Kevin Nugent suffers his first defeat as Barnet First Team Coach...
Luke Berry's second-half goal condemned Barnet to a 1-0 defeat against Cambridge United which the Bees' first-half display had not merited.
However, as good as Kevin Nugent's side were in the first 45 minutes they struggled to maintain those levels after the break and Berry's goal, coolly taken on the counter attack, ensured the Bees were beaten.
The Barnet teamsheet read just one change from last weekend's 1-1 draw against Portsmouth with Josh Vickers missing out due to injury.
Harry Burgoyne, signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday, took his place between the sticks. Otherwise the Bees team was unchanged.
Barnet were the only side that looked like scoring in a first half which saw Cambridge United fail to muster an effort on Burgoyne’s goal.¬¬¬¬
The Bees thought they had taken the lead after just 11 minutes when Ruben Bover curled a free-kick past a sea of bodies into the far corner from the right-hand touchline.
However, assistant referee Lisa Rashid saw an infringement in the middle and ruled the goal out.
Burgoyne very nearly claimed an assist shortly after. A long clearance forward found John Akinde and the forward flicked a header just wide of the far post.
In the 15th minute Michael Nelson’s routine clearance caught out U’s keeper Will Norris who sliced his clearance up in the air. However, a covering Cambridge defender tidied up under pressure from the lurking Akinde.
Curtis Weston, again deployed on the left of midfield, picked out the run of Akinde a few minutes later with a sumptuous ball but the striker’s progress was halted unlawfully by U’s skipper Leon Legge.
The centre-back was booked for his troubles but Barnet could not take full advantage from the resulting free-kick.
Akinde had another good chance just before the half-hour mark, meeting Elliott Johnson’s raking cross to the back post but nodding over.
The Bees’ number nine then turned provider, laying off for Weston to lash just over the crossbar on the run.
Tom Champion and Mauro Vilhete both had effort blocked before the half ended with Barnet on top.
Conditions deteriorated in the second half with wind and rain swirling into The Hive London and ensuring the game could not flow.
However, it was the U's who fared better and took the lead on the counter in the 65th minute.
When Barnet lost possession in the visitors' half they broke at pace with Berry side-footing home a cross from the left to cap a sweeping move.
The Bees huffed and puffed from there but struggled to work Cambridge keeper Norris.
With 15 minutes to go Weston directed a low cross in from the right-hand side which Charlie Clough stooped to nod towards goal but his effort was blocked for a corner.
Clough went closer still at the death, meeting a hooked ball in from the left and trying his luck with a half volley which Norris blocked well with his feet.
Six minutes of added time came and went but substitute Jamal Campbell-Ryce's volley was the best Barnet had to show for their efforts.
The Bees will get the chance to put things right at Blackpool on Tuesday evening (7.45pm kick off).
Barnet: Burgoyne; Clough, Nelson (C), Santos, Johnson; Vilhete, Champion, Bover (Campbell-Ryce 71), Weston; Akinola (Amaluzor 81); Akinde.
Subs: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Dembele, H. Taylor, Coulson, Sweeney.
Cambridge United: Norris; Taylor, Roberts, Legge (C), Carroll; O'Neil, Lewis (Dunne 45); Mingoia (Maris 90), Berry, Dunk (Elito 74); McDonagh.
Subs: Gregory (GK), Corr, Wharton, Davies.
Referee: Charles Breakspear.