In the end, the 2-1 defeat was the final straw for Mark Stimson, who was almost immediately sacked from the Bees. A win for Barnet would have seen them climb out of the relegation zone on level points to their opponents.
It was a poor opening quarter of an hour, the only real chance came after 13 minutes for Aldershot, when Manny Panther laid the ball off to Jermaine McGlashan, whose low shot was comfortably saved by Jake Cole, once again in the Barnet goal.
It wasn’t until a couple of controversial refereeing decisions before the game really started to liven up. With 18 minutes on the clock, McGlashan found himself clean through on goal before seemingly being pulled down by Joe Devera. The referee waved play on, only for his assistant referee Gary Young to vigorously wave his flag. After a length discussion between the pair, referee Fred Graham decided that a drop ball was the only necessary action; a move that incensed the travelling supporters. To anger the 463 who made their way up from Hampshire even more, it looked like Sam Cox had pulled Luke Guttridge down in the penalty area; but again, Mr. Graham freely waved play on.
After that drama, the Shots finally broke the deadlock. With 35 minutes on the clock, a corner was scrappily cleared away and with the Bees looking to take advantage of the counter attack, Izale McLeod gave the ball straight to Ben Harding, who was able to pick his spot and plant the ball into the bottom right hand corner from 25 yards out.
Aldershot only had to wait 6 minutes before doubling their advantage. Marvin Morgan, who earlier in the week was linked with a £50,000 move to Crawley Town, was able to take advantage of some hesitant Barnet defending, before crossing the ball to Wade Small, whose header hit the crossbar before rebounding kindly to his feet and coolly scuffing the ball into the net.
Barnet were quite rightly booed off at halftime by their own fans in the hope of clawing their way back into the match which by all means looked well and truly over.
It looked as though the home side had come out a completely different team and Mark Marshall almost pulled a goal back straight from the restart. Ricky Holmes did well to spread the ball across the field into the path of Marshall, who was allowed to cut in from the left touchline and shooting just over.
That looked like a signal of intent, and indeed, Barnet were able to pull a goal back. With 54 minutes on the clock, some skilful play down the left from Ricky Holmes was completed with a neat square pass to Izale McLeod who was left with the simple task of sliding the ball into the net from two yards out and claiming his fourth goal in three matches at Underhill. It was a very similar goal to his equaliser on Tuesday afternoon against Stockport.
On 63 minutes, Barnet came close to scoring a second. Some neat interchanging of passes between Izale McLeod and Sam Cox was enough for the former Tottenham trainee to set Rick Holmes clean through on goal, but Australian goalkeeper Jamie Young saved his side by getting enough of a touch to send the ball out of play for a corner when a goal seemed likely.
But Aldershot were themselves not content with a one goal lead. A long ball by a Shots defender was headed out by Grant Basey, but only as far as Wade Small, whose volley drifted wide of the net.
Perhaps a better chance for the team from the Recreation Ground came after 70 minutes, when Jermaine McGlashan dinked the ball over the head of Grant Basey into the path of Luke Guttridge, but his low attempt was saved by the foot of Jake Cole.
Barnet started to dominate possession and had a good chance with 18 minutes remaining. Glen Southam played a glorious left footed pass over the defender’s heads, finding Ricky Holmes, who again cut the ball back to McLeod, who this time saw his well struck shot sail inches over the bar.
Minutes later, a long kick from Jake Cole was met by the head of former Bee Anthony Charles, and fell again to Izale McLeod, who fired over again with a first time effort.
During the 4 minutes of injury time, the Bees broke quickly thanks to the pace and power of McLeod, who set the ball up nicely for Sam Cox to take a shot from the edge of the area, but unfortunately for the home side, Young hung on to the ball confidently.
One last chance beckoned for Barnet, this time a scramble in Aldershot’s penalty area, but as soon as the ball was in Young’s hands again, the whistle was blown for full time.
Barnet remain in the bottom two, albeit by goal-difference behind Lincoln City. Aldershot meanwhile, were able to rise to 16th place. Up next for the Bees, is a tough trip local rivals Stevenage Town, themselves sitting comfortably in 12th position in the table. Paul Fairclough will be desperately hoping for another, successful spell as caretaker manager with the team he has grown to love, coincidently against one of his former clubs.
Man of the Match: Wade Small
Bees Man of the Match: Ricky Holmes