Potters Bar Town vs Cray Wanderers
Isthmian Premier – Saturday 21st October – Match Report
Potters Bar Town 1
Hicks 54
Cray Wanderers 1
Brown 79
Pics: Ozay Booth

On a rain soaked afternoon Cray Wanderers came from a goal down to pick up a well earned point at Potters Bar Town courtesy of Ellis Brown’s second goal of the season.  Despite the point Cray moved back into the Isthmian Premier bottom four along with Potters Bar Town with Cray in 19th place.

In a game played in difficult conditions the first half was rather scrappy but the game opened up more in the second and David Hicks fired Potters Bar in front nine minutes after the restart.  However, Brown showed composure when put through to round keeper Laurie Shala to level with eleven minutes to go.  

Cray were looking to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat to Hornchurch and from the side that started that game came Will Wood and Yahya Bamba for Frankie Raymond and Gary Lockyer.  On the bench for Cray was new-signing Alfie Evans who joins from Phoenix Sports. Potters Bar Town were unbeaten in their last eight league and cup games and made one change to the side which won at Haringey Borough last week with Max Jessop coming in for Samrai Gebrai.

The match began with rain which basically seemed to last the whole game and made the first half something of a scrappy affair although both teams offered considerable endeavour.

After a even start to the game Cray thought they had taken the lead in the 7th minute when Anthony Cook’s right wing cross was headed into the net by George Porter but was disallowed for offside.

Then down the left Yahya Bamba laid the ball across and came to Ellis Brown whose first time shot from the edge of the area was well fielded by Laurie Shala.

Potters Bar offered a threat at times particularly down the left and Ore Bello broke away and into the area but his cross-shot towards goal was cleared almost off the line by Brown.

The game then became very bogged down and there was a concern just after the half hour following a collision between Bamba and Potters Bar’s Prosper Keto which required some lengthy treatment with both having to be substituted with Keto through concussion and an injured Bamba was replaced by Alfie Evans for his debut. 

The end of the half picked up a bit more pace and a cross from the left was glanced on by Porter for Evans whose half-hit shot was blocked.

Then Cray came closest yet when Jamie Mascoll’s cross from the left was met by a fine header from Porter but Shala did well to push the ball out by the right post.

During stoppage time Potters Bar almost took the lead when Temi Babalola found Max Jessop whose shot was pushed out by Shaun Rowley and following up Bello’s shot was well blocked by Jack Holland.

HT:  0-0

The second half began with the rain still teeming down but Cray began positively and looked to exert pressure and won three corners but couldn’t quite create a clear chance.

In the 54th minute and a little against the run of play Potters Bar wedddnt ahead when David Hicks latched onto a loose pass to hit a low shot which crashed into the net and set the Wands a challenge for the rest of the half.

Cray almost levelled when Evans cross from the left fell to Brown who hit a low shot which Shala did well to save and in a puddley goalmouth did well to gather as Porter looked to follow up.

Then a Nyren Clunis free kick was deflected behind off the wall for a corner while at the other end Bello looked to cut inside and fired in a shot which deflected wide for a corner.

For Cray from another free kick out on the left the ball came to David Ijaha who fired a shot well wide.

In the 79th minute Cray drew level when Cameron Black’s played a fine pass out from the back which Brown latched on to and broke into the box and rounded Shala to roll the ball into the net.

Both teams sought out a winner in the last ten minutes but Cray came closest when Brown was found by Rowley’s ball and inside the area looked certain to score but for a fine block from Valckx Fernandes.

Then from a Will Wood corner with two minutes to go the ball was flicked out to the edge of the area to Brown whose shot went just wide of the left post.

At the other end there was a half chance for Potters Bar when Taofiq Olomowere inside the area was denied as Rowley made a sharp block but in the end despite considerable effort from both sides in trying conditions both had to settle for a point which means both sides are 19th and 20th in the table on ten points.  However it was a hard fought point and one which overall Cray deserved.

Cray next travel to Canvey Island on Tuesday night in a game hopefully played in drier conditions but will be another stern test.

Potters Bar Town: Laurie Shala, Valckx Fernandes, Prosper Keto (Chevron McLean, 37), Ryan Hervel, Leigh Rose, Temi Babalola (Rickie Hayles, 75), David Hicks, Ore Bello, Jermaine Anderson, Max Jessop, Taofiq Olomowewe:  Subs:  Alieu Njie, Teddy Jones, Liam Hope

Booked: Hicks 68

Cray Wanderers: Shaun Rowley, Anthony Cook, Cameron Black, Jack Holland, Jamie Mascoll, David Ijaha, William Wood, Ellis Brown, Nyren Clunis, Yahya Bamba (Alfie Evans, 37), George Porter:  Subs:  Tom Penfold, Sam Wood, George Brooke, Reggie Rye

Booked: Cook 73

Referee: Dennis Miranda

Assistants: Richard May, Rhys Taylor

Att:  240