Potterspury Sports & Social Club is situated on the Northern edge of Potterspury village, just off the A5 a few miles out of Milton Keynes. The ground is accessed via a small road off Meadow View which leads to a car park and the clubhouse. Behind the clubhouse is a skate park and basketball/5-a-side court. Directly in front of the club house is a 9v9 pitch with the main pitch just a little further over. It is surrounded on three sides by trees and bushes although the far end of the ground drops away behind the goal into a stream. Much like Old Bradwell United, they have a net on a stick which is used to retrieve wayward shots. There are no covered spectator areas around the pitch. However, there are a few benches scattered around all of which seems to have a good view of the playing area.
This game was a Cup Quarter-Final and, although it was part of the Interdivisional Cup, both sides ply their trade in the same division, The North Bucks & District Premier League. In league terms, AFC Towcester certainly hold sway this season, currently sitting in fourth spot on 32 points from their 15 games. Potterspury, meanwhile, sit 9th with 16 points from 16 games. They have only met once in the league so far this season, oddly enough this was Potterspury's last game (Towcester have played once in between). It was a 2-2 draw at Towcester two weeks ago. Looking at the stats on full-time it appears to have been a lively game for the home side who had three players sent to the sin bin during the 90 minutes.
One thing I hadn't realised until I started to write this blog is that Potterspury are the most successful North Bucks & District team in terms of league titles, with 10 to their name over ther# years, one more than neighbours Deanshanger Athletic.
It was the visitors who began the game on the front foot. Within a couple of minutes their Number 10 let fly, letting he home keeper know that he was around. This set the tone for the opening encounters, with Towcester looking the more lively for the first 5-10 minutes. However, Potterspury did start to play their way into the game and, on 14 minutes, took the lead even though it was still slightly against the run of play. Towcester conceded a free-kick out on Potterspury's left wing, about 35 yards out, The ball was drifted into the penalty area and there was home captain Andrew Ord to head home. 1-0. Some questionable marking by the Towcester defence but a good strong header from the skipper.
Two minutes later Towcester's keeper needed to be on his very best form to prevent his side going further behind, just stretching far enough to his left to keep out another Ord effort. By this time and on the back of going a goal in front, Potterspury now looked to be the more dangerous of the two sides.
Ord was involved in everything that the home side were mustering and on 24 minutes was involved in yet another incident. This time he was sent clear by a good through ball. He managed to get a toe to the ball before the onrushing keeper, lifting it high above him but not quite strongly enough to go in. The ball bounced high just in front of the Towcester goal and looked as if Ord, who had continued his run, would have the easy task of nodding it over the line. However, a Towcester defender had got back sufficiently to somehow ease him off the ball and prevent the goal. Potterspury claimed that it was a penalty, and presumably a red card, but the referee was having none of it. Ord complained to the extent that the referee issued him a 10 minute sin bin. I have got to say that, from my view point on the halfway line it wasn't completely clear what happened. all I can say is that the defender did appear to be all over the back of Ord. Enough contact for a penalty? It was hard to say from 50 yards away.
To be fair to the home side, they saw out the 10 minutes of being down to 10 men with a fair amount of ease. Towcester, as you would imagine, had a lot more of the ball, but the home side closed ranks, slightly re-jigged their formation, and defended very well.
Then, with two minutes of the half remaining and with their captain back on the pitch, Potterspury doubled their lead. This time the threat came from the opposite flank. The home side won a corner which was played in firmly and at waist height. The ball was missed by a group of players at the near post but there was Potterspury's Jack Harrington stooping to head home. 2-0
HT Potterspury 2 AFC Towcester 0. A sluggish start from the home side but, after that, they had enough play to say they deserved to be in front. Towcester will be disappointed to have conceded a second just before half time and had a couple of chances themselves. Certainly not done and dusted at 2-0.
FT Potterspury 2 AFC Towcester 0. A frustrating afternoon for Towcester who had enough chances in the game to have at least got a consolation, if not more. However, Potterspury took their chances, defended well when they needed to, and managed the game reasonably well towards the end.
Ground Number: 312