Potton escape with draw in FA Vase clash

Potton United. Picture: Guy Wills. PNL-170908-101146002
Potton United. Picture: Guy Wills. PNL-170908-101146002

Potton United were slightly fortunate to earn a replay after a below-par performance against Netherton United in the FA Vase on Saturday, the tie ending 1-1.

For the first 20 minutes Potton dominated play and led through an own goal. But Netherton fought their way back and, despite having a player sent off for a second yellow card with 20 minutes of normal time remaining, they still took the game to Potton.

Early on a run by Danny Webb saw his effort diverted for a corner and from that James Sage saw his effort blocked on the line. Matt chapman had a shot from 35 yards that went just over the bar. Webb then took the ball through and appeared to be upended by the keeper but the referee saw no infringement.

However in the 13th minute Webb centred from the right and the ball was diverted into his own net by Callum Madigan to give Potton the lead.

Netherton retaliated with Zack Fisher being put through and forcing a good save from Cook. Potton were getting caught square and both teams were showing frustration at some of the referees decisions. A cross ball from Eric Makate, who proved to be dangerous all afternoon, was dropped by Cook and in attempting to regain possession he pulled Ash Jackson down.

With the forward’s shot on its way into the empty net the referee blew for a penalty, much to the disgust of the Netherton manager, who was sent from the dugout but remained close to it for the remainder of the match.

Fisher took the spot kick but Cook made amends by saving.

Three minutes into the second half some poor defending by Potton failed to clear the ball and Jackson fired in the equaliser.

Play became a little scrappy but a good move between Murrell and Bines ended with Ansell-Carter failing to connect. Murrell played the ball to Webb who saw his low shot easily saved.

Potton were allowing central defender Chris Hansford to go unchallenged in making some powerful runs out of defence. From a corner Madigan hit the post and at the other end Webb’s header also hit the woodwork.

Ben Daly was shown his second yellow card and neither team looked like scoring the winner in the closing minutes, sending the game into extra time.

In the second period of extra time Makake saw his shot saved by Cook. Murrell and Ansell-Carter had efforts saved but in the end neither side really looked like getting the winning goal.

Potton United: Will Cook, Callum Forster, Tom Blatch, Hames Sage, Luke Harradine (Sam Piesse), Matt Chapman (Ryan Don), Danny Webb, John Bitting, Gary Ansell-Carter, Aaron Murrell, Nick Bines (Charlie Stafford).

So to Netherton on Wednesday evening for the replay on their 3G pitch. Potton will have to improve considerably if they are top progress into the next round. The winners will be at home to Peterborough Northern Star on Saturday, September 23.

On Saturday, September 16 the first team are away to Lutterworth Town for only their third league match of the season.