Nicke Kabamba Hat-Trick as Barnet Bounce Back at The Hive with 3-2 Win Over Ebbsfleet
The Bees started the game well, with their first chance of the game coming in the fourth minute. A good bit of hold-up play from Nicke Kabamba led to a saved Pritchard shot by the opposition keeper, Mark Cousins.
Both sides then had a chance for a breather early in the game, when Ebbsfleet’s Jack Wakely was stretchered off with an injury.
The 15th minute saw Ben Coker create the best chance of the game so far, with a well-worked cross across the box finding Ben Wynter at the far post. He then flashed another ball across the face of the goal, but again, no one was on the end of it.
Five minutes later, the home side went 1-0 down following a Dominic Poleon shot buried in the bottom left corner.
Frustration started to show amongst the Barnet players almost immediately, with Ben Coker receiving a booking after bringing an Ebbsfleet player down to stop a counter. Fortunately, Josh Wright’s floated free-kick found no one in the Barnet penalty area.
A brilliant through ball from Zak Brunt reached Nicke Kabamba behind the opposition’s defence, but the target man didn’t have the pace to get through one-on-one.
Three corners then followed, with an out-swinging cross from Dale Gorman pleading to be tapped into the net, but the score remained 1-0.
In the 34th minute, yet another pass was put across the face of the goal with no success, this time from Wynter from the right.
Barnet kept the pressure on, with Kabamba narrowly put a shot wide. Praise was audible from the manager, with Dean Brennan repeatedly shouting ‘great run’ to his number nine.
During a throw-in for Ebbsfleet, Kabamba could be heard telling his midfielders to watch the short throw followed by a switch in play. Coincidentally, the throw on the left side of the pitch was played short and switched to the left wing, leading to a good chance for the away side.
Barnet kept getting closer and closer, with the chances accumulating as half-time approached.
The equaliser eventually came from the deserving Nicke Kabamba, finally getting on the end of a low cross from Ben Wynter. The side went into the break level at 1-1.
HT: Barnet FC 1-1 Ebbsfleet United
Barnet started the second half strongly, with a fingertip save tipping a long-range effort from Anthony Hartigan onto the crossbar and out for a corner.
Nicke Kabamba then marked his brace with a second goal in the 61st minute, with a left-footed cross from Zak Brunt again finding the striker at the back post, who fired it home.
Two minutes later and the score could’ve been 3-1. A surging run from Danny Collinge down the right resulted in a pass to Zak Brunt on the penalty spot, but the Sheffield United loanee mis-hit the shot over the crossbar.
Against the run of play, Ebbsfleet scored a 69th-minute goal after a scramble in the box to bring the score level.
Finley Potter then came on for Ade Oluwo, slotting into right centre-back with Okimo playing in the middle.
With 79 minutes played, Kabamba completed his hat-trick, flicking on a floated cross by Zak Brunt to put the home side up again.
Brennan then made two more substitutions with just over 10 minutes to play. Reece Hall-Johnson came on for Ben Wynter, and Courtney Senior on for Dale Gorman.
A counter-attack nearly saw Kabamba’s fourth goal, closely missing a tap-in at the back post from a Courtney Senior cross.
As the game ended, Ebbsfleet tried their best to scrape a draw. Luckily for Brennan’s side though, it was too little too late, with the final whistle closing the game at 3-2 to Barnet.
FT: Barnet FC 3-2 Ebbsfleet United
Barnet Starting XI: Walker, Coker, Collinge, Okimo, Gorman (81′ Senior), Kabamba, Pritchard, Hartigan, Wynter (81′ Hall-Johnson), Oluwo (73′ Potter), Brunt
Unused Substitutes: Armstrong, Barratt
Goals: Kabamba 45+8′, 62′, 80′
Yellow Cards: Coker, Hartigan
Attendance: 1,888 (Away: 285)