Barnet were beaten 2-0 at Spotland on Saturday afternoon and the scoreline fairly reflects the balance of
play. The Bees sadly rarely troubled the home goal and spent the lion’s share of the game on the
defensive, although it must be said that debutant Graham Stack was rarely troubled in the Bees goal
but the play was certainly in front of him rather than being at the other end of the pitch.
Head Coach Mark Robson made three changes with Stack replacing the injured Liam O’Brien, Olly
Lee replaced Anthony Edgar who moved to the bench and Jake Hyde took the place of the injured
Hyde played up front as the lone striker, although the plan was for Ricky Holmes and Andy Yiadom to
join him whenever possible from their wide positions.
The Bees were fortunate not to be a goal down as early as the second minute when a glancing
header from Ashley Grimes grazed a post before the danger was cleared.
Both sides then settled down and the contest was relatively even until Dale took the lead in the 16 th
minute. A poorly struck free-kick somehow managed via a deflection or two to land at the feet of
Grimes who made no mistake from close range.
Rochdale were able to extend their lead in the 33rd minute when the Dale full-back Matt Pearson
made a forceful run down the right before centering the ball where the figure of Dele Adebola was
able to turn the ball goalwards.
The Bees had now got themselves into a position where it would be a long way back to get on level
terms in this match and a cross-shot from Yiadom that hit the cross-bar with half-time approaching
was a rare foray forward.
Barnet produced a better performance in the second-half and did create an opportunity or two but
never really rattled the home side’s growing confidence that the three points were theirs.
Mid way through the half Adebola produced a mazy run that bellied his bulk and took him well
inside the penalty area before Stack saved his low effort.
Curtis Weston then had a reasonable effort on target and a header from Hyde had looked destined
to sneak in at the near post; either of which had they gone in may have been the catalyst for a
comeback. But as the clock ticked down frankly the Bees did look less and less likely to make that
Post match Mark Robson spoke of the opportunity that had been given to many of his young squad
to make a career in professional football and he urged them to take this opportunity and naturally
he was hoping for a much improved performance against Gillingham next week at Underhill. He also
indicated that Jon Nurse would likely be available next week.