Mathew Stevens' hat-trick not enough to stop a young Barnet side falling to defeat.
A hat-trick from Mathew Stevens couldn’t stop Barnet’s Development Team falling to a 4-3 defeat against Northwood, in a pulsating encounter at Chestnut Avenue.
Stevens opened the scoring after 15 minutes; prodding a through ball from Brazilian trialist Samuel past David Moran in the Northwood goal.
Barnet appeared in complete control of the match, but soon found themselves 2-1 down; strikes from Louis Stead and Omar Vassell giving Northwood the advantage on 20 and 21 minutes respectively.
In an enthralling first half Northwood were pegged back immediately.
Stevens latched onto an incisive pass from Fumnaya Shomotun, finishing at the second attempt after an initial save by Moran.
Barnet continued to attack with vigour in the second half, but were soon two goals down thanks to some hesitant defending.
Trialist keeper Chris Haigh was less than assured when dealing with a Northwood corner on 51 minutes, and The Woods took full advantage when Jon Munday bundled the ball into the net.
With an hour on the clock Barnet again failed to clear their lines, allowing Bailey Brown to net Northwood’s fourth of the night.
The Bees continued to attack, and began to dominate possession in the closing stages of the match.
Mat Stevens completed his hat-trick after 86 minutes; planting a perfectly placed header past the keeper, after a pinpoint Ryan Gondoh cross.
Barnet pushed for an equaliser in the final few minutes, but couldn’t find a way through the Northwood defence.
Despite the result the Bees’ youngsters will take a lot of positives from their performance, as they continue to prepare for the season ahead.
Speaking after the game Development Squad coach Ross Eames was full of praise for his Barnet side:
“I’m not too fussed about the result at all; I thought that the performance, especially on the ball, was fantastic.
“In the last 25 minutes we played some really good stuff.
“It was really effective, with quick tempo and quick passing, I thought it was excellent.
“We’ve got to do better at set-pieces, but that’s part of their development.
“That is what they’re here for; to play these games again senior sides and players with a lot of experience in the game already.
“They’re still young and they’re only going to get better, so I’m really pleased with the performance.”
“The service to Mat Stevens is one positive, and when he’s in the box he’s deadly.
“If the ball drops in the box he’s going to be there.
“But the whole team were brilliant tonight.”
Barnet: Chris Haigh(T); Harry Taylor, Joe Gater, Charlie Kennedy, Tamille Roache; Fumnaya Shomotun, Wesley Fonguck, Shane Cojocarel, Samuel (T); Mathew Stevens, Ryan Gondoh.
Subs: Tyler D’Cruz (GK), Justin Nwogu, Tom Day, Harry Gerrard, Paris Mason.