Second successive stalemate for Bar as they are held by Stortford in ding-dong derby

PUBLISHED: 09:48 03 December 2019

Tom Clarke got Potters Bar's second goal away to Bishop's Strortford. Picture: DANNY LOO

Tom Clarke got Potters Bar's second goal away to Bishop's Strortford. Picture: DANNY LOO

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Potters Bar had to settle for a second successive 2-2 draw after a ding-dong battle at Bishop’s Stortford.

Twice they had to come from behind, firstly through Mark Turpin and then Tom Clarke, and both sides could have snatched it late on before settling for a point.

It means Bar remain second in East Hockey League Division One, three points behind leaders Wapping but four clear of Crostyx in third, while Stortford sit fifth.

The home side started strongly and piled on early pressure with fast breaks down each wing. Ben Balmforth in the Bar goal remained strong though until a long ball from the back was clinically finished as the move switched to the top of the D.

Determined to gain a foothold in the game, Bar pushed for an equaliser and tested the opposition keeper on several occasions, crucially denying both Ed Whybrow and Miles Tomkins with goal-line saves.

The match pace and momentum was increasing in intensity and it led to cards, Stortford twice seeing green and then yellow, allowing Bar a strong finish to the half with the extra man.

It was after the break when the equaliser came though, skipper Turpin finishing from a short corner.

The hosts looked like they were beginning to tire as they tried to keep up with the fast movement of the ball between Raymond Li, Josh Edge and Kenney-Herbert.

And Bar were unfortunate not to take the lead when a super reverse stick cross from Harry Wilkinson bobbled just at the moment Turpin was about to connect.

It was then Bar's turn to endure a spell with 10 men when Edge received a yellow card for a heavy challenge as he tracked back and yet despite this Whybrow and Turpin were stopped once more by the keeper.

And from there Stortford did make the extra man count, pulling ahead with a drag-flick from a short corner.

Edge returned to the action and Bar stepped up a gear with a deserved equaliser coming from Clarke.

A well-worked attack down the right saw Ed Seaman supply a cross which bobbled loose in the D. Clarke took a swing at the bouncing ball and connected perfectly with an excellent strike.

A trip to Bedford is next up on Saturday as the first part of the season comes to a close.

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