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19:14 17th September 2011


Two goals in quick succession by Oxford United in the first-half put paid to any plans Barnet had of adding to the three points they had accumulated on Tuesday with a home win against Plymouth Argyle.
Manager Lawrie Sanchez started the game with an unchanged team, giving the starting eleven a chance to cement their places in the team. He'd also told those of the bench that should an opportunity arise for them they would need to better than those they replaced. It has to be said that not everyone grasped the chance.
There were early danger signs when the visitors soon had the ball fizzing across the Barnet's six-yard box but the Bees were working hard to deny space and looked to have taken the lead through Daniel Leach.
Leach thumped the ball into the net from inside the box and it seemed that a goal had been given. Apparently the ball stuck a Barnet arm en route and this was sufficient reason for the goal to be disallowed. Not mention of intention. The flight of the ball might have been altered, but there surely needs intention for the referee to make such an important decision.
On 33 minutes Oxford took the lead when Simon Heslop seized on a clearance and steadied himself before finding the back of the net from outside of the box. Good goal if you are wearing Oxford's colours, frustrating if you are wearing amber and black and you have just seen another opposition's midfielder again find the target from long range.
Within five minutes the visitors were two to the good when Peter Leven cleverly created an opening that Liam Davis volleyed home from an acute angle.
A two nil advantage flattered Oxford, but they were in no mood to allow Barnet back into the game.
As the second half progressed Barnet used all their substitutes to try and take the game to Oxford. The visitors, with Michael Duberry marshalling the defence, managed to take any sting out of the game and prevented Barnet from getting into any kind of rhythm.
The hope was that should the Bees get one goal back a comeback might be on the cards; but infact Oxford could have gone three up had Dean Brill not produced an excellent save from James Constable.
The efforts by Mark Hughes who hit a post from distance and Izale McLeod who headed over from close range were Barnet's best efforts in the second period but in truth Oxford were always able to keep Barnet at arm's length.
The Bees are back on the road again next Saturday when they travel to the County Ground, Swindon.
David Bloomfield
    Data provided by Press Association


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