Barnet deservedly progressed to the regional semi-final stage of the JPT with a convincing 2-0 victory at Cheltenham Town with Mark Marshall
and Charlie Taylor
getting on the scoresheet.
Manager Lawrie Sanchez was forced to make two changes to the starting line-up. Michael Hector and Ricky Holmes
were both out with slight knocks and were replaced by debutant Paul Downing and Mark Byrne
. Steve Kabba
was also unavailable.
With injuries taking their toll on the squad Tommy Fraser
was included on the bench.
Cheltenham by contrast made seven changes from the side they put out at the weekend; a decision their manager post match admitted was too many.Sam Deering
moved up to play alongside Izale McLeod
with Byrne assuming a role on the right side of midfield.
In the opening minutes Mark Marshall
put in a good cross as the Bees indicated that this was a fixture they fully intended to take seriously.
Byrne hit a fierce shot after being set up by McLeod and had a good effort from a free kick well saved.
The first half was an even affair but when Jeff Goulding was left unmarked in the six-yard box he should have done better than head the ball into Dean Brill
McLeod took a blow to his knee midway through the half and was replaced by Charlie Taylor
and his flicked header from a Gary Borrowdale free-kick almost gave the Bees a first-half lead.
A minute before the break Marshall broke the deadlock with a very well stuck drive from a free kick which went through the defensive wall.
Cheltenham came out trying to draw level in the second half, but soon ran out of ideas up against a Barnet team that were working hard all over the pitch.
On 69 minutes a great long pass by Danny Senda
set up Taylor who got the ball under control and put the ball into the net despite being surrounded by two defenders.
Deering and Marshal could have given the Bees a three goal lead as Cheltenham looked increasingly a beaten outfit. And indeed they were.
This was a professional display by Barnet and it produced a thoroughly deserved victory.
72 Bees were there to see it.
Barnet are at Southport on Saturday in The FA Cup.