Barnet got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over struggling relegation rivals,Bristol Rovers at Underhill yesterday. Manager, Lawrie Sanchez made 2 changes from the 1-0 defeat atCrawley, bringing in Ricky Holmes for Mark Byrne and replacing the ineligible, Gary Borrowdale with Jack Saville at left back.
In truth, the game took a long time to get really started as both sides looked nervous which was not surprising given the importance of the game with both sides desperately needing the points to move away from the bottom end of the table. For the Bees, Ricky Holmes hit a reasonable shot just wide early on and Sam Deering looked lively but the Bees were playing far too many long balls out of defence and many of them did not even find a home player. The Pirates had a dangerous spell just before half time and Dean Brill had to make a splendid save from a Gary Sawyer shot which took a dangerous deflection. Rovers had a couple of chances to take the lead before half time but some good defending, particularly by Paul Downing and weak finishing kept the game goalless.
HT: Bees 0 Pirates 0
The second half continued in much the same vein with some bizarre refereeing decisions being the only action of note early on. Brill had to be sharp to come out and save from Zebrowski bit neither side looked much liked scoring until along punt upfield by Jack Saville found Izale MCLEOD and League Two’s leading scorer ran on and cleverly chipped the oncoming Rovers debutant keeper, Poke and found the back of the net for his 19th goal of the season to put the Bees 1-0 up on 69 minutes.
The goal seemed to settle home side down and they played some nice football and began to get the ball down on the ground and carve out chances with Holmes really coming into his own. It was a splendid run down by the opposition goalline that led to the former Chelmsford striker playing a neat ball across the goalmouth for Clovis KAMDJO to slot home into an empty net to make it 2-0 for the Bees on 80 minutes and finish off any chance that the Pirates had of getting back into the game. Indeed it was the Bees that almost went 3-0 up in time added on when a well taken, Mark Marshall free kick from just outside the area almost crept in at the near post. As it was the Bees took a vital 3 points to move alongside Bristol Rovers on points and goal difference, only being behind them by virtue of having scored less goals. Even so, Barnet moved up one place to 20th and are now 5 points clear of the two relegation places and have moved closer to the teams above them, most notably, freefalling AFC Wimbledon who are now just 3 points above the Bees.
Perhaps, more importantly, the win makes it 7 points from 3 home matches since the 6-3 hammering byBurton. Maybe the start of a fortress Underhill?
FT: Bees 2 Pirates 0
Barnet: Brill; Senda, Downing, Hector, Saville; Hughes, Kamdjo; Deering, Holmes (Taylor92), Marshall; McLeod.
Subs not used: O’Brien, Byrne, N’Diaye, McCallum.