Early this season, Barnet and Bradford City both gave tremendous performances today in an exciting 2-2 draw at Underhill today in their League Two match. Both sides came into this match in good form with Barnet unbeaten at Underhill in the league so far this season. The Bees were missing striker, Paul Furlong who was suspended for one match and Jake Hyde replaced him up front. Albert Adomah, who broke his nose last Saturday at Macclesfield was only on the bench as protection and Albert Jarrett came in with Yannick Bolasie moving to the right.
The first few minutes of the game were scrappy but the visitors then settled down and played some excellent football, dominating the game and looking particularly dangerous when they broke quickly. Striker, James Hanson headed well wide early on following a throw in and then James O’Brien broke clear on the left but wasted a good opportunity.
Soon after the Barnet defence was stretched on the left again but Scott Neilson’s shot was deflected wide of the post. Hanson then headed the resulting corner wide. The Bantams were creating opportunities through their impressive strike partnership of Hanson and Gareth Evans and Neilson, a summer signing from Cambridge city was very impressive in midfield. The Bees were starting to settle down but were not creating any real chances.
On 13 minutes, the visitors deservedly went ahead when Deen lost out to Michael Flynn on the right and he crossed for HANSON to slot home to put City 1-0 up. An awkward shot by Neilson caused Jake Cole some difficulty but he was able to save the shot fairly comfortably. James O’Brien was then booked for a bad challenge on Ahmed Deen. Barnet began to creep back into the match and an Albert Jarrett cross was headed just over by Jake Hyde, but the Bees seemed to miss Paul Furlong and found it difficult to make headway into the City defence. On the right, Bolasie was finding it difficult to get much out of City left back, Luke O’Brien and the Bees were clearly missing Adomah. Both Ryan O’Neill and Micah Hyde seemed to be having off days and this was partly down to the absent Adomah.
Clovis Kamdjo was then booked for a bad foul on Simon Ramsden as the visitors looked to extend their lead before half time. They nearly scored when Gareth Evans broke through into the Bees’ defence but the Barnet defence were just able to clear. Barnet were beginning to play some better football but the last ball was just not going their way and it was City who had the last meaningful act of the half when a Michael Flynn shot from outside the area went over the bar. The visitors went in at half time thoroughly deserving their lead which in truth could have been an even bigger one.
HT: Bees 0 Bantams 1
As in the first half, it was City that started brighter and early on in the second half, Neilson broke through and should have scored but slipped and the Bees were able to clear again. Evans then hooked in a shot that flew just past the post with Cole beaten.
Five minutes into the second half, Barnet brought on Kenny Gillet for Deen who had been struggling since the incident in the first half. It was a substitution that was to have a very quick return as in the 55th minute. Gillet’s fine cross from the left was headed across and over Simon Eastwood by John O’FLYNN in the City goal and landed in the far corner of the net to bring the scores level. It has to be said that it was a rather underserved goal for the home side. Straight after, Mark Hughes played O’Flynn in and his shot was pushed away for a corner. From the corner, Bolasie played Yakubu in but his firmly hit shot went well wide. Jonathon Bateson replaced Ramsden for the Bantams.
Just as Barnet were looking as though they could go on and win the game, City retook the lead. A poor ball by Micah Hyde gave away a corner and this lad to Zesh REHMAN putting the visitors back into the lead with a superb volley that crashed past Cole in the Bees’ goal.
Joe Devera replaced Ryan O’Neill at right back for Barnet. Another fine Gillet cross found O’Flynn again but this time his header was saved by Eastwood. On 77 minutes, Albert Adomah came on for Bolasie and almost at once he changed things for the home side. Luke O’Brien was given a torrid last 15 minutes as Adomah beat him time and again.
Barnet nearly equalised when Eastwood spilled a cross and Jake Hyde’s strong shot was cleared off the line. City nearly went 3-1 up when they broke soon after but Devera was able to clear.
At the other end, Adomah was causing all sorts of trouble and after breaking through the middle he sent O’Flynn away on the right and his cross was headed home by Mark HUGHES on 80 minutes to bring the scores level. Soon after O’Flynn should have put the Bees ahead when Adomah broke clear on the right again and his cross found the Irish striker with the goal at his mercy but he miscued. Jarrett almost rescued the chance but his cross was cleared off the line.
That was more or less the last chance for the Bees and the match ended in a 2-2 draw that was probably just about fair, though many visiting fans will probably feel that City should have won and with some justification. As a result of the draw, Barnet remained fourth while Bradford City were 11th
Barnet Mad Bees’ Player of the Match: Albert Adomah
FT: Bees 2 Bantams 2
Barnet: Cole; O’Neill (Devera 71), Yakubu, Kamdjo, Deen (Gillet 52); Bolasie (Adomah 78), Hughes, M Hyde, Jarrett; J Hyde, O’Flynn.
Bradford City: Eastwood; Ramsden (Bateson 59), L O’Brien, Rehman, Williams, Flynn, Bullock, J O’Brien, Neilson, Evans, Hanson.