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Report: Barnet 1-2 Stevenage

17 December 2016

Barnet see unbeaten run ended by local rivals...

A battling second-half display was not enough to prevent Barnet's eight-match unbeaten run in EFL League Two coming to an end with a 2-1 loss to Stevenage at The Hive.

Dale Gorman put Stevenage ahead in the 38th minute with a precise finish. But the Bees levelled two minutes into the second period when John Akinde won and dispatched a penalty.

But the visitors extended their fine away run when Luke Wilkinson bagged the winner in the 61st minute.

The Barnet teamsheet read one change from last weekend's 1-0 win at Yeovil Town with Tom Champion replaced by Ryan Watson due to injury.

On the bench there was a place for Wesley Fonguck, his first involvement in the matchday squad for a league match since the final day of last season.

In a half of few chances it was Stevenage who edged proceedings at a foggy Hive.

However, it was Barnet who had the game’s first chance when Akinde was brought down on the edge of the penalty area.

Elliott Johnson stepped up to take the resulting free-kick, winning a corner with a powerful drive which was deflected to safety.

Matt Godden, Stevenage’s top scorer, had the visitors' first real chance in the 13th minute when he dragged wide of Jamie Stephens’ far post.

After half an hour former Boro defender Bira Dembele came flying through a sea of bodies to meet a corner from the right but headed wide for the Bees.

In the 38th minute Stevenage went in front. The ball broke to Gorman on the edge of the penalty area. He opened up his body and curled beyond Stephens into the far corner.

Barnet had one last sniff at goal before the break when Akinde fed Weston but, just as the Bees’ number eight went to shoot, Stevenage snuffed out the chance.

Eames and Newman made two half-time changes, replacing Watson and Ephron Mason-Clark with Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Alex Nicholls.

The Bees went for the throat from the outset and levelled two minutes into the second half.

Stevenage defender Fraser Franks brought down Akinde and the Bees' top scorer equalised from the spot.

That was the way it stayed until the 61st minute when Stevenage nudged back in front. 

A free-kick from deep was nodded out the edge where Wilkinson lashed into the bottom corner with a first-time strike.

With 15 minutes to go the Bees thought they had another penalty when Akinde was felled inside the box. However, he got up and cut the ball back for Akpa Akpro whose low shot was blocked by a sea of bodies.

It remained a tight contest from there, though Stevenage thought they had a third with five minutes remaining only for Stephens to tip a Michael Tonge free-kick wide.

As the minutes ticked by Barnet piled on more pressure. With a minute of regulation time remaining it looked as though the Bees had equalised for a second time, but Dembele saw his header cleared off the line.

Deep into injury time Alex Nicholls crossed from the right but Weston and Akpa Akpro collided with a combined header bouncing into Jamie Jones' palms.

The whistle below soon after, ending Barnet's eight-match unbeaten run in EFL League Two.

The Bees return to action at Cheltenham Town on Boxing Day.

Barnet: Stephens; J. Taylor, Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete, Weston, Watson (Akpa Akpro HT), Gambin (Kyei 79); Mason-Clark (Nicholls HT), Akinde.

Subs: Vickers (GK), Sesay, Muggleton, Fonguck.

Stevenage: Jones; Henry (c), Wilkinson, Franks, Ntlhe; Gorman (McAnuff 83), King, Schumacher (Tonge 69), Pett; Godden (Lee 88) Liburd.

Subs: Day (GK), McKirdy, Cowans, Kerr. 

Referee: Lee Swabey.

Attendance: 3,228 (547 Stevenage fans).


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