Barnet recorded a much needed second victory of the season over bottom of the table Hereford United at Underhill this afternoon with goals from Mark Marshall
and a bizarre own goal from the Bulls keeper Adam Bartlett separating the teams.
Mark Stimson rang the changes after the disappointment of the 4-2 defeat at Wycombe in midweek with Anwar Uddin
and Ricky Holmes
both dropping to the bench; Charlie Taylor starting a league match for the first time, wide right in midfield, as was Grant Basey at centre-back. Glenn Poole
was out injured. Glen Southam
was named as skipper.
The Bees drew first blood on 13 minutes when Steve Kabba careered through the middle and weighted his pass into the path of Marshall to perfection, with the ex-Swindon winger slotting a fine left foot shot past the stranded Bulls keeper.
Barnet should have made it 2-0 near the end of the half, but Kabba fired at the keeper from close range. Would this miss prove costly?
The Bees were just about good value for their half-time lead but the Bulls were far from out for the count.
There were periods when they enjoyed the lion's share of the possession, but they made scant use of it and rarely got through to trouble Jake Cole
, resplendent in his new red wine coloured outfit.
In the second half Barnet stepped up a gear and made numerous chances to extend their lead, Holmes and Phil Walsh both could have doubled the home side's advantage.
The slender lead was always a vulnerable one should Hereford get their act together, but in the 77thminute from an innocuous backpass Bartlett took an air shot that ended up with the ball in his own net. A classic own goal and a bloopers tape show stopper for years to come.
With the points in the bag the sense of relief that here surely was a lead that could be defended until the final whistle was almost palpable.
In stoppage time Coe pulled up a great save from Joe Colbeck and it was clear that Barnet were not going to concede a goal.
Late on Mauro Vilhete
left the bench for his first first team appearance since the last game of last season to give a cameo performance and it was disappointing when the referee called an end to proceedings when the winger was running at speed at the Hereford defence.
Basey and Taylor were both steady throughout with the team looking balanced. There were several good performances with everyone at least performing to par. This was a Barnet dispaly that deserved the three points.
The Bees are at home in the JPT on Tuesday and in League action against Bradford City next Saturday at Underhill.