Bar hit the top of the league after a battling and hugely impressive win over Crostyx

Potters Bars Jonathan Elms was named man of the match in an excellent team performance against Crost

Potters Bars Jonathan Elms was named man of the match in an excellent team performance against Crostyx. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Potters Bar’s superb run of form continued with a 1-0 home win over Crostyx making it four in a row and sending them top of the East League Division One table.

Things had looked ominous for the Dame Alice Owens-based hockey club when late withdrawals, coupled with earlier unavailability, meant they started with the bare 11 players.

Their London visitors, however, came replete with substitutes and it looked like fitness could play a part.

But the hosts made a fast start and will be disappointed not to have made their domination count during the first quarter of the match.

Miles Tomkins was inches away from giving them an early lead and had another two efforts blocked as Bar swung in dangerous cross after dangerous cross.

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Ed Whybrow also had a flick that drifted wide of the post.

But that's when the fitness levels first started to have an effect and for the remainder of the half Crostyx were on top.

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And yet despite that keeper Ben Balmforth was largely untroubled thanks to some sterling defending in front of him.

They were not helped though by a yellow card five minutes after the restart shown to Whybrow, but last-ditch tackles and interceptions were enough to ensure that the Bar goal remained intact.

Jonathan Elms would eventually lift the most valuable player award but it could quite easily have gone to any one of the defence or Simon Tenwick for his defensive midfield contributions from Simon Tenwick.

But once Whybrow had returned he played a pivotal role in what turned out to be the only goal on 53 minutes. He surged into the D from the right and instead of going for goal, he picked out Tomkins on the back post for the simplest of finishes.

They should have doubled their lead in the immediate aftermath, Turpin firing a lofted effort just over the bar, but at the other end Balmforth was seeing more of the action, needing to make a key save and concede a short corner just before the hour mark.

Potters Bar had to live on their nerves in the final moments after another yellow, this one to Tenwick, and face a number of short corners.

However, once again the defence was up to the challenge as they hung on to claim an incredibly hard-fought win.

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