Mark Byrne's solo stunner secures point on a tough night in Southport.
Mark Byrne’s stunning strike late in the first-half secured a point for Barnet who had to come from behind to draw 1-1 against Southport.
The Bees endured a nightmare start when Scott Brown headed Southport into an early lead before Vinny Mukendi saw his effort chalked off for offside as the hosts made an electric start to the contest.
The Bees battled hard however edging their way back into the contest before getting their reward in the dying stages of the first 45 as Byrne volleyed one of the goals of the season past Danny Hurst.
Martin Allen made one change to the side who battled past Forest Green Rovers with Ahmed Abdulla replacing Mauro Vilhete who reverted to left-back as the Bees opted for a three-man-midfield.
Late challenges from Karl Ledsham and James Harper set the tone for a feisty encounter but the Bees got off to a nightmare start as Brown headed past Graham Stack after just three minutes.
Allen’s side responded well but after six minutes they might’ve been 2-0 down when Mukendi’s header was ruled out for offside as the Sandgrounders continued to wander the danger zone unmarked.
Southport continued to march forward in the first 15 minutes with Mukendi testing the Bees’ offside trap before Stack turned a Matty Challoner effort around the post.
The next period of the match saw Barnet regain a foothold in the contest as Keanu Marsh-Brown and Jake Hyde both showed glimpse of class with Andy Yiadom bombing down the right as the home side began to lose control.
Despite edging their way back into the match the Bees had to be wary of Mukendi who spearheaded the Sandgrounders’ attack and proved to be a real threat throughout the duration of the match.
Goalscorer Brown also remained a danger and had it not been for Stack the Sangrounder would have got a second as the goalkeeper leapt to his right to turn a low effort around the post.
Barnet’s best spell of the first 45 came in the final four minutes of half as the Bees suddenly shot to life with just 240 seconds of the half remaining.
Hyde and Jon Nurse were first to combine before the latter was denied by Hurst in what would have been a fine team goal but with seconds of the half remaining it was all about one man as Byrne flicked the ball up and volleyed the ball home from 20-yards to give the Bees a big lift heading into the break.
Barnet started the half well but the home side remained the more threatening of the sides as Mukendi continued wreak havoc with Valentin Gjokaj thankfully on hand to keep the beast at bay with a superb sliding tackle.
The Southport forward was denied a goal for offside in the first-half and it was the crossbar that came to the Bees rescue in the second as Mukendi powered a header against the woodwork with 56 minutes played.
Sam Muggleton and Connor Dymond both entered the fray soon after but it was a Southport substitute who almost make the perfect introduction as Emmanuel Osawe was denied a superb solo strike by Stack who clawed the ball to safety.
The Sandgrounders piled forward as time wore on and when John O’Sullivan burst behind the Bees backline and squared Osawe it looked liked ending in a certain goal but Andy Yiadom threw himself in the path of the winger’s shot to deny the home side.
The Bees ended the match strongly with James Harper sending a thumping 35-yard strike over the crossbar via Hurst’s fingertips in added time as the match ended Southport 1 Barnet 1.