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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
10:36 7th December 2010

OXFORD OVERCOME BEES-match report

Barnet could not hold onto the lead they had deservedly established in the first half as Oxford came back strongly in the second period to clinch a 2-1 victory at the Kassam Stadium today.
The match was only one of two League 2 matches not to be cancelled due to the cold snap and the playing surface was in excellent condition; testament to Oxford's determination to stage the fixture.
Barnet were unchanged, with Ricky Holmes recovering sufficiently from an injury in the victory over Northampton two weeks ago to be named as a substitute.
The game took a little time to establish a pattern as both teams looked surprised that a game was going ahead.
The first genuine opportunity came in the 17th minute when Jake Cole was alert to divert for a corner a well struck effort from Steve Mclean.
Gradually Barnet took control of proceedings with the speed of Mark Marshall giving Damian Batt a difficult afternoon at right-back.
On the break and in general play the Bees were looking the more likely to break the deadlock with the home supporters increasingly berating their team's efforts.
Good play down the right flank by George Francomb in the 35th minute was rewarded when Marshall steered the ball into the net from close range, the Bees deserving a lead.
From that moment on the balance of play changed and it was not in Barnet's favour.
One scond half Oxford effort hit a post with the rebound coming back into the arms of Cole and you thought that perhaps the Bees would ride their luck. It was not to be.
Oxford's top scorer James Constable left the bench in the 55th minute and he looked able to open up the Bee's defence with his confident running with the ball.
On 63 minutes the home side drew level when Anwar Uddin was unfortunate to get the last touch as the ball trickled over the goal line during a goalmouth melee.
Oxford upped the tempo; they scented victory, with Barnet hoping to hang on for a point.
With just seven minutes remaining it was Constable who gave Oxford the lead. He got himself in a good position on the edge of the box and was able to drill the ball into the corner.
Oxford were now content to protect their lead which allowed Barnet a glimmer of hope with Izale McLeod having an opportunity to level the scores late on with a one - on - one with the keeper and Ricky Holmes not being able to capitalise on a goalkeeping blunder.
The well-worn cliché of a game of two halves could be used today. Barnet were worthy of their half-time lead but in the second half Oxford were unrecognisable from the side that had played second fiddle to the visitors and eventually ran out deserved winners themselves. 279 Barnet fans travelled to watch their team.The Bee are at home to Accrington Stanley next Saturday.

David Bloomfield

    Data provided by Press Association

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