Luke Gambin came off of the bench and gave an outstanding half hour performance that shell shocked the Cobblers and set up Barnet’s first league win of the season.
Following bright performances against Millwall and Wycombe, Gambin was surprisingly left out of the starting line up with former Lincoln winger, Ben Tomlinson handed his first start for the club by Martin Allen. In a tight first half, it was Northampton who came closest to opening the scoring when Graham Stack had to make a double save with the initial save coming after an attempted clearance by Bondz N’Gala almost went into his own net but Stack made a fine stop with his feet and this was followed up by another good save by diving low to push a shot off the line from a header.
Barnet got into some promising situations in the opening half but were let down by some poor deliveries particularly from Tomlinson who had a poor first half, but even John Akinde looked unusually nervous.
HT: Bees 0 Cobblers 0
Just before the hour, Luke Gambin was introduced in place of Tomlinson and he had an immediate effect on the home side and a few minutes after he came on he collected the ball deep in his own half and ran at the opponents’ defenders right through to the penalty area before releasing the ball to John Akinde who was upended in the penalty area by Northampton’s Jason Taylor who was subsequently shown a red card. AKINDE picked himself up and comfortably put away the spot kick to put the Bees 1-0 up.
With Northampton down to 10 men, the Bees began to control the game more although they were never able to relax until the 90th minute when they clinched the three points by extending their lead. A long ball was played upfield by Curtis Weston for AKINDE and he beat Adam smith, the Northampton keeper to it, rounded him and expertly passed the ball into the net from out on the right byline.
Barnet held on comfortably for the three points which takes them up to 15th from 23rd.
Barnet Mad, Man of the Match (joint): John Akinde & Luke Gambin
FT: Bees 2 Cobblers 0
Barnet: Stack; Hoyte, Dembele, N’Gala, Johnson; Yiadom, Weston (Muggleton 95), Togwell, Tomlinson (Gambin 58); Akinde (Nelson 91), Gash.
Subs not used: Vilhete, Champion, Batt, Stephens.