League leaders Exeter City win it at the death despite a strong performance from Barnet in wet and windy conditions at The Hive London.
From the start, it was clear to see these were two evenly matched teams as neither side managed to create any clear cut chances in the opening quarter of an hour.
In the 15th minute, Christy Pym made the first of a number of great saves that his side would be thankful for later in the match. First he denied Michael Nelson’s header before blocking Charlie Clough’s follow up effort.
At the other end Craig Ross, who like his opposite number was also in fine form, denied Liam McAlinden’s turn and shot with his legs.
Pym produced a fine save in the 20th minute as Jack Taylor curled an effort destined for the top left corner of the goal, if it wasn’t for the flying hand of Exeter’s number 1.
Both sides went into half time without finding a break through, but it took just two minutes of the second period for the deadlock to be broken.
After good play from Jamal Campbell-Ryce down the right hand side, he delivered a low cross at pace which the onrushing Shaq Coulthirst fired into the roof of the net, a sixth goal in four games for the summer signing.
56 minutes in and Barnet had an opportunity to double their lead. Campbell-Ryce lined up a free kick on the edge of the box and fired it low under the wall. This caused all sorts of trouble for the Exeter defence but the ball was finally scrambled behind for a corner.
In the 77th minute, Exeter tied the game. A thunderous strike from Taylor was superbly tipped onto the post by Craig Ross. Unfortunately, the ball cannoned back into play, straight into the path of Reuben Reid who tapped home.
In the lead up to the goal, Rossi Eames had been patiently waiting for an opportunity to introduce his first substitute of the match. Unfortunately, the ball never went out of play and striker John Akinde’s return from injury came after the goal.
Craig Ross was called into action minutes later, Troy Brown’s point blank header was palmed over the bar by the Barnet ‘keeper.
Both teams were throwing everything at it as the match drew to a close and it certainly was a great contest in very tricky conditions.
However, it was Barnet who would ultimately end up feeling hard done by. In the final minute of stoppage time, a foul on Taylor by Tutonda gave Exeter the chance to launch a ball into the box from 35 yards.
The ball bounced around the area as the Bees struggled to clear the danger. It finally found its way to substitute Jayden Stockley who managed to poke the ball home.
Man of the Match – Craig Ross
Attendance – 1605 (376 away)
BARNET: Ross, Clough, Santos, Nelson, Campbell-Ryce, Coulthirst, J Taylor (Fonguck 80’), Tutonda, H Taylor, Vilhete, Akpa Akpro (Akinde 78)
Unused: K McKenzie-Lyle, Bover, Shomotun, Mason-Clark, Smith.