The 3-1 scoreline is a little unfair on Barnet who'd forced their way back into the game from a two goal deficit with a strike from Izale McLeod
, and were pushing for an equaliser when Adam Dugdale bundled the ball over the line during time added on.
Barnet made life so very difficult for themselves by going two goals down with less than an hour on the clock. The Bees did then take the game to Crewe, but in these circumstances teams are often happy to defend their lead and ask their opponents to break them down.Izale McLeod
having served his suspension returned to the line-up to partner Steve Kabba
upfront, with Ricky Holmes
being preferred to Sam Deering
. Mark Marshall
operated on the right of midfield with Holmes on the left.
For the first time this season Daniel Leach
featured; winning a place on the bench.
With there not being much between the two sides, on 27 minutes Luke Murphy hit a piledriver from distance high into the roof of the net. It was an unstoppable shot, yet had a clearance been made when the opportunity presented itself Barnet would not have been a goal down.
McLeod promptly almost equalised with a header from a Mark Hughes
delivery, but his effort was well saved by keeper Steve Phillips for a corner.
Shaun Miller was on hand to capitalise on the ball not being cleared in the 55th minute when Mark Byrne
had done well to track back and head away a cross into the middle only to see the ball returned into the danger area. It was a mistake by Dean Brill
; in fairness perhaps his first this season.
The task was now very much uphill, but after some re-jigging of the formation and in personnel Barnet began to take control of proceedings and several chances came their way, notably two headers from substitute Leach who had got himself into forward attacking positions.
Leach was on for Darren Denney, who was having a fine match. It didn't look serious at the time and he walked off without any difficulty, although apparently he had complained of a groin strain.Charlie Taylor
, on for Kabba had a golden opportunity from close range but was denied by an excellent save as the Bees piled on the pressure, but time was beginning to run out.
It was not a surprise when Barnet pulled one back. In the 81st minute McLeod got between the keeper and a defender and turned the ball into the net, but would there be enough time to draw level?Clovis Kamdjo
now joined the attack with the Bees now playing with just three defenders.
In the closing minutes, such was the frantic nature of the play, one side was sure to add to their goal tally. It could have been either team. At this stage it was that finely balanced.
It was to be the home side to take advantage when on a breakaway Dugdale was on hand to re-establish the home side's two goal cushion and it was this two goal lead that Crewe had established for themselves that gave them a level of insurance that the Bees were unable to overcome.
138 Barnet fans were there to see it, with the Bees being at home to Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday evening.