Goals from Wesley Fonguck, Chinua Cole and Justin Nwogu helped Barnet’s reserve team to a 3-1 victory over Reading this afternoon.
The Royals took the lead in the first half, but the Bees rallied to seal the win with an improved performance in the second period.
Speaking after the match, Development Coach Ross Eames said:
“We started a little differently this week with Fumnaya Shomotun as a false nine.
“We wanted to play between the lines, emptying and filling space to full effect.
“The aim was for the wide men to receive the ball beyond, by linking with Randall and Shomotun.
“There wasn’t any real fluency or purpose in the first 20 minutes and the units weren’t really linking.
“So we moved Tomlinson into the centre-forward position and Shomotun out to the right – to play narrow, for Yiadom to make the overlapping movement out wide.
“I felt that in the first half we could have been more intelligent and sharper with our movement – in and out of possession.
“We also could have pressed with more purpose and intensity in the transition phase.
"The environment today made it difficult to play, however I felt we defended in and around our box well; looking to steal, block and step in.
“However it was the 2nd phase after we won possession that concerned me.
“Reading are an excellent academy and their movement and quality on the ball is good.
“So we had to be on the front foot, ready to capitalise on any mistakes.
“Some of the Under 21’s are only 18 years old – they’re still learning and developing.
“They have to learn to deal with playing in conditions like this, because it can often be a challenge at The Hive on a Saturday afternoon.
“In the second half we tried to pin Reading in, like they did to us in the early stages of the game.
“Once we had consolidated then we tried to punish them.
“We said to the players at half time that the pressure off the ball had to be tighter.
“We had to win tackles – not just get close – win our headers, and not to give the ball away cheaply.
“In order to come from behind and go into a 3-1 lead we had to take more risks and start pressing man-for-man from goal kicks.
“We left our centre-backs in a two vs two situation, and both centre backs dealt with their two centre forwards well.
“Wesley Fonguck came up with a fantastic strike just inside the edge of the box, as did Justin Nwogu.
“Chinua Cole also added to the score sheet with a goal that was unfortunate for Reading – but his performance deserved the goal.
“Possession in the 2nd half was better in terms of movement and intelligence.
“We also showed our ability to be direct when playing forwards.
“When it came to seeing the game out in the final ten minutes at 3-1, both the players and I had learnt from the recent game against Southend.
“We learnt the process, how to do it and what it takes.
“So once we were in front we told Wesley Fonguck and Charlie Kennedy to play behind the ball more as a midfield two, and not to advance – to screen the back four, and give them as much protection as possible.
"The way we saw the game out was a real positive.
"So was the way that we coped when the weather conditions were against us.
“Defensively as a unit we were more compact, and the intelligence we showed once we had regained the ball showed a huge improvement.
“This is a work in progress; we have to remember that these players are 18 years old and Barnet was not built in a day – but they’re moving in the right direction.
“The recent loan moves have been very beneficial to the players, and they’re developing into young adults as they play more senior football.”
BARNET: McKenzie-Lyle; Yiadom, Trialist, Day, Cole; Kennedy, Fonguck, Randall (Nwogu), Muggleton, Tomlinson (Gondoh); Shomotun (Stevens).