Jake Hyde On Target Again, But Visitors Take The Points
Barnet succumbed to their third home defeat of the season at the hands of Exeter City who are now just one place outside of the automatic promotion spots.
The visitors had established a two-goal lead midway through the second half and although the Bees narrowed that advantage late-on they were unable to draw level.
With the exception of the suspended Graham Stack, who was replaced by Sam Cowler, Head Coach Mark Robson kept faith the same starting XI as at Fleetwood Town at the weekend.
The first move of note came when a shot by Ahmed Abdulla went close after 10 minutes. However there is a case to be made for the fact that the overlapping Barry Fuller was better positioned and a pass in his direction may have borne fruit.
Exeter were looking a composed outfit and were happy to see the Bees keep possession until Barnet tried to get the ball in the danger areas when they were quick to contest ownership of the ball.
Despite the players’ best endeavours Exeter were proving a formidable barrier and Barnet had difficulties in carving out genuine goal-scoring opportunities.
Jamie Cureton broke the deadlock on 35minutes when he latched onto a flick by John O’Flynn, controlled the ball and calmly steered his shot into the corner of the goal.
Barnet started the second period with Andy Yiadom coming off the bench to take a position on the right wing and his pace and skill on the ball gave some hope that the Bees could get back into the match.
O’Flynn and Cureton were looking a good pairing upfront and they both played a crucial role in Exeter’s second on 67 minutes. A deft touch by O’Flynn got a move going which culminated with a Tom Doherty cross for Cuerton to head home from close range.
From an Exeter perspective it was a text book, picture-book goal. From a Barnet point of view it looked like knock-out blow.
Yet seconds later a Yiadom cross seemed destined to land in the net only for the woodwork to come to the visitor’s rescue. The ball struck the upright of the Exeter goal and bounced agonisingly, across the face of the goal.
Nine minutes from time Jake Hyde headed in an excellent delivery from the left on the run by Ricky Holmes which appeared to set-up a grandstand finish.
But Exeter had too much about them and were able to maintain their slender lead until the final whistle although in the final stages the ball was bundled into the Exeter net from a Mark Byrne free-kick only for the effort to be chalked off.
The Bees are at Southend United on Saturday. Post-match, Mark Robson hoped that with Collins John working hard on his fitness and with the international clearance issues being worked on the Dutch international could be involved at Roots Hall.