Two goals from Omar Koroma saw Worthing turn around a one-goal deficit and extend their lead at the top of the table to three points.
- Charles (28')
- Koroma (72', 86')
Match Report: Gareth Nicholas
Ahead of Saturday’s long FA Trophy trip to Leiston, Adam Hinshelwood made one or two changes. Cam Tutt dropped to the bench alongside Dajon Golding and the returning Jesse Starkey, while Daniel Pappoe and Omar Koroma were handed their first starts.
It was the visitors who almost grabbed the early initiative when Ricky Aguiar forced Fred Burbidge into a low save from twenty-five yards, and the keeper recovered quickly to deny Mo Diallo on the follow-up at his near post.
Potters Bar had their first shot via Samson Esan, who tried to curl the ball around Roco Rees from distance but it went comfortably wide.
We’d still only had four minutes of play when good work on the left by the ever-dangerous Ken Charles led to a deflection off Joel Colbran, as he and Pappoe closed the home striker down, that had Rees diving to his left to parry.
Burbidge came out smartly to prevent Aguair opening the scoring, after Colbran had slipped him into the penalty area and Charles fired through a crowd on the ‘D’ but the wrong side of the upright as both sides continued to trade blows.
Just shy of the half-hour mark, the hosts went in front thanks again to that man Charles. Nathan Livings played him through the inside-right channel and despite Rees’s best attempts to narrow the angle, the Bar forward despatched low into the opposite bottom corner.
Reds were struggling to create anything at all by this stage which was summed up by Aguiar’s attempt from a long way out sailing over Burbidge’s bar.
Finally, Reece Myles-Meekums crossed for Koroma to stretch and head past the post but not by much, with half-time looming large on the horizon.
A quite bizarre incident occurred in stoppage time as Goalkeeper, Burbidge was penalised for picking the ball up again after originally putting it down to kick upfield but Worthing couldn’t take advantage of the eventual free-kick that Aguiar blasted straight into the wall in front of him, following an Ollie Pearce lay-off.
The away team continued to look anything but top-of-the table material until the introduction of Golding and Starkey off the bench and it was the former who, just past the hour, was kept out at close-range by another fine stop from Burbidge after Aguiar’s lofted ball into the box had caused havoc.
It only took a few more minutes for a rejuvenated Reds to find the equaliser when this time Golding turned provider with a left wing delivery for Koroma to head home from the back stick inside the front one
Seconds later though, a rapid breakaway by the Scholars resulted in Esan allowing Payne the chance to sting the palms of Rees, who somehow managed to tip his powerful shot over for a corner. The subsequent flag-kick offering an opportunity to Keagan Cole but he too was unable to beat the visitor’s netminder as he showed great reactions again, virtually under his own crossbar.
Bar’ number one, Burbidge was equally alert to stop Starkey finding the net with a free-kick on the right, as the game entered the final ten.
Shortly afterwards, some terrific approach work from several white shirts culminated in Colbran fizzing in a cross that Golding stretched every sinew to reach with his head but, agonisingly, it narrowly eluded him.
This coming after a similar effort by Colbran had also met the same fate.
Five minutes from time and the turnaround was complete. Luke Tingey just managed to avoid bagging an own goal; slicing over the target to concede a corner instead. Starkey took it and a mild form of pandemonium ensued in the six-yard box. Pappoe’s shot was blocked by a sea of bodies before Koroma was on hand to blast through them all and ensure the points would be heading back to The Crucial Environmental Stadium, Woodside Road, again.
Two nearly became three when Myles-Meekums robbed Captain, Cole of possession, then picked out Pearce, only for Ryan Young to get there first and avert, then clear the danger. That would prove to be the last chance of the game, for either side.