“Winning ugly” may not be the most elegant phrase in the English language but certainly at Bootham Crescent on Saturday the qualities of resilience and determination were much in evidence.
Qualities that were certainly needed when the Bees were asked to defend with only nine men with some ten minutes of the match remaining.
Barnet again did not start brightly and once more conceded an early goal, but gradually they imposed themselves on the game and ran out worthy winners.
Graham Stack had made a vital save mid-way through the first-half to prevent York from establishing a two-goal lead and it wasn’t long after this that Andy Yiadom bundled the ball over the goal-line for the equaliser.
Both sides had set out to play a passing game, but the playing surface was not conducive to keeping the ball on the floor and whilst this game was never a classic Barnet were the more complete outfit.
Chiro N’Toko was playing alongside David Stephens in central defence replacing loanee Andy Iro who has returned to Stevenage and quickly added his physical presence to the defence to form a formidable barrier.
Edgar Davids was of the view that it took Iro some two months to grasp the particular way he wants his team to play and towards the end of Iro’s spell with the Bees it was possible to detect a big improvement in his play.
Amid the muck and nettles was John Oster who as usual was his influential self and it was his fine through ball that set up Jake Hyde for the Bees winning goal.
Hyde latched onto the pass and despite the attentions of two defenders he stayed on his feet to steer a left footed shot that made its way over the line via a post.
Hyde who had replaced Crag Beattie was clearly out to show that he should be a regular starter and worked tirelessly to close down opponents.
Hyde showed determination to get his shot away and the Bees got the benefit of his attitude whereas in the closing minutes whilst the Barnet rearguard – all nine of them – stood firm, many York players seemed to think their route to a goal would best be served by looking for cheap penalties – diving in other words.
At the very end the Bees had a bit of good fortune when a last gasp effort hit the crossbar, but it was no more than this team deserved.