And they almost got their wish inside the opening 30 seconds of the second period.
Brad Sach set off on a run that took him in from the left towards the penalty area and with the defence parting in front of him he hit a wicked shot that needed Huk to make an unconvincing save.
And the Scholars’ fears of conceding first were realised on 54 minutes when Taylor thumped a free-kick from a central position on the edge of the box in off Tzanev’s right-hand post.
It was a soft award with Luke Moore going to crowd after the slightest of touches but the referee was adamant it was a foul.
It added even more urgency to Bar with Brad Sach flicking a Sean Grace header just over the bar a few minutes later and James Budden going close to connecting with a free-kick.
But their desire to get an equaliser left space behind them and McShane produced a composed finish from Reece Hall’s cross that got to its intended target despite Chris Doyle’s attempts to cut it out.
Cousins threw on his three substitutes and Bar finished the rest of the game on the front foot.
But they couldn’t repeat the comeback of seven days earlier at Bognor Regis Town, Josh Hutchinson having their last chance which was gratefully gathered by Huk.
Potters Bar Town: Tzanev, Doyle, Lomas, Nicholas (Cole 78), Budden, Grace, Powell (Hutchinson 65), O’Leary, Sach, Bonnett-Johnson, Wynter (Ward-Cochrane 69).
Subs (not used): Bettache, Hobbs.
Booked: Nicholas 73
Dorking Wanderers: Huk, Ray, Boulter, El-Abd, Taylor, Moore, McManus, Briggs (Beard 60), Hall, Richards (Philpot 81), McShane.
Subs (not used): Beckles, Tolfrey, O’Sullivan.
Goals: Taylor 54, McShane 63
Booked: Taylor 86
HT: Potters Bar Town 0 Dorking Wanderers 0
Referee: Michael Smith
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