Football: Potter leads from front as Wells climb out of relegation zone

Tunbridge Wells' Pilbeam makes difference in derby thriller with Rusthall

TUNBRIDGE WELLS produced the three points and performance that Manager Jason Bourne demanded.

After the team had been struggling to score recently, Wells captain Brad Potter and Ryan Crandley both found the net after the visitors had taken the lead.

The result lifts them one place in the Southern Counties East Football League and four points clear of the relegation zone with three games in hand on the teams around them.

Inspirational central midfielder Jamie Lawrence only lasted two minutes before being forced off through injury and was replaced by Under-21s player Ikeghe Eze.

The hosts were disappointed to reach half-time scoreless after a strong first-half showing.

In fact it was Rochester who broke the deadlock after 50 minutes. Wells failed to clear a free-kick from the left and Chris McDermott scrambled the ball over the line.

Wells pushed hard for an equaliser and when Potter found himself unmarked in the area he calmly slotted the ball home after 61 minutes.

The hosts took the lead in the 71st minute when Crandley scored the goal of the match with a curling left-foot shot from 20 yards.

The game was now an entertaining spectacle with Wells committed to finding another goal.

Jon Pilbeam thought he had earned a penalty in the 75th minute when he was dragged back but the referee waved away the Wells appeals.

Manager Bourne said: “Given the spirit in the camp, our league position does not overly concern me as we have five or six big games with all the teams around us, which we are in total control of.

“Regardless of what has happened this season we have a great club and will pick up the points required to finish comfortably, I’m sure.

“In my limited managerial experience we faced a similar battle last season and finished strong, so I can draw from those experiences.”

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