Barnet v Aldershot Match Report
Barnet lost by a 1-0 scoreline at Underhill against Aldershot Town in front of a good Bank Holiday crowd in a game that leaves the Bees firmly in the midst of a relegation dog-fight.
The Bees remain outside of the bottom two, but have played two more matches than those in the drop zone, although Barnet have a point more and currently enjoy a better goal difference.
The line-up featured three changes from the side that had won a hard-fought point at Exeter just days before: an injured Edgar Davids was replaced by Curtis Weston, Jon Nurse started upfront with Jake Hyde at the expense of midfielder Mark Byrne and Jordan Brown replaced Elliot Johnson at left-back.
The visitors started the brighter and forced the early play with a crucial block by Andy Iro denying an opportunity for the Shots.
The Bees replied when an astute pass from John Oster found Nurse on the edge of the box. The striker got his shot away but his effort did not overly trouble the Aldershot keeper.
David Stephens also had to be alert in central defence and he was constantly employed making many a defensive header.
Ricky Holmes was seeing a lot of the ball and a fine cross from the left was almost turned into the net by Hyde, although Craig Reid for the visitors prompted Graham Stack to make a fine save with half-time approaching.
The first-half was relatively short of talking points; the second period would be a contrast.
Three minutes into the half a dubious penalty was awarded to the visitors. Rumour has it that Stephens’ hand and the ball were in contact with each other, but there seemed a distinct lack of intent by the defender.
Reid’s spot kick was well taken and found the back of the net despite Stack’s valiant efforts.
Minutes later matters worsened when Nurse was sent off for reckless play as he lunged in on Dani Lopez; the midfielder soon being able to resume.
With ten men the task was an uphill one but the Bees with a 3-3-3 formation set about drawing level and had some success in pushing the visitors back deep into their own half and on 64 minutes it looked as if the objective had been achieved.
Holmes, this time from the right, delivered a cross that Hyde expertly steered into the net. After some consultation with his assistant, referee Berry seemingly over-ruling his original decision, made a judgement in favour of Aldershot.
With fate conspiring against the Bees and two vital decisions going against them from this moment on it was apparent that the number of matches played of late – as well as playing most of the second-half of this one a man light – was beginning to take its toll.
The best opportunity to level the scores came when a deflected effort from substitute Byrne looked destined to beat the Aldershot keeper, but the ball flew marginally wide of the intended target.
The Bees left the pitch to good applause from the Main Stand; recognition of the effort if not the outcome.
The Bees are at home to Bradford City on Saturday; kick-off being 3 o’clock.