Barnet Football Club



MATCH REPORT: Bristol Rovers 3 – 1 Barnet

Barnet can have few qualms about the fact that Bristol Rovers were deserving of the three points on offer, but the Bees certainly had a number of golden opportunities that had they been taken a score-draw could well have been the outcome.

The home side was on the front foot from the first whistle.

From a well-worked corner routine Lee Brown was able to hit a 35-yard daisy cutter than found the corner of the net with less than two minutes on the clock.

Aaron McLean was paired with John Akinde for the first time and the strike partnership looked to have borne early fruit when a flick-on from the new signing to the Barnet top-scorer was seemingly handled in the box.

The home crowd was silenced for a second whilst the referee deliberated, but no spot-kick was awarded, to the relief of the majority of those at the Memorial Stadium; the kind of decision that rarely goes in the away side’s favour.

Barnet were making a good response to going behind and when a delivery from Luke Gambin on the left was fumbled by the Rovers keeper both McLean and Akinde were inches away from a leveller.

In the first-half Bondz N’Gala came close with a header from a corner and Akinde had another effort well saved but the home side went into the break with a deserved advantage.

In the opening exchanges of the second-half the Bees took the game to the hosts but this was a rally that was not to last as Rovers gradually won back control of the fixture.

Chris Lines was an influential figure in central midfield for Rovers keeping the ball moving fluently forward.

In the second-half Barnet consistently kept three men high up the pitch in an attempt to force their way back into the game.

By virtue of working hard and not conceding a further goal it was certain that an opportunity to level the scores would arrive for the Bees.

And with 15 minutes remaining Bira Dembele had a chance to equalise from close range but he didn’t make good contact and the ball spun harmlessly away from the target.

Moments later, with 77 minutes having been played Rovers extended their lead when Jermaine Easter pounced from eight-yards, yet remarkably Curtis Weston looked to have put the Bees back in with a chance on 85 minutes with a neatly taken finish following a deflected Gambin effort.

This hope was soon extinguished when almost from the restart Matt Taylor re-established Rovers’ two-goal advantage to ensure that this would be Rovers’ third three consecutive victory.

It is difficult to argue with the outcome, yet the Bees did have their moments, not least the first-half penalty appeal, but few in number are those that would deny that the team that won promotion into The Football League via the Play-Offs warranted the spoils.

David Bloomfield

BARNET: Stack, Hoyte (Muggleton – 74’), Dembélé, N’Gala, Johnson, Vilhete (Batt – 61′), Weston, Togwell, Gambin, Akinde, McLean (Gash – 45’) Unused subs: Nelson, Tomlinson, Champion, Stephens.