Barnet grabbed their third consecutive win to move up to 6th in the Skrill Premier just two points off of the play off places. Uli Landvreugd gave a debut to new loan centre back, Valentin Gjokaj from DerbyCounty in place of Jack Saville who was injured. That was the only change from Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Tamworth.
Barnet made a sensational start when a Mark Byrne corner, in only the 2nd minute, found it’s way into the Grimsby net to put the home side 1-0 up. At the time it appeared that Mauro Vilhete had headed home but from the highlights it would appear to have been an own goal. Either way, it was an electric start for the Bees and they came so close to making it 2-0 soon afterwards when Keanu Marsh-Brown won the ball just inside the Grimsby half and curled an absolute peach of a ball into the path of Dani Lopez, but the Bees’ Spanish striker saw his shot come back off the post when he should, perhaps, have scored.
Barnet dominated the first half until last 5-10 minutes when the Mariners started to come back into the game and exert some pressure on the Bees. Grimsby forced a number of corners and put the home defence under pressure without really creating many clear cut chances though Scott Neilson saw a shot deflected just wide shortly before half time. The Bees though almost made it 2-0 just before half time when they hit Town on the break and Marsh-Brown saw a useful shot blocked and cleared.
HT: Bees 1 Mariners 0
Barnet started the second half poorly and were pushed back by Grimsby and found themselves much too deep and as a consequence put under a mass of pressure by the visitors. The Bees gave away a number of corners and also free kicks just outside the penalty area throughout the second half and it was fortunate, perhaps, that Grimsby failed to take advantage of the opportunities they were given and, at certain times, resorted to trying to win a penalty through diving.
Early in the second half, McDonald had an effort cleared off the line by Andy Yiadom and it seemed like it was just a matter of time before the Mariners equalised. When they did it was in disappointing fashion, as far as the home side were concerned, Craig Disley’s flicked header going over Jupp’s head into the net for a very soft goal.
At that point it did look as though Grimsby would go on to win such was their level of possession and dominance but after the equaliser, Barnet responded well breaking out of defence with some fluent moves which burst through the visitors midfield, especially from Luisma. Mark Byrne too was having a fine game and following Disley’s goal, Barnet came much more into the game. However, they often resorted to fanciful long ranged shooting, wasting the chance to construct proper worked out opportunities and Hyde and Marsh-Brown were guilty of this.
As the half wore on it looked as though both sides may have to settle for a draw but with the game entering its last 10 minutes the Bees created and took the one real clear cut chance that they created the whole half. Luisma played a ball out wide to Andy Yiadom whose initial cross was blocked and the ball fell to Cutis Weston who took the ball on well before played it wide to Yiadom who took it towards the byline before slipping over the perfect cross for the oncoming Jake HYDE to clip home past McKeown in the Grimsby goal to put the Bees 2-1 up.
The final 8 minutes or so before time up was a nerve wracking affair that was made worse when the referee added on a further five minutes of injury time, largely for a bad knock received by Luisma who had to leave the field for awhile leaving the home side temporarily down to 10 men.
Luisma did hobble back on with an injury that looked worrying and Barnet were put under pressure with the visitors winning a couple more free kicks in and around the penalty area but it all came to nothing and the Bees held on for three valuable points to take them above Grimsby and into 6th place. There was also a very promising debut performance from new centre back, Valentin Gjokaj.
Nine points from their last three games has given Barnet a realistic chance of making the play offs but they will have to maintain their home form until the end of the season and try to take something from away trips to Wrexham and Forest Green in the coming week. Meanwhile, the new management duo can bask on the achievement of a 100% record so far.
FT: Bees 2 Mariners 1
Barnet Mad Man of the Match: Andy Yiadom
Jupp: Yiadom, Stephens, Gjokaj, Vilhete (Johnson 68); Marsh-Brown (Cadogan 84), Weston, Byrne, Luisma; Lopez (Adams 64), Hyde
Subs not used: Abdullah, Mengerink