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Match Reports

Report: Barnet 1-3 Doncaster Rovers

14 January 2017

Barnet were beaten 3-1 by Doncaster Rovers in EFL League Two on Saturday afternoon...

John Akinde's 18th goal of the season was not enough as Barnet fell to just their second home league defeat since October with EFL League Two leaders Doncaster Rovers 3-1 winners at The Hive London.

Three goals in 12 minutes changed the face of a half which had been going so well when Akinde put the Bees in front after 13 minutes.

But James Coppinger levelled five minutes later before John Marquis put Rovers ahead in the 28th minute. Three minutes later Coppinger added a third to give the visitors breathing space.

There were three changes from the side Barnet which won 3-1 at Leyton Orient last weekend with one of those, Jamie Stephens, enforced.

Stephens was substituted after nine minutes at The Matchroom Stadium last weekend with a groin problem and that meant Josh Vickers came into the side from the start.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Tom Champion also returned, taking the places of Simeon Akinola and Nana Kyei.

There had not been a clear-cut chance in the match when Barnet eked ahead after 13 minutes. 

Rovers’ defender Niall Mason attempted a back-pass to former Bees loanee – and Doncaster debutant – Ian Lawlor, but the keeper was sold short. Akinde duly nipped in, rounded Lawlor and slotted into the empty net.

But the lead was short lived and the leaders were back on equal level terms five minutes later. Coppinger, who scored against the Bees at the Keepmoat Stadium in October, controlled a low cross and fired beyond Vickers.

Barnet really should have levelled in the 27th minute but were denied by a fine last-ditch challenge.

Curtis Weston won possession and released Akinde over the top. He brushed off Andy Butler and rounded Lawlor only to be robbed of the ball at the key moment by Mason.

A minute later that missed opportunity was highlighted as Rovers went in front. 

An almighty scramble in the box saw the Bees pass up several opportunities to clear and Marquis lashed home from close range.

Things went from bad to worse three minutes later when Coppinger steered a low first-time shot beyond the reach of Vickers from 20 yards.

After such a manic period the remainder of the half was a much calmer affair with neither side seriously threatening to add to the scoring.

Barnet, unsurprisingly, returned with renewed vigour in the second period. 

Ricardo Santos nearly repeated his goal-scoring heroics of last weekend when a free-kick from the right was swung onto his head at the back post. But a Doncaster player blocked the defender's effort.

Doncaster's first chance of the half arrived just before the hour mark when Marquis nodded down a cross from the left for striker partner Andy Williams to slash over the bar from a good position. 

Chances and moments of quality were in short supply for both sides, however, with possession regularly changing hands. 

With 18 minutes remaining the Bees had their final throw of the dice, bringing David Tutonda on for his debut in place of Harry Taylor.

The best chance of a forgettable period did belong to the Bees, a short free-kick routine releasing Santos who saw his effort blocked one-v-one by Lawlor from six yards.

Next up for the Bees is a visit from strugglers Newport County on Saturday, January 21.

Barnet: Vickers; H. Taylor (Tutonda 72), Nelson (c), Santos, Johnson; Weston, Champion (Kyei 60), J. Taylor; Vilhete, Akinde, Campbell-Ryce (Akinola 60).

Subs: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Gambin, Muggleton, Nicholls.

Doncaster Rovers: Lawlor; Blair, Baudry (Wright 84), Butler, Mason; Coppinger (c) (Keegan 86), Grant, Houghton, Rowe; Williams (May 86), Marquis.

Subs: Etheridge (GK), Alcock, Middleton, Beestin.

Referee: John Brooks.

Attendance: 2,582 (826 Doncaster supporters).

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