Potters Bar battle to victory over St Albans Exiles in thriller
PUBLISHED: 10:45 04 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:24 26 October 2009
St Albans Exiles 4 Potters Bar 5 POTTERS Bar claimed a battling 5-4 top-of-the-table triumph at St Albans Exiles on Saturday. After a prolonged winter break, league leaders Bar got back down to business with the win against their second-placed rivals at
St Albans Exiles 4 Potters Bar 5
POTTERS Bar claimed a battling 5-4 top-of-the-table triumph at St Albans Exiles on Saturday.
After a prolonged winter break, league leaders Bar got back down to business with the win against their second-placed rivals at Clarence Park.
For many of the players it was the first time they had played hockey in six weeks due to the first two games of the second half of the season being cancelled.
Bar knew the Exiles would be looking to start the game quickly and not allow them to get into their passing game.
However, it was the visitors that went one up in the NE14 Hockey East League Division 5SW clash.
Good pressure down the right from Fennell led to a hurried clearance being intercepted by Ed Newbery.
He fed Andy Latham in the D and his shot flew into the bottom corner of the goal.
Bar soon found themselves two up when Chris Chittleborough won the ball in the middle and released Mark Turpin.
He ran at the defence, beating two players before cutting into the D and sliding the ball between the keeper's legs.
Exiles began to fight back and of the two teams probably had slightly more control in the middle during the early stages of the derby encounter.
When they did manage to get through the Bar defence, Rob Dawson pulled off two great saves.
Slightly against the pressure that Exiles had been building, Potters Bar went three up.
Once again the ball was won in the middle and Turpin was released to run at the Exiles.
He again beat a couple of players, but was forced slightly wider than last time.
Instead of taking a shot, he slid the ball past the keeper to Latham who had the simple job of putting it into an empty goal.
With half-time approaching Bar wanted to go in 3-0 up.
However, after clearing a short corner a free hit was given just outside the D.
The Exiles took it quickly before Bar could organise themselves defensively and the ball was swept into the corner of the goal giving Dawson no chance.
Some of the Bar players were upset as when the hit was taken two Exiles players were standing over the ball when all players must be five yards away from the hit.
With Bar shaken by the goal and concentrating on getting into half-time they conceded again.
They had committed players forward and lost the ball leaving them open at the back.
Exiles moved the ball wide and then crashed it across the D.
A late arriving St Albans player controlled the ball before smashing it into the corner of the goal.
The second half started very quickly and the importance of the next strike was evident to everyone on the pitch.
A swiftly taken 16-yard hit from Jon Yates freed Turpin to have another run at the opposition defence.
He wormed his way through and managed a shot on goal which uncharacteristically went wide of the far post.
Ed Whybrow had an effort cleared off the line after some good skill on the top of the D.
Bar then had a short corner which forced the home keeper into three back-to-back saves.
Eventually the away side's pressure told and they made it 4-2.
Another Yates clearance led to an almost identical run and shot from Turpin.
This time, having rounded the keeper, his shot rolled into an empty goal.
The game wasn't finished there though, as St Albans made it 4-3.
Their captain received the ball on the 25 with his back to goal.
The ball hit his foot causing the Potters Bar players to stop expecting the free hit, but the umpire was unsighted and allowed play to go on.
Exiles took full advantage of this, putting the ball into the D and getting a quick shot off which the unsighted Dawson could do nothing about.
With the game becoming stretched, neither team could really take control, but Bar got the next goal from a short corner.
Whybrow's drag flick looked to be going just wide until Chittleborough deflected the ball into the goal for 5-3.
St Albans Exiles made the last few minutes of the game uncomfortable for Potters Bar.
They won the ball from their opponents high up the pitch and released a lone striker one-on-one with Dawson in goal.
Dawson came out to confront him and with Chittleborough racing back it looked like Bar might get away with it.
However, the St Albans player rounded Dawson to make the final score 5-4.