Scholars take the three points after thoroughly entertaining game at Cray Wanderers

Devonte Aransibia put Potters Bar Town ahead in their Isthmian League match at Cray Wanderers.

Devonte Aransibia put Potters Bar Town ahead in their Isthmian League match at Cray Wanderers. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Potters Bar Town jumped up to mid-table in the Isthmian League Premier Division with an entertaining victory at Cray Wanderers.

The only goal of the 1-0 win came thanks to Devonte Aransibia's second goal of the season and it meant they could afford not to dwell too much on Samson Esan's saved penalty on five minutes.

They lived dangerously at times in the second half with Cray having a goal ruled off for offside and then a penalty of their own that Hafed Al-Droubi also pushed away superbly.

But then they could have also made the end far less frantic with chances of their own.

The victory though ended a run of three league defeats and puts them up to 13th with a Hertfordshire derby against Cheshunt up next at home on Tuesday.

Manager Lee O'Leary's response to their FA Cup exit at Stowmarket Town was swift and full of conviction as he made nine changes to the starting line-up.

Only goalkeeper Al -Droubi and Samson Esan survived the cull but there was a welcome return for James Budden and a debut for Joseph Boachie, on dual-registration from National League South Concord Rangers.

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Cray too had suffered defeat in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup, beaten 3-1 by Sutton Common Rovers eight days earlier, and the reaction of their manager Danny Kedwell was to drop himself and four others.

Both would have therefore wanted a fast start but it was the visitors who got it and it could have yielded more than just the one goal.

Four minutes had gone when Boachie was brought down inside the box after being sent clear by Samson Esan.

The latter took the spot-kick and put it high to the keeper's right but Jack Turner stuck out two hands and pushed it away.

Esan then could have scored again after a lovely move down the right ended with Ryan Young whipping a low cross to the back post.

Esan got there and diverted it beyond Turner but this time the long leg of Ejiro Okosieme kept it out of the net.

The Scholars weren't to be denied though and a cleverly-weighted through ball behind the back four of the home side sent Aransibia away and after taking a touch, he kept his composure and rolled it to the left of the keeper.

The response then from Cray though was excellent and Anthony Cook almost equalised immediately with a dipping shot that beat Hafed Al-Droubi but not the frame off the goal.

The angle of post and bar denied him again shortly after although this time the block by Kieron Cathline was the main reason.

There was also a superb block by Nathan Jordan-Livings late on to keep Bar in front at the end of what had been an entertaining half.

One of O'Leary's main points of concern this season has been the inability of his side to put together a complete performance over a full 90 minutes.

And there had been warning signs throughout the first half that Cray were very much still in the contest.

The early stages were good though for the visitors and a free-kick driven low by Scott Shulton forced Turner into a good save.

But the game could have turned in  dramatic couple of minutes just passed the hour.

Cray thought they had equalised when a clipped cross from Bailey Akehurst was headed home by Adam Coombes. He was in an offside position though.

A minute later they had a better chance with a similar penalty, conceded in almost the same place as the first half, Dwight Pascal the offender.

The save too was very similar, Hafed Al-Droubi going to his right to push Cook's effort away.

Cray then made their job harder when Cameron Broadie was sent off for a second bookable offence and Aransibia almost punished them instantly after wriggling free in the area. Turner though made the save.

There was one heart in the mouth moment for the Scholars as Pascal made another ill-advised tackle, this one judged to be right on the edge.

A wasted short one though allowed Bar to break and Ben Ward-Cochrane went in one-on-one with Turner, the keeper making the save.

In the end though they got though the added time for the important win.

Potters Bar Town: Al Droubi, Pascal, Parchment, Budden, Cathline, Jordan-Livings, Young, Shulton, Boachie (Ward-Cochrane 79), Esan (Carvalho 87), Aransibia.

Subs (not used): K.Cole, Tingey, Sharman.

Goal: Aransibia 13

Booked: Young 87

Cray Wanderers: Turner, Akehurst, Cray, Beckwith, Okosieme, Burnett (Bailey 74), Cook, Nuur (Turay 59), Brodie, Lewis Coombes (Rogers 79).

Subs (not used): Brand, Onoabagbe.

Booked: Broadie 16, 71, Beckwith 51, Okosieme 57

Sent off: Broadie 71

HT: Cray Wanderers 0 Potters Bar Town 1

Referee: Robert Claussen (Rochford)

Attendance: 169

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