CUP RUNS EXHAUSTED
The team that the Bees put out showed five changes to the XI that had won at Chesterfield the week previous; the changes were made in the main due to injuries as the intention had always been to try and to keep the momentum of late going.
Ricky Holmes suffered a setback in training this week which meant that he also was unavailable.
Sam Cowler, Jon Fortune, Olly Lee, Curtis Weston and Collins John were given starts at the expense of Graham Stack, Krystian Pearce, John Oster, Egdar Davids (who was on the bench) and Jake Hyde.
The Bees rarely burst into life and in truth created few genuine goalscoring chances. On one occasion Andy Yiadom did speed past a couple of defenders and hit a shot from distance. It was a reasonable effort, but was far too high of the target to trouble the Oxford keeper.
By contrast Oxford were dominating proceedings and creating chances with uncomfortable regularity. The Bees were saved by the defenders getting in some vital and often last gasp blocks and clearances.
In the first half Alfie Potter had an opportunity when set up by James Constable but he sent his effort skywards from inside the six-yard box.
The Oxford full-backs Andy Whing and Tony Capaldi were getting good deliveries into the Barnet box with the Bees offering little going forward with possession of the ball being relinquished too easily.
Collins John did though set up Clovis Kamdjo, but the midfielder with the angle always against him, couldn’t direct his effort goalwards and as half-time loomed Sean Rigg hit post and cross bar with a tremendous effort. It would not have been an undeserved half-time lead.
The second-half was mostly a repeat of the first 45 minutes, with the visitors looking the more likely to score and it was not a surprise when in the 56th minute Constable headed the U’s into a lead. His header from close range from a corner was expertly executed; but questions need to be asked as to how he was seemingly so free to do as he pleased.
One the U’s had got their noses in front they looked in no mood to surrender their lead.
With the introduction of Davids and the teenager Iffy Allen as a joint substitution on 73 minutes the Bees briefly looked dangerous, the formation became more offensive, but it was not to last when with ten minutes of normal time remaining Constable was the provider for Rigg to this time make no mistake with a well-struck low drive in to the bottom corner.
This was really a signal that it was game over.
Post match Joint Head Coach pointed out that several players had an opportunity to press for a place in future starting line-ups; an opportunity he didn’t think was grasped. The Bees return to League action on Tuesday night and it is surely to be hoped that the injured players are available for selection.