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20:35 23rd January 2012


Barnet deservedly defeated Northampton Town in a crucial League 2 fixture at Sixfields, but did it the hard way after being 1-0 down at the break.
Manager Lawrie Sanchez made one change to the line-up that had won at Accrington the week before, a slight tweak ruling out Mark Marshall, the winger being replaced by Mark Byrne.
In terms of formation Sam Deering moved to the left with Byrne operating on the right side of midfield.
Izale McLeod had a good chance very early on when a huge clearance by Dean Brill set up the prolific striker only for his effort to be thwarted.
On ten minutes the Cobblers were ahead. Another inswinging corner from the right was turned in by Adebayo Akinfenwa as the ball hovered for too long in the six-yard box.
Northampton had just about enjoyed the lion's share of the play in the first period as players from both sides struggled with the elements; but it would be a different story in the second half.
Three minutes in the second half Barnet were level. Following some fine build up play the ball fell to Byrne some 20 yards out and his left foot curler found its way into the top of the net. Already a contender for goal of 2012!
The tide was with the Bees. The home fans were now in almost open revolt against their team and Barnet assumed mastery of this fixture.
Barnet then survived a penalty appeal when Michael Jacobs took off his gravity boots and fell to the ground following the mildest of challenges.
Ricky Holmes then gave the Bees the lead on 69 minutes when he latched onto a Sam Deering headed through ball and finished with accuracy and power and drilled the ball low into the net.
Barnet then had a number of chances to extend their lead and put the result beyond doubt with a 3-1 or 4-1 scoreline looking feasible.
The game finished with Barnet in total control and with the Cobblers in some disarray.
This display and the result were fine rewards for the 485 Barnet fans who'd travelled to the fixture - and both Barnet goals were served up just in front of them for their undoubted delectation.
This was another fine performance, building on the victory at Accrington yet it was more impressive given the significance of the fixture.
When needed the Bees, with the exception of the single goal conceded, defended well and when moving forward they looked capable of scoring, if not at will, then when they needed to.
Barnet have now won three matches in succession, a feat not managed in 112 league fixtures and are at home to Crewe Alexandra next Saturday at Underhill.
David Bloomfield
    Data provided by Press Association


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