Ten-man Potters Bar Town lose undefeated record at home to AFC Hornchurch
PUBLISHED: 17:07 09 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:12 09 September 2017
Potters Bar Town's undefeated record in the Bostik League Division One North ended in controversial circumstances as they lost 2-1 at home to AFC Hornchurch.
Both sides had gone into the game with zeroes in the loss column, with the Essex side at the top and Bar in fifth.
And it was Leon McKenzie’s strike six minutes into the second half that settled this entertaining clash.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson and Eoin Casey had ensured the sides went into the break all square.
But it was a spate of bookings at the end, culminating in a red card for Billy Lobjoit, that will be remembered by most.
On the balance of play it was a harsh result for the Scholars whose play, certainly in the first half, had warranted at least a point.
That first period was one of those extremely strange halves of football.
Bar dominated from the off and probably wouldn’t have wanted it to end.
Yet until Casey nodded a long, looping Andrew Lomas cross over Sam Mott in the final minute of it, Hornchurch had been in front for most of it.
Fairweather-Johnson had slammed that in from the edge of the area on eight minutes in what turned out to be a rare excursion into the home defence.
The biggest problem the Scholars had, for all their possession, was getting a shot on target.
George Nicholas nodded wide from a Michael Murray cross and Casey himself sent a low drive fizzing past the far post.
That had come from a lovely passing move and the home side certainly moved the ball about well, getting in some dangerous crosses which were either deflected or inches away from their intended target.
But the break changed things round and the league leaders were much livelier after the restart.
They had somehow been denied seconds before McKenzie scored after the Scholars twice had to clear off the line within a couple of seconds.
And they had chances after the goal, with George Purcell bringing a good save out of Berkley Laurencin.
Bar were nowhere near as fluent but Casey still had a chance to bring parity once more, bringing a smart stop out of Mott.
But from there the game descended into a farce as the number of bookings rose rapidly.
Lobjoit’s red and eight minutes of stoppage time wasn’t a fitting end for the match.
Potters Bar: Laurencin, Baird, Lomas, Lobjoit, Turner, Doyle, Casey, Adcock, Murray (Martin-Miles 87), Nicholas, Holland (Holt 80)
Subs (not used): Ogunsola, Sota
Goals: Casey 44
Sent off: Lobjoit 90+5
Hornchurch: Mott, Hurst (Bentley 46), Porter, Lee, Cooper, Chouman, Fairweather-Johnson, Styles, McKenzie, Purcell, Warner (Fanimo 89)
Subs (not used): Tuohy, Roberts, Hussain
Goals: Fairweather-Johnson 8, McKenzie 51
HT: Potters Bar Town 1 AFC Hornchurch 1
Referee: Gavin Muge