Welling United 1 Barnet 2

Barnet ended Welling’s unbeaten home league record with a deserved victory but had to wait for a John Akinde goal in time added on to clinch their victory and go nine points clear at the top of the Conference. The league leaders started brightly playing good football but without creating any clear chances. The Bees had so much possession in the early stages and dominated play with the home side seemingly happy to defend in depth. Welling rarely ventured out of their own half in the first 20 minutes or so and paid the price when after 25 minutes, Barnet took the lead following a corner. The ball bounced around the six yard box and David Stephens had a shot blocked before John AKINDE latched onto the ball and firmly struck his shot past a crowd of players into the back of the net.

Barnet almost went 2-0 up soon after with Akinde involved again but Welling managed to clear. Welling gradually got back into the game, although Barnet remained the dominant side and grabbed an equaliser just before half time which was something of a surprise. Welling were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position just outside the area. Chris Bush’s shot beat the Barnet wall but Graham Stack appeared to have the shot covered but the ball bounced awkwardly on the Park View Road ground’s rather bobbly pitch and Stack inadvertently let the ball bounce off of his body straight to the onrushing Joe Healy who was left with a simple tap in.

Even then, Barnet could have gone into half time ahead but Lee Cook’s excellent run and shot finished with the ball flying just over the bar.

HT: Wings 1 Bees 1

The second half continued in much the same vein as the first with Welling seemingly happy to play for a point. Barnet’s expansive, footballing game was having problems against such unadventurous and defensive play, with a number of home payers getting booked as well. Barnet created a number of openings without often looking as though they were going to score, while welling in their rare forays upfield, did occasionally look dangerous and a last ditch tackle from Andy Yiadom and fine save by Stack were needed to prevent Welling from taking a shock lead. Welling’s sole attacking strategy seemed to involve hopeful balls hit upfield.

The Bees nearly scored when a fine, curling effort from Cook looked to be going in at the far post but Stephens, in trying to head home, only managed to prevent the ball from going in. Just before the 90 minutes were up, Barnet looked to have scored but the shot few agonisingly wide of the post. Three minutes added time were announced and in the first of these, the Bees grabbed the winner. Ironically, the goal came as a result of Welling style, route one football following a long punt up field by Stack. Fyfield, the Welling defender, failed to cut it out and the ball fell to AKINDE who controlled the ball and his shot beat Buchel, the Welling keeper who got something on the shot but could not stop Akinde’s shot from going in to give Barnet a win they thoroughly deserved.

It was difficult to feel any sympathy for the home side who played much of the game as though they were the away side and a pretty defensive one at that. It wasn’t hard to see why they had not lost at home before today, but equally easy to see why they had only won three games. In the end, Welling got what they deserved; nothing.

Barnet’s win takes them nine points clear of second placed, Gateshead. Next up is the FA Cup 1st round at home to Wycombe next Saturday.

Barnet Mad Bees’ Man of the Match: John Akinde

FT: Wings 1 Bees 2

Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, N’Gala, Vilhete (MacDonald 52); Weston, Togwell (Hunt 75), Johnson, Cook; Luisma Villa (Gambin 79); Akinde

Subs not used: Saville, Mekki

Att: 906