Barnet Football Club


Martin Allen: “We did enough to win”

Martin Allen felt Barnet did enough to win on Tuesday evening as Morecambe escaped The Hive with a point from a 2-2 draw.


John Akinde opened the scoring for the Bees in the seventh minutes but the Shrimps equalised two minutes later through Tom Barkhuizen.


Just after the half-hour mark Barnet went back in front when Akinde notched his seventh in just nine EFL League Two games this season.


That strike looked to have sealed the win for the Bees but, with ten minutes remaining, Cole Stockton stole a point with a fortuitous equaliser.


It was a point Allen did not feel the visitors’ performance warranted.


"We did enough to win," Allen said. "But after the opening 15 minutes where they were playing pinball off of our crossbar and post, I thought: ‘Oh my God.’


"As a manager or supporter it was the response and how they overcame that which impressed me.


"They got themselves back into the game and did really well. We played some good football. We were full of energy and spirit."


He continued: "It was a testing opening 15 minutes but the players responded very well.


"There is no doubt it was a difficult day out at Portsmouth on Saturday. We ran ourselves into the ground with ten men and perhaps there was a little bit of a hangover – not a literal hangover!


"Once we got into our stride we played really well. The supporters got behind the team and we dominated.


"After about 15 minutes we got on top and played very well. The second half was a superb performance.


"Morecambe did not have any opportunities, apart from that counter attack and goal against us. Overall it was a good performance from our team."


Mauro Vilhete was voted man of the match following another all-action display at right-back and Allen agreed with the sponsors’ selection.


"He was amazing," said the Bees head coach. "He was a different class and I thought he was the best player on the pitch.


"Since he has come back into the team he has trained so hard. He has come back with a different spirit; more desire.


"His girlfriend has had a lovely baby and since that baby has been born Mauro has been playing brilliantly.


"I’m hoping Mauro’s missus is going to have another baby in about nine months and we’ll see Mauro popping out performances like that like she’s popped out a baby.


"He was outstanding and he was the same at Portsmouth. He has seen that you have got to work extra hard to get into this team and he has done the work behind the scenes.


"He has got up to the fitness levels of the other players and he is playing with the self-belief that Mauro Vilhete does belong in this team."


There was acknowledgement too for the returning Sam Togwell. The midfielder was missed at Portsmouth on Saturday but returned to the starting XI against the Shrimps with a typically commanding display.


"Sam Togwell was superb," said Allen. "He’s been injured for ten days and he was not right against Colchester and he was not fit to play at Portsmouth on Saturday.


"He has not been training so we put him in tonight hoping he would get through. He was superb in the middle of the pitch. He has got a difficult problem in his groin and we will have to wait to see when he is available."