A Mark Byrne penalty in the 90th minute gave the Bees their first away win of the season, a victory that was based on sound defending and it has to be said a modicum of good fortune. Barnet have played better this campaign and come away from matches pointless, so perhaps a slice of good fortune was due to be served up.
The side that was selected was that which started the game at Wycombe with the exception being the inclusion of Mark Byrne on the right of midfield, with Anthony Edgar moving to the substitute’s bench. This meant that Andy Yiadom started on the left side of midfield.
The home side had the first chance of note when Jack Lester carved out an opportunity just inside the penalty area only for his effort to flash marginally wide of a post.
Barnet’s cause was not helped when the influential John Oster needed to leave the field of play with an ankle injury, forcing Byrne to move inside with Edgar joining the fray.
Graham Stack made three excellent saves in quick succession, two of which were of a particularly high quality as the Spireites where enjoying the upper hand; but they constantly came up against a well drilled Barnet defence that became more resolute, determined and impregnable as the game progressed.
Before half-time a Lester header from close range should have given Chesterfield the lead but again the marksman’s spurned the opportunity.
In the second-half the Bees asked Chesterfield to try and break them down and when their attack floundered Barnet were set fair to launch a counter attack, with the speed of Yiadom a key feature of this ploy.
Before the Bees’ defence was called into play many a Chesterfield foray forward was nullified by Clovis Kamdjo who would then make good use of the ball.
The home side did muster the greater number of opportunities and had the balance of play in their favour but there was always a confidence about Barnet’s play that did more than suggest that they would hold firm and then catch the home side napping.
In the closing moments with the fresh legs of Jon Nurse replacing Jake Hyde would had worked the shift of two men the Bees did went looking for that late vital goal.
With the 90 minutes almost up Yiadom picked the ball up on the left wing and took the ball towards the goal line before advancing into the penalty area. His path was then crudely halted by a defender who sent the winger floundering to the floor.
Byrne then calmly deposited the ball into the corner of the net to put the Bees ahead and then there was just the matter of maintaining the lead for the 5 minutes of time added on.
In this period Chesterfield did not muster an effort of note as Barnet continued to hold firm, as they had in the previous hour and a half.
Edgar Davids had his quietest game so far, but his influence on a game is not limited to the time he has on the ball. Some of those touches were again exquisite, but his positional play, guidance and encouragement cannot be under estimated.
The Bees are at home to Oxford United on Saturday 3rd November in the 1st Round of The FA Cup. Post match Mark Robson said that he had no intention of using the fixture for experimentation and confirmed that the Bees would be putting their best foot forward.