Barnet returned to winning ways this Bank Holiday Monday with a thoroughly deserved 3-1 win over promotion challengers, Chesterfield at Underhill. Manager, Ian Hendon brought in Jake Hyde up front to partner Paul Furlong in a 442 formation with top scorer, John O’Flynn still out. Micah Hyde, who was left out of the Hereford match, returned to captain the side with Ed Upson dropping to the bench. Kenny Gillet continued in the unfamiliar position of centre back and New Zealand international, Chris James was named amongst the substitutes.
Barnet started quite brightly but were undone in the 14th minute when poor play by Matt Lockwood allowed himself to be caught in possession and the ball was played to Wade Small who put the Spireites into an underserved lead. The goal was originally flagged as offside by the linesman but was overruled by the referee, much to the dismay of the Bees’ players and fans.
The controversy over the goal seemed to fire up the home side and they were level after 34 minutes following a foul by Chesterfield defender, Ian Breckin on Albert Jarrett with the Chesterfield man being booked after hauling Jarrett to the floor. Matt Lockwood swung over a fine free kick and Paul FURLONG was able to stab his shot past keeper, Tommy Lee into the goal to equalise for the Bees.
Eight minutes later and Barnet were ahead. A long, floated cross from Micah Hyde was headed home by Jake HYDE into the far corner of the net past Lee. Three minutes into time added on, in the first half and the Bees took complete control of the game with a third goal. A fine Jarrett cross from the left was met by a superb acrobatic volley by Paul FURLONG, which flew past Lee to put the Bees 3-1 up. The home side came off to a deserved standing ovation.
HT: Bees 3 Spireites 1
After an enthralling first half, the second 45 minutes was a bit of a let down, but, thankfully, the Bees were never seriously troubled by a disappointing Chesterfield and Barnet should have gone further ahead on 65 minutes after Chesterfield defender, Kevin Austin brought down Albert Adomah in the penalty area after the Bees’ winger had gone on a weaving run through the visitors’ defence. Paul Furlong, looking for his hat trick, stepped up to take the penalty, but Lee was able to get a hand to his shot and tip it onto the crossbar and then hold on to the ball as it fell. Why Matt Lockwood wasn’t given the job to take the penalty wasn’t clear, but it could have been costly.
Five minutes from the end of normal time, Jake Cole made an excellent save after a fierce drive by Niven from the edge of the penalty area, but the Bees were never really threatened after that despite 7 minutes of time added on and deservedly went on to record their first home win in five matches.
The win takes Barnet up to 19th and they now have 45 points from 39 matches. With Cheltenham winning as well and Torquay drawing away at Northampton, it was a good day for teams in the bottom six with exception of Lincoln City who lost to Morecambe and slip to 20th and bottom club, Darlington who look certain of relegation following their 1-0 home defeat by Hereford. The result of the day came at Accrington where Grimsby Town, currently 23rd, came back from 2-0 down at half time to win 3-2. However, Cheltenham’s win at Crewe means that the mariners remain seven points from safety. Barnet remain 11 points clear of Grimsby with a game in hand. Next up are Macclesfield Town at Underhill on Saturday. Three points from that much would surely clinch Barnet’s safety.
Barnet Mad Man of the Match: Paul Furlong
FT: Bees 3 Spireites
Barnet: Cole; Devera, Breen, Gillet, Lockwood; Adomah (Upson 72), Hughes, M Hyde, Jarrett (James 89); Furlong, J Hyde (Livermore 77).
Chesterfield: Lee; Picken, Austin, Breckin, Whing; Allott (Boshell 45), Niven, Rundle (Lester 75), Small, Demontagnac; Conlon (Boden 46).