Match Report: Rotherham vs Barnet
The Bees made three changes to the line-up that defeated Bradford City the week before: in came Edgar Davids, Jake Hyde and Ibra Sekejja with Andy Yiadom, Taiwo Atieno and John Oster being rested/rotated.
Sekejja started on the right flank with the Bees adopting a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 formation depending on whether they were attacking or defending.
The Bees needed to be on full alert in the opening exchanges as Rotherham took the game to the visitors. The Millers were applying pressure but Graham Stack was rarely called upon to make anything other than routine saves.
The defence was performing well, winning the aerial duels and getting in important blocks and tackles
Gradually the Bees were able to bring themselves into the game with Curtis Weston sitting in front of the back four having an exceptional match. He was a destroyer and a creator and by some distance had his best game in a Barnet shirt.
On 21 minutes the Bees took the lead when a through ball from Mark Byrne was picked up by Hyde and with Andy Warrington rushing forward the Barnet top scorer lobbed the ball in to the net.
Sekejja then delivered a tempting cross into the middle after good individual play down the right as the Bees sought to extend their lead.
Andy Iro then had a headed effort from a Hyde cross that was cleared on the line, but the centre-back was then stretchered off after a delay that caused there to be six minutes of play added on at the end of the half.
(Iro was taken to hospital as a precaution but after an examination of the neck and spine he was released in time to travel back south with the team. He will speak to physio Stuart Ayles on Sunday to see if there has been a reaction overnight, but the outcome appears to be much less serious than at first feared).
Just before half-time the Millers were roused and Stack had to be on top form to keep out headed efforts from Ian Sharps, but the Bees finished the half in good shape and looking very able on the break.
The Bees were a very confident outfit at the start of the second half and were bossing the game with an effort from Holmes from distance that swerved considerably in flight, almost doubling their advantage.
Davids left the fray on 68 minutes with the New York crowd giving him generous applause, which he duly acknowledged. A very sporting moment.
Byrne went close with a well rehearsed training ground manoeuvre but moments later, in the 82nd minute Yiadom, operating in central midfield as Davids’ replacement, was picked out by Ricky Holmes who had produced a bit of magic down the left for the substitute to assuredly pass the ball into the net. The points could now be added to the tally.
Several players put in exceptional performances and this was possible because every other member of the team was performing at a high level also.
Rotherham had their moments it is true, but that is hardly surprising since they were 3rd in the table and at home, but this was unquestionably a deserved victory that the most sporting home crowd acknowledged at the final whistle. And 193 Bees were there to see it.
The Bees host Fleetwood Town at Underhill next Saturday.