In a game that did little to warm or excite the near two hundred in attendance, the visitors laboured to a precious point at The Pakex Stadium.
Manager, Adam Hinshelwood, was once again forced into a couple of changes to his starting eleven, due to injuries but also rotated slightly in the wake of Saturday’s first defeat of the campaign.
Darren Budd and Sam Rents dropped back down to the bench, while Aarran Racine and Alex Parsons were nursing ankle and hamstring problems respectively. Joe Clarke and Ollie Pearce were restored to the side and Will Miles was given the Captain’s armband on his full competitive debut, with Jazz Rance returning from the sore hip he sustained at Faversham.
Although the pitch may not have been conductive to free-flowing football, it still didn’t excuse the largely lacklustre first half.
The tone of the opening forty-five minutes was set in the first sixty seconds, when Sandro Costa’s left-wing cross sailed harmlessly wide.
Dernell Wynter, a Summer signing from neighbours, Enfield Town, didn’t fare any better as his turn and shot from around thirty yards out only alerted the RSPB.
The home team were then nearly handed the lead on a plate, when a lack of communication between James Crane and Lucas Covolan, lead to the former heading nervously behind for a corner. Fortunately, Potters Bar were unable to capitalise from the resulting set-piece.
The only “noteworthy” incidents of the next half-an-hour, merely resulted in Billy Adcock blazing his shot over the bar from twenty yards and Wynter giving Lucas some mid-match catching practice, after Brad Sach had teed him up.
As the queue for the Tea Bar gradually increased, Joe Clarke had the first real chance for the visitors, after Callum Kealey had headed a corner back across the face of goal but, only appeared to throw his sizeable fringe instead of his actual head at the ball and the danger was cleared.
Ollie Pearce looked threatening as he made his way down the right flank and cut inside to the penalty area where his low, left foot shot forced Berkley Laurencin to put his burger and chips down. Hence his need for a second touch to gather the effort.
The final, erm, drama (?) of the first period saw Captain Miles clear off the line, to prevent Sach from giving last year’s Bostik North Runners-Up a lead, going into the break.
Jesse Starkey saw his shot blocked in the early stages of the second half after the returning Rance had played him in form the left, before the deadlock was finally broken.
Sach curled home a stunning free-kick from the right-hand edge of the area past a stranded Covolan, who could only watch as the set-piece stunner nestled into his far, top corner.
Miles picked up the only booking for The Seasiders, as he brought down his fellow Captain, Lee O’Leary, in a dangerous position. This time however, Keegan Cole’s attempt, from an identical position to the goal, produced the first real save of the evening from our charismatic custodian.
Substitute, Ricky Aguiar had time and space – too much, perhaps – just outside the area but got nearer to hitting a squirrel in the trees rather than testing Laurencin.
With a little over fifteen minutes to go, was it a bird, was it a plane….no, it was Joel Colbran flying in at the far post to ram home a left-sided delivery from Starkey !
Pearce came close to setting up Aguiar for the winner, when he displayed some lovely skill and slipped in the former Lewes teenager, who can consider himself unlucky as the ball just ran away from him.
Both teams had one last chance to steal all three points as, in a role reversal, Aguiar’s cross was headed inches over by Pearce then, in stoppage time, Adcock couldn’t keep his shot down after Lucas punched clear another free-kick, that found the midfielder lurking, on his own, outside the box.