Barnet showed all the qualities of a promotion-chasing team as they scored late on to beat Southend United 1-0, capping off a perfect festive period.
After wins against rivals Boreham Wood and away against today’s opponents in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day, Barnet looked to continue their fine festive form. Dean Brennan named 3 changes to the team that won at Roots Hall on Tuesday: Ben Coker, Jerome Okimo, and Finley Potter replaced Connor Stephens, Danny Collinge, and Idris Kanu respectively.
Both sides started brightly but the first real chance fell for The Bees when Zak Brunt intercepted brilliantly and made a darting run into the Southend box but his pass to Nicke Kabamba was mistimed, however, the inform number 9 was offside, sparing Brunt’s blushes.
Minutes later, Potter made a similar run and got his effort on target but sadly for Barnet, the deadlock remained.
In what had been a quiet game thus far, the first shock came when the first sub didn’t come from either
team as one of the linesmen went down injured, causing a delay in play just after the 30-minute mark.
With the injury to the linesman, 6 minutes were awarded at the end of the first half with Barnet showing their frustrations to not be in the lead, with Dale Gorman going into the book for a late challenge.
The halftime whistle blew and despite Barnet having the better chances, the two sides went into the break level as the game remained goalless.
HT: Barnet 0-0 Southend United
The teams came out unchanged for the start of the second half as Barnet looked to make it 3 wins in a row.
Southend started the brighter of the two teams with their loyal support trying to suck the ball into the net at every attack, but Barnet held firm.
In the 54th minute, Hall Johnson had the first sniff at goal for Barnet in the second half, but his effort whistled past the goal evading everyone. However, in the 59th minute, Southend retook control when a brilliant cross forced Laurie Walker into action. His save led to a corner for The Shrimpers, but Walker was there to claim the ball from the cross.
The best chance of the game then arrived in the 64th minute when Walker put his body on the line in a 1v1 and came off the worse of the two players with his save keeping the scores level and after a short stoppage, Walker was fine to continue in the pouring rain.
As the game entered the final stages, both teams searched for a late winner with the away side coming the closer when an effort from the edge of the box flew past Walker’s far post.
But to the delight of the home fans, the deadlock was broken in the 84th minute when Cropper used his long throw to The Bees ‘advantage as it set up Adebola Oluwa to loop a header over everyone and into the far corner.
Late chances for both teams came and went as 6 minutes were added at the end of the 90. Southend tried their hardest to find an equaliser, but the referee blew for full-time to the relief of the 2000 home fans as The Bees wrapped up the perfect present and finished the festive period with all 3 points.
FT Barnet 1-0 Southend United
Starting XI: Walker, Hall Johnson (Kanu 82’), Coker, Okimo, Gorman (Maguire-Drew 61’), Kabamba, Pritchard,
Hartigan, Oluwo, Potter (Cropper 69’), Brunt.
Unused Subs: Stead, Gillmore
Goal: Oluwo 84’
Yellow: Hall-Johnson, Gorman, Hartigan, Cropper
Attendance: 4,041 (1,795 Away)