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Match Reports

Report: Barnet 0-2 Mansfield Town

4 February 2017

Barnet lose ground on EFL League Two play-off places with Mansfield Town 2-0 winners at The Hive London...

A goal in each half saw Barnet go down 2-0 at home to Mansfield Town in a tetchy game punctuated consistently by referee's whistle.

The Bees came closest to reducing the arrears when debutant Ruben Bover gave a glimpse of what he could do, crashing a free-kick off the crossbar.

But in the end goals in either half from Ben Whiteman and Shaq Coulthirst, from the penalty spot, won it for Steve Evans' men.

Rossi Eames and Henry Newman made two changes from the side which battled back to earn a point at Carlisle United on Saturday.

Curtis Weston returned from injury and Nana Kyei was reinstated on the left-hand side of midfield with Luke Coulson and Simeon Akinola (suspension) making way.

In a niggly first half, dominated referee Lee Collins, it took until the 17th minute for either side to get a proper sight of goal.

When the moment arrived the chance was spawned from fine build-up play which saw Charlie Clough and Campbell-Ryce combine to release Weston into the box with a backheel. Tom Champion took over and found John Akinde with a low cross but he could not spin inside the box.

Whiteman came agonisingly close to putting Mansfield ahead in the 22nd minute, drifting into the box and hitting the inside of the post. Bees keeper Josh Vickers got up smartly the block the rebound, injuring himself in the process.

Substitute Bees keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle was quickly readied to come on but Vickers made a full recovery and continued between the sticks. 

By now tempers were fraying in the two technical areas and the game was becoming increasingly disjointed.

And, nine minutes before half time, Mansfield opened the scoring against the run of play. 

Shaq Coulthirst laid the ball off the edge of the box and Whitman fired home first time through a crowd of bodies.

The Bees had their best chance just after the half-hour mark when Vilhete cut back for Campbell-Ryce. But his low shot was blocked by Stags stopper Jake Kean from inside the six-yard box.

Barnet huffed and puffed for the rest of the half but were unable to build the momentum required to break down the stubborn visitors.

There were two half-time changes for the Bees with Ruben Bover on for his debut and Ephron Mason-Clark also introduced. Champion and Campbell-Ryce gave way.

Those changes lifted the Bees but they could not find a way through Mansfield's solid rearguard.

Just before the hour mark the visitors doubled up when Ricardo Santos brought down former Peterborough United teammate Coulthirst on the right-hand side of the box. 

The former Tottenham Hotspur youngster took the spot kick himself and stroked down the middle to make it 2-0.

Having been shackled well by the Mansfield back four Akinde almost wriggled free midway through the second half. Having made enough room to shoot he found Rhys Bennett in his way, blocking with a fine sliding challenge.

The Bees came closest in the 75th minute when Bover whipped a free-kick against the apex of post and bar from 25 yards leaving Kean with no chance.

With eight minutes remaining it became apparent it was not Barnet's day. Substitute Coulson escaped down the right, drew Kean and cut back for Kyei to fire over the empty net.

Next up for the Bees is a trip to play-off rivals Colchester United next weekend.

Barnet: Vickers; Clough, Nelson (C), Santos (Coulson 71), Johnson; Vilhete, Weston, Champion (Bover HT), Kyei; Campbell-Ryce (Mason-Clark HT); Akinde.

Subs: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Dembele, H. Taylor, Sweeney.

Mansfield Town: Kean; White, Pearce, Bennett, Benning; Whiteman, Collins (C), Byrom (MacDonald 87), Hamilton; Coulthirst (Potter 76), Rose (Green 66).

Subs: Shearer (GK), Baxendale, Arquin, McGuire.  

Referee: Lee Collins

Attendance: 1,859 (391 Mansfield Town fans).


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