Potters Bar Town put abandonments behind them with comfortable win over Bowers & Pitsea

Samson Esan put Potters Bar Town ahead in the first half against Bowers & Pitsea.

Samson Esan put Potters Bar Town ahead in the first half against Bowers & Pitsea. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

Potters Bar Town exorcised the demons of three abandonments this season to record a fine victory over Bowers & Pitsea.

Samson Esan nodded Bar in front with almost the last touch of the first half and although Ben Ward-Cochrane missed a second-half penalty, he made up for it by making it 2-0 five minutes from time.

It was a fourth win the last five Isthmian League Premier Division games and lifts them up to 12th in the table.

And with games in hand after premature endings against Kingstonian and Brightlingsea Regent, the latter coming on Saturday, they will hope to climb even further.

There were meant to be two changes for the Scholars from the side that started that ill-fated contest on Saturday, Aryan Tajbakhsh and Corey Parchment coming in for Kieron Cathline and Luke Joyce-Dwarika, but there ended up being three as young midfielder Max Delyfer pulled up in the warm-up and was replaced by Calvin Dickson.

The pre-match drama didn't affect the way they approached the half and for 45 minutes they dominated possession, won the ball back high up the pitch and moved Bowers first one way and then the other.

The problem was the lack of a cutting edge. For all they had the ball in good positions, they didn't test Mitchell Beeney anywhere near enough.

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Devonte Aransibia had their first opportunity on 14 minutes but it flew straight at the keeper.

Joe Boachie, scorer of the now no-longer valid goal at Brightlingsea, had the next one but it lacked power as he shifted it onto his left foot, and a less-than-required connection also prevented Esan from scoring from a pull-back.

Bowers seemed happy to soak the pressure up but although they sensed opportunities on the counter, they never really looked like threatening Hafed Al-Droubi.

But while Potters kept plugging away, a reverse pass from Boachie almost getting Ward-Cochrane in, but for all the pressure and corners, it was looking bleak for a goal before half-time.

When it did come, there was barely any time to restart.

It came from a Dickson corner which this time was played to the back post where Esan was charging in to head home.

They needed it, as deserved as it was, and it forced a double sub from the visitors during the interval to try and give them a foothold.

It almost worked as Quentin Monville got sight of goal two minute in but he hooked it horribly across goal and wide.

At the other end Ward-Cochrane got in behind the defence but drilled his effort across goal and wide and then Boachie got a free-kick up and over the wall but Beeney plunged to his left to push it away.

Bar should have eased any fears midway through the half when Boachie's run across the area from the left was ended by a trip.

Ward-Cochrane though put it down the middle and Beeney saved with his feet, continuing the poor record from 12 yards for Town.

The fear grew as Bowers through on Lewis Manor for the last 20 minutes and his presence caused plenty of panic as a series of corners needed scrambled clear.

The home side still had chances to kill the game off once and for all but one low cross from Ward-Cochrane was inches away from being turned in by a sliding Boachie.

Thankfully there was a second in their future and it was taken excellently by the top scorer, making up for his penalty miss.

Boachie slipped it through and under pressure from the defender, the ball was poked past the keeper and Ward-Cochrane tapped it into the empty net.

Potters Bar Town: Al-Droubi, Pascal, Sharman, Young, Tajbakhsh, Aransibia, Parchment Ward-Cochrane (Sassi 87), Boachie, Esan (Budden 80), Dickson.

Sub (not used): Cathline.

Goals: Esan 45+1, Ward-Cochrane 85

Booked: Dickson 37, Tajbakhsh 79

Bowers & Pitsea: Beeney, Bentley (Rusoke 46), Stephen, Steward, Leahy, Monville, Sach (Manor 69), Gilbey, Thomas (Cornhilll 46), Trendall, White.

Subs (not used): Dicks, Ademiluyi.

HT: Potters Bar Town 1 Bowers & Pitsea 0

Referee: Michael Smith

Attendance: 224

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