3 QUICK 2ND-HALF GOALS COST BEES
Barnet are still in search of their first win of the season after a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Bradford City at Valley Parade; all the goals coming early in the second-half.
Yet the first-half performance in which the Bees matched anything the Bantams had to offer looked to have given the platform to go on and get something out of the game.
Head Coach made three changes to the team that had faced Gillingham last week, in came new loanee signing Krystian Pearce at centre-back, John Oster started in midfield and Jamal Lowe was given his first start for the club. Jack Saville was on the substitute’s bench; with Mark Byrne and Andy Yiadom unavailable because of injury.
The Bees adopted a 4-1-4-1 formation with Clovis Kamdjo stationed just in front of the back four with Ricky Holmes and Lowe having license to get forward from midfield and link up with Jon Nurse.
Barnet were given a let-off in the opening minutes when Oster’s back pass was intercepted by Alan Connell but Graham Stack was equal to the task and the ball was eventually cleared.
As the half progressed the Bees grew in confidence and looked a solid and cohesive unit, capable to defending and taking the game to their opponents.
Ricky Holmes was becoming a danger down the left-flank and won a number of corners by taking the ball at defenders.
Lowe, operating down the right was having a steady game; he was getting back to help Barry Fuller and also contributing as an attacking force.
Just before half-time a looping header from Jon Nurse looked destined to give the Bees a lead that they possibly deserved but keeper Jon McLaughlin clawed the ball to safety.
The Bees in the second-half were not the recognisable from what had gone before and by conceding three goals in such a short period of time gave themselves little chance of getting themselves back in the game.
In the 47th Luke Oliver was allowed to head the ball back into the danger area from a Gary Jones free-kick where James Hanson had the easy task to head home from close range.
In the 55th minute Kyel Reid was able to advance down Barnet’s right and his cross fell to the feet of Connell who was able to poke the ball home.
The game was then conclusively put beyond Barnet’s reach two minutes later when a free-kick was Jones was perfectly flighted into the path of Andrew Davies who was able to head the Bantams into an unassailable lead from inside the 6 yard box.
The home side had now done enough to ensure that the three points on offer were theirs and that they would clock up their third consecutive home victory.
As the game drew to its inevitable conclusion it became increasingly hard not to think of the first-half display that had promised so much.
In truth the Bees were simply unable to keep up this level of performance and Bradford started the second period in electrifying form and quickly surged into a lead.
If we are looking for positives then Lowe had a full debut that indicated that he can handle the physical demands of first-team football and the centre-back pairing of David Stephens and Pearce, once it is bedded in looks as if it will be able to repel most of what comes their way. And John Oster continued to look comfortable on the ball and able to dictate much of the play although of course he is also on the road to true match fitness.
The Bees are at Aldershot on Tuesday evening.