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Martin Allen: "We certainly didn’t deserve to lose"

8 October 2016

Martin Allen reflects on Barnet's gut-wrenching 3-2 loss at Doncaster Rovers...

Martin Allen was adamant Barnet did not deserve to lose at Doncaster Rovers in EFL League Two on Saturday afternoon following a "fantastic second-half performance".

The Bees went in 2-0 down at the break following goals from James Coppinger and Matty Blair.

However, Allen's side rallied after the restart and attacked Rovers from the outset, pinning the home side in their own half with a series of long Sam Muggleton throws.

And it was from Muggleton's hurls forward that the Bees dragged themselves level, Bira Dembele heading in his first of the season before Luke Gambin equalised four minutes from time.

Yet Barnet were denied a point their display richly deserved when Doncaster, second going into the game, snatched a dramatic injury-time winner through Andy Williams.

Allen certainly felt the Bees had been hard done by and, speaking afterwards, said: "It was a fantastic second-half performance. 

"We did OK in the first half and I’m not sure we actually deserved to be 2-0 down. The volley from the edge of the box was a brilliant goal. They had a lot of possession but no real attempts on our goal.

"We changed things at half time, tried to play higher up the field and pushed into them more. The breaks came, as we thought they would, but to lose it in the last minute was very disappointing after the players put in such a great effort and did so well. 

"We certainly didn’t deserve to lose the game."

Allen continued: "That’s football – these things happen. I don’t think they came anywhere near our goal in the second half, it had all been played down at their end. 

"Then young Justin Amaluzor had a great chance one-v-one against their goalkeeper. We had several other chances; hit the crossbar, had long throws and set plays. We were very dangerous but never managed to convert those chances to get ahead."

The inclusion of Muggleton on the left-hand side of midfield proved key in the turnaround and Allen praised the impact of the versatile left-sider.

"He’s not just got that (long throw), he’s also a decent player," explained the Bees head coach. "The cross he put in, the passes he played and the way he tackled; he has improved massively as a footballer. 

"The long throw, you can ask anyone, it might not be pretty to watch but it is hard to play against. 

"When you’re playing against decent teams it’s something decent to use because it upsets their rhythm – especially coming to places like this. Doncaster comfortably beat Portsmouth last week so we weren’t going to come here and try to outplay them.

"Right now it does not feel great but I’ve been in football a long time. You have to deal with it, cope with it, manage it and look after the players to help get better."


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