Potters Bar Town match at Bedford Town abandoned after 'distasteful' scenes

Potters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary has denounced the scenes which led to the abandonment at Bedford Town.

Potters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary has denounced the scenes which led to the abandonment of their FA Trophy game at Bedford Town. - Credit: PETER SHORT

Potters Bar Town manager Lee O'Leary said the scenes which caused their FA Trophy match at Bedford Town to be abandoned with just two minutes to go were "distasteful".

The Scholars led 1-0 at the New Eyrie with three of the five minimum additional minutes played.

Ben Ward-Cochrane had put Bar in front after just two minutes and Bedford both missed a penalty and had Charley Sanders sent off in the second half, leaving Bar in a good position when the game was brought to a premature end.

A still raw O'Leary said: "The game got abandoned after a brawl at the end which the referee didn’t want any part of. 

"He didn’t send anybody off, he didn’t book anyone, he just blew the whistle and abandoned the game and that was it. 

"I don’t want to say we didn’t play our part in the game being abandoned because it takes two to tango but the scenes at the end were pretty distasteful. 

"It wasn’t nice at all. 

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"We’ve got some young lads in our side and they are a big, strong, physical side. It is not an easy place to go. 

"But we played really well in the first half and the game should have been dead and buried. 

"We played our football in the first half, we carved through and just didn’t make the right decisions in the final third. 

"We knew it would be tough and they came out positive and on the front foot and got in our faces. 

"As the game went on they were getting frustrated because they hadn’t scored and we had a couple of chances on the counter, which we should have taken."

The problems began when Jaden Sharman was fouled in front of the dugout and asked for treatment for an injury, which the referee blew to allow.

O'Leary said: "As he was so close to the byline, he just shifted himself inside. 

"Their players came over because they wanted to take a quick throw-in and they manhandled him off the pitch. 

"And it all started from there. They all piled in and our boys are trying to stick up for each other and as it was near our dug-out, us as a management team were trying to defuse it and get players away. 

"But every time we did that, something else would happen and it just went on. 

"We had no reason to want to get involved. We were 1-0 up in the 93rd minute and were just trying to get out of there [with the win]. 

"Some of our younger lads showed a bit of naivety by reacting to what was going on.

"It was just ugly scenes. There was grown adults swearing in front of kids and it wasn’t nice at all." 

Bar will now have to wait to see what judgement is handed down from the FA with options including throwing one or both teams out or having the match replayed from scratch.

O'Leary added: "They’ll surely need more evidence than they’ll get to say we were the cause though? 

"Both clubs will get fines for not controlling their players but I can’t see them chucking both of us out. 

"I’ll feel hard-done by if that is what happens. 

"Hopefully it doesn’t." 

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