Potters Bar off the top after home draw with impressive Bury St Edmunds

PUBLISHED: 11:41 24 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:26 24 November 2019

Graham Abrey in action for Potters Bar. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Graham Abrey in action for Potters Bar. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Archant

Potters Bar were knocked off the top of the East Hockey League Division One table after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Bury St Edmunds.

The Dame Alice Owen's-based hockey club had battled back to take a second-half lead only to be pegged back with 10 minutes to go.

And they slipped to second after Wapping's success at home to Cambridge Nomads moved the east London club one point clear.

Bar had been given a psychological boost before the start when Bury were delayed in traffic problems on the M25.

It led to the game starting 10 minutes later than planned but the visitors showed no ill effects from their logistical headache, taking the lead after a mere two minutes with a penalty flick decisively slammed into the corner of Ben Balmforth's goal.

That turned out to be the least the Suffolk side deserved as they went on to dominate the first half with Bar too often either losing the 50-50 challenges or giving away possession in dangerous positions.

But for the efforts of Balmforth they could easily have gone into the half time break three or four down.

But despite this barrage on the Bar goal, there were still some chances for the hosts. Graham Abrey had a shot stopped on the line while Harry Wilkinson was crowded out as he was about to pull the trigger.

But as half-time approached Bar equalised. A short corner was won by Simon Tenwick and the routine worked perfectly as Ed Whybrow picked out Mark Turpin to guide the ball home.

The second-half saw a much better display from the home side even if Balmforth was still a busy man.

And after Miles Tomkins was denied by the Bury keeper Bar took the lead on 52 minutes. Rory Kenney-Herbert won a challenge in the middle of the park and good work by Tenwick and Turpin saw the latter's cross bundled over the line from close range by Wilkinson.

It put them firmly in the ascendancy and they even enjoyed a few minutes against nine men following two yellow cards.

However, it was in this period that Bury somehow drew level from a short corner.

A point was no more than their efforts had deserved and although both sides had chances to win it, Abrey and Wilkinson both firing just wide, the match ended in a draw.

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