Only two superb saves by the Potters Bar ‘keeper in stoppage time prevented Worthing stealing three undeserved points from a largely nervous and disjointed performance.
- Pearce (70')
- Morgan (33')
Former Lewes winger, Dayshonne Golding went straight into the team for his debut which meant Connor Hunte dropped to the bench, where he, in effect, replaced Joel Colbran who had returned to fitness and took the other spot vacated by the unavailability of Alex Parsons.
Our new signing almost made an immediate impact when R’avan Constable pushed his cushioned volley over the bar, two-handed, only two minutes in, following Colbran’s right-sided delivery via Jasper Pattenden’s pull back.
Playing into the strong wind, courtesy of Storm Jorge, Ricky Aguiar and Colbran both tried their luck from distance but neither the former’s low free-kick around twenty yards out, nor the latter’s similar effort slightly further away, caused any undue concerns for Constable as he comfortably held on to both.
Everything went quiet for a while, until, just shy of the half-hour mark, Charley Barker sprayed a terrific pass out to teammate, Dwight Pascal on the right and a sliding Barker came within inches of rounding off the perfect one-two; only to be denied by Carl Rushworth.
Danny Barker lost out to George Nicholas in midfield and was relieved to see the Bar number eight advance, then fire over the top, as clear-cut chances were proving hard to come by.
That said, little more than ninety seconds later, a Worthing corner led to the men of Herts edging in front.
Pascal cleared Pearce’s flag-kick at the second attempt to Marvin Morgan, who nudged the ball past Fin Stevens and galloped down the inside-right channel, holding off the attentions of Aarran Racine in the penalty area before nestling his shot in the far side of Rushworth’s net.
The Scholar’s nearly doubled their advantage in the opening exchanges of the second-half, when Colbran lost possession cheaply to Andy Lomas on the left-hand touchline but a deflection took the sting out of Ben Ward-Cochrane’s strike, safely into the arms of Rushworth.
Reds were having difficulty in keeping hold of the ball and Golding’s corner was duly intercepted to allow Bar to break clear, culminating in Barker’s centre to Pascal ending up in the nets behind the goal, rather the identical material in the back of it.
Wild wellies by Lomas and Nicholas merely succeeded in the shaking of heads and a near miss respectively but only in terms of a small covered shelter above a neighbour’s back door.
By this stage, Hunte and, shortly afterwards, Kieron Pamment had entered the fray with ‘Pammy’ controlling a dropping ball, off a Town head, though only firing weakly at Constable, on the hour.
Now with the gale behind them, Aguiar chanced his arm a long way out and, this time, Constable couldn’t hold onto his shot, as it bounced up and away off his chest; the angle proving too tight for Pamment to find anything other than the side netting on the rebound.
The brilliance of Rushworth kept out Ward-Cochrane – after he became the recipient of a quickly-taken free-kick and flashed an attempt goalward – tipping a powerfully-struck drive over the crossbar.
Midway through the period, the hosts suddenly found an equaliser: Barker’s floater headed down by Pamment for Pearce to turn on a sixpence and bury the ball low, beyond Constable.
A Hunte corner then led to Barker backheading over and Pearce should have done better, when unmarked, on the end of Colbran’s fine cross, while another set-piece a short time later saw the Dulwich loanee’s free-kick go over the target.
Dead-ball situations were showing themselves to be a vital part of the Red’s attacking threat, as Hunte, once more, floated a flag-kick into the danger zone and Pamment struck the post.
‘Four’ went up on the subs board and brought three great, late chances for the league leaders to take advantage of Folketsone’s inactivity.
Firstly, Alfie Young swung over a pass to Stevens on the left and he set-up Pearce, who turned and watched Constable palm impressively over at the expense of a corner, which Aguiar took and was greeted by chorus of ‘oohs’ as it, somehow, went all the way through a packed penalty box and out the other side.
Next, it was Stevens’ turn to try and beat the seemingly unbeatable, lining up a sighter that a half-cleared corner had offered him, from twenty-five yards but his placed effort met the same fate; an even better stop preserving a point.
One final throw of the dice presented Golding with the opportunity to rob Constable of the glory, only for his header to lack sufficient power to trouble the cool custodian and the game ended 1-1, for the fourth successive meeting between the two clubs.