Barnet v AFC Wimbledon Match Report
Barnet were held to a 1-1 draw against AFC Wimbledon at Underhill and whilst any points are welcome the Bees after taking a lead in the 64th minute will be disappointed that they did not hold on and claim all three.
The Barnet line-up showed three changes from the side that was narrowly defeated at Cheltenham Town two weeks ago.
In came Elliot Johnson at left back replacing the injured Jordan Brown, Olly Lee came in for Clovis Kamdjo and loanee George Barker made his debut up front forcing Andy Yiadom to the substitutes’ bench.
The Bees almost made a dream start with less than a minute on the clock when Ricky Holmes forced Neil Sullivan into a good save with his shot from just inside the penalty area.
Johnson was prominent in this opening move and he continued in this vein for the whole game and put in an impressive defensive and attacking display.
Wimbledon also had a chance to take an early lead themselves when Graham Stack needed to be brave and alert to snatch the ball from the feet of the onrushing Charlie Strutton.
Jack Midson then was also denied by a sound defensive header by Krystian Pearce; the defender playing the penultimate game of his loan spell with the Bees. He will return to Notts County with Edgar Davids saying post-match that he will be a “massive loss” as he has been “a pillar” at the back for the Bees.
Before half-time Mark Byrne had a good chance to put the Bees in front when Barker broke from midfield and when the ball fell invitingly to the Irishman just inside the box Sullivan was on hand to thwart the danger.
The Bees had put in a good first-half display and could have forged a lead; but in fairness the Wombles were not far behind.
The visitors started the second period in good form and took the game to the home side.
With almost 20 minutes of the second-half gone and somewhat against the run of play the Bees took the lead. From a Byrne corner from the left Jake Hyde got in a deft header which saw the ball nestle in at the far post.
This galvanised the Bees and it really looked as if a home win was on the cards.
At around 4.30 the Bees were sitting comfortably in 21st place, but with the Wombles levelling the scores with six minutes of the match remaining the Bees finished the match as they began it.
In the 84th minute with the ball bouncing around in the Barnet box Pearce had blocked one effort only for the ball to fall kindly to Stacy Long. His shot then took a wicked deflection to completely wrong foot Stack and the visitors were on level terms.
Whilst AFC did look the most likely to go on and claim all three points in the closing minutes a draw was a fair reflection on the play overall with both sides not quite showing enough to claim a victory, but deserving of some reward nevertheless.