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Youth Team slip to first Merit League defeat

23 February 2015

U18s fall to 3-1 defeat away at Plymouth.

The Barnet FC Youth Team saw their winning start to the Merit League come to an end on Friday, going down 3-1 to Plymouth Argyle.

After a slow start, it was the Bees who took the lead following a slick move that was started with an incisive pass by Wesley Fonguck allowing Shane Cojocarel to cut the ball back for Nana Kyei to calmly control and fire across the goalkeeper for his 19th goal of the season.

Barnet should have doubled their lead shortly afterwards after the Plymouth goalkeeper could only parry a low drive from Mathew Stevens, but as Cojocarel closed in on the rebound an extra touch allowed the goalkeeper to recover and clear.

Plymouth finished the half strongly however, and nearly equalised through one of a series of counter attacks when their striker hit the post with a first-time shot following some good combination play.

The second half started in bright fashion with Barnet coming out of the blocks quickly, pinning Plymouth back with the sort of attacking play that has brought them so much success this season.

However, the Bees were punished for their profligacy in front of goal after they lost possession at the back, allowing the Plymouth winger to whip in a cross which was finished from four yards out to make it 1-1.

Barnet nearly retook the lead immediately after Hakeem Odofin cut the ball back across goal for Jack Taylor, but the substitute saw his shot fantastically saved by the goalkeeper who made himself as big as possible. Cojocarel was the next to go close, shooting over after going through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Once again, the Bees were punished for missed opportunities as Plymouth took the lead through a penalty after centre-half Joe Gater was adjudged to have fouled the centre forward in a challenge in the box and was sent off after receiving a second yellow. 

Plymouth then killed the game off with eight minutes remaining after their striker showed superb control to take down a long throw into the box, spin his marker and unleash an unstoppable shot into the far corner to make it 3-1.

The home side were also reduced to ten men during the closing stages after their defender saw red for clashing with Mathew Stevens, but it was not enough for Barnet who slipped to their first defeat of the new campaign.

Following the game, Lead Professional Development Phase Coach Rossi Eames was philosophical, stating:

“It wasn’t a good performance in terms of our standards in and out of possession. Our transition was not at the correct tempo and our balance when playing forward was not secure. We can look back at the game and say that if we had taken our chances in front of goal it would be a different story, however we have standards and expectations which were not met today.

“We must now learn from our mistakes but assess our overall preparation and performance over the past two days. This is a fantastic group of players who want to learn and I’m sure on Monday they will come in with a positive mindset and work on their areas of development both individually and collectively”.

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