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19:25 13th August 2011


Barnet were three goals down before the hour mark and looked a shadow of the team that had won two consecutive away fixtures before today as Port Vale recorded a deserved 3-1 at Underhill today.
Lawrie Sanchez selected the same team that started the game at Portsmouth in midweek and very early on Mark Marshall delivered a good deep cross with Jason Price lurking at the far post.
The visitors were not to be denied and gradually got a grip of the game. In the 27th minute they took the lead when Sean Rigg hit a crisp shot from distance and doubled their advantage ten minutes later through a fine bit of individual skill by Gary Roberts down their left flank.
The task was now looking daunting, but the Bees managed to get to half time without going further behind or indeed drawing any closer.
In the interval Lawrie Sanchez decided to introduce Charlie Taylor as the expense of Tommy Fraser, as the Bees adopted an offensive 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to get back into the game.
A penalty appeal for a foul on Mark Marshall was turned down and in the 57th minute the game was almost put beyond the reach of Barnet when Rigg took advantage of a series of defensive errors to give Vale a three goal lead.
Six minutes later Jason Price headed home from a Marshall centre to give Barnet the faintest glimmer of hope, especially when a well hit drive by Izale McLeod fizzed past a post moments after Price's first goal in Barnet colours.
On the break Vale had a few chances to give the scoreline an even more ominous look about it, but there were to be no more goals.
Naturally there is a sense of disappointment after this result with expectations raised on the back of such a bright opening to the season. But the season is a long slog and this defeat must be seen in context of the other matches.
Clearly Gillingham on Tuesday night will be a very difficult fixture but the Bees would not have seen all the confidence they have built up over the opening weeks of the season disappear by this one result, but no one could argue that Vale were worthy winners and a performance of this nature does not win many matches. However there are 44 league matches to go...
Is your class two thirds full or a third empty?
David Bloomfield
    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.