CLINICAL BEES KO BANTAMS
The Bees made three changes to the line-up that lost in midweek to Aldershot Town: in came Elliot Johnson, Mark Byrne and Taiwo Atieno replacing Jordan Brown, Jon Nurse and Jake Hyde.
Bradford started the match in confident mood and were dominating possession and were immediately creating opportunities.
However their wastefulness infront of goal also started at the same time and this then continued throughout the match.
Barnet’s best outlet always seemed to get the ball out to Ricky Holmes, who looked capable of beating his man at will.
The giant centre-forward James Hanson and his side-kick, the diminutive Nahki Wells were a good combination up front for the visitors with the Barnet defence needing to be on constant alert.
The Barnet defence did a sterling job in keeping this strike force quite, but this is a difficult to accomplish for 90 minutes although when they did manage a breakthrough their finishing was wayward and Graham Stack had a relatively quiet afternoon.
On 41 minutes Barnet were not so wasteful and after Johnson delivered a trademark teasing delivery into the nearpost Atieno was on hand to steer the ball goalwards. This was a well crafted goal.
Early in the second half Hanson and Wells combined again, but once more Stack was untroubled.
Failure to hit the target would quickly rebound on the Bantams as in the next foray forward the Bees would extend their lead.
In the 48th minute, on the edge of the box, Holmes bided his time until John Oster was in a good position and his slide-rule precise pass into his path gave the midfielder every chance to score, with the ex-Premier League midfielder then duly passing the ball into the net.
With the Bantams in shock the Bees threatened to go on the rampage and both Holmes with a drive and Atieno with a header nearly extended the Bees’ advantage even further.
Hanson, Wells and substitute Alan Connell then had half chances that they again spurned and Barnet were able to maintain their two goal cushion which got more comfortable as the clock ticked down.
On occasions Barnet’s play hit quite high heights and this was a deserved victory based on clinical finishing and stout defending; attributes which only the home side displayed.
The referee Mark Heywood could have given half a dozen penalties had he chosen to as the ball ricocheted around the penalty box but his verdict was that each incident lacked deliberation; a refreshing change.
Post-match Head Coach Edgar Davids revealed that George Barker’s loan deal would not be extended.
The Bees are at Rotherham United next Saturday.