Barnet recovered from being two goals down at half time to grab a deserved point against an impressive Dover at the Hive. Dover included two former Barnet players in Nicky Deverdics and Barry Cogan who both gave good performances.
Dover started the game very brightly and were clearly in good form and were causing the home side all kinds of problems and the Kent side took the lead on just nine minutes through Tom Murphy who fired past Graham Stack at the near post after the Barnet keeper had saved well from Payne.
Shortly after, Barnet were denied a stonewall penalty when John Akinde was bundled down in the area and they were doubly punished on 18 minutes when a dreadful mistake by Jack Saville allowed Payne to run through and fire home to make it 2-0 to the visitors. Luisma Villa came the closest to a goal for the Bees with two good efforts.
HT: Barnet 0 Dover 2
Barnet clawed their way back into the match with a goal in the first minute of the second half. The Bees won a free kick out on the left, which Akinde took quickly, cleverly setting Elliott Johnson clear on the left and Johnson played an astute ball back for an unmarked Curtis WESTON to fire home into the top corner.
Barnet piled on the pressure looking for an equaliser and Akinde fired a shot inches wide soon after. Barnet had another good penalty shot when Charlie MacDonald was played through by Bondz N'Gala and was sent tumbling. Had the penalty been given, a red card would also have been inevitable.
It was very much seige stuff now and Barnet should have equalised when a terrific cross from Lee Cook found the head of Akinde, totally unmarked in front of goal, but he didn't properly connect with his header and the chance went begging.
However, with 15 minutes left to go, AKINDE made amends when he stole in at the far post to prod home the equaliser from a sumptuous cross from substitute, Keanu Marsh-Brown. It looked as though the Bees were going to take all three points but they just could not get the winner, but Barnet once again were denied a clear cut penalty when Akinde was shoved over inside the box just before the end. Still, it was a superb fighting second half comeback by the Bees but it was still in the end two points dropped which led to Bristol Rovers cutting Barnet's lead at the top to 7 points.
Barnet Mad Bees' Man of the Match: John Akinde
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Saville, N'Gala, Johnson (Mensah 73); Luisma Villa (Marsh-Brown 57), Weston, Togwell, Cook (Stephens 88); Akinde, MacDonald.
Subs not used: Vilhete, Hunt.