Exeter City 1 Barnet 1

Last updated : 06 March 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Both sides kept their hopes of promotion alive with a point apiece in a hard-fought encounter.

Exeter took the lead through Sean Devine but Barnet pulled level after the break through Liam Hatch.

Overall Barnet had the better chances and probably did enough to win the game.

But after leaving it late they will be pleased with a point against a lively Exeter side.

It was the Grecians who settled first and Devine had a snap-shot that whistled just past the post in the opening minutes.

But for two sides hoping for promotion the opening stages were poor.

Neither side was able to grab the initiative as both defences remained on top.

The game hardly looked like producing a goal, but it was Exeter who broke the deadlock midway through the half.

Kwame Ampadu's long ball forward found tiny striker Les Afful, who, despite being forced wide by the goalkeeper, was still able to pick out Devine with a fine cross and Exeter's leading scorer had no difficulty in nodding the ball into an empty net.

Instead of pushing on and looking for a second, Exeter sat back and allowed Barnet to enjoy their best period of the game.

Hatch fired just wide for the visitors and Giuliano Grazioli forced James Bittner to save well as Barnet took control.

Bittner again saved well from Ian Hendon's curling shot from the edge of the box and Exeter were holding on before half time.

After the break Exeter again settled first and Devine forced Ademola Bankole to save well with a low drive from ten yards.

But Barnet soon began to look lively. And it came as no surprise when they pulled level.

Substitute Mark Williams floated in a fine cross and Hatch leapt superbly to head the ball past Bittner.

Hatch and Matt Redmile went close late on for Barnet but both teams were forced to settle for a point.