Manager pleased with second half comeback against Dover.Martin Allen was delighted with the character that his players showed on Sunday, as Barnet fought back from two goals down at half time to draw against in-form Dover Athletic at The Hive.
Speaking after the game, the manager admitted that he was pleased to take a point from a game which looked all but lost after twenty minutes when the Bees found themselves behind to goals from Tom Murphy and Stefan Payne:
“It was a very good second half. I didn’t think that we played too badly during the first half but they punished us.
“They are on a fantastic run of form and you could see why. They have got some good players, they are very well organised and they won away at Cheltenham recently in the FA Cup so we always knew that it was going to be a hard game.
“It was good for the supporters to see the team come back from two down and I thought that it was a terrific effort from the players.”
Despite a marked turnaround in his side’s fortunes after the break, Martin revealed that he said very little during the interval as Barnet pulled a goal back less than a minute after the restart:
“In the second half I thought that we were absolutely superb and I am very pleased and very proud of all of them for the way that they have battled back having been a bit shell shocked at half time.
“We had to try something different because we were not making any headway. Their back five were dominating and we just could not get through it. All the crosses going into the box – and there were numerous – they just cleared everything.
“We didn’t panic at half time, we kept it all nice and calm and the players went out in the second half and played much better. We changed the formation again and changed our way of playing and we played with more intensity and wore them down.
“We got through, we got a good point and it is a really pleasing result.”
Barnet would go on to equalise with a quarter of an hour remaining following an excellent cross from substitute Keanu Marsh-Brown for John Akinde to tap home, and Martin admitted that it was good to welcome the winger back for his first league appearance since October:
“Keanu has been knocking on the door now for a good few weeks and he has showed a good attitude. He has wanted to come back and be involved but it has not been easy to get him in. He has respected me and his team mates and after the game, in the dressing room, all the players were shaking hands with him.
“We all know that is what he can do. He can come on and create chances and score goals. I always said I would be a bad manager if I could not negotiate and work through and see through some tricky relationship issues and I am delighted I have worked at it that way, not fallen out with him at all, looked after him, helped him, supported him and tried to guide him.
“I think after that this afternoon, our supporters, who have probably been a bit sceptical about him, would say that they would also prefer him to be on our side, with us, and it is also kind of like having a new signing.”