Barnet extended their unbeaten run to five EFL League Two games with a goalless draw against Crewe Alexandra but were left to wonder how they didn’t take maximum points.
The chances stacked up for the Bees in the second half but they were unable to put Crewe to the sword as Martin Allen returned to the dugout.
Allen made three changes to the side which fought back valiantly to earn a point at Grimsby Town last weekend.
Bondz N’Gala, Luke Gambin and Sam Muggleton came into the side with Bira Dembele – serving a one-match ban – Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Harry Taylor making way.
Muggleton started at left-back with Elliott Johnson pushed into midfield as Curtis Weston played behind John Akinde once more.
Quality chances were few and far between with neither side able to assert themselves on the game.
Curtis Weston had the first sight of goal after five minutes, pressing high up the field and turning over possession before testing Crewe keeper Ben Garratt with a stinging drive.
Watson tried his luck with a volley after 17 minutes but steered over after the ball fell invitingly for him on the edge of the penalty area.
Crewe had their first chance of note less than a minute later, but Callum Saunders’ bicycle kick lacked conviction and trickled through to Jamie Stephens in the Barnet goal.
Alex winger George Cooper tried an even more audacious attempt midway through the first half having spotted Stephens off his line. He shot from 40 yards but his strike drifted wide.
The Bees were nearly masters of their own downfall after half an hour when N’Gala’s ill-advised back pass forced Stephens to block as Cooper tried to go through on goal.
Crewe winger Tom Lowery dragged a shot wide of the far post from distance late on in the half but the Bees came closer moments before half time when Watson nodded Weston’s cross agonisingly wide of the far post.
The visitors had a goal disallowed soon after the restart when Ryan Lowe touched home Danny Hollands’ knockdown but the striker was ruled offside.
Barnet responded immediately with Vilhete crossing for John Akinde who saw his header deflected wide.
The Bees were the only team asking any questions but they could not make it count, coming closest when N’Gala headed Gambin’s corner just wide at the far post.
Allen’s men went closer still in the 73rd minute when Vilhete’s cross caused a goalmouth scramble. Weston tried to get a shot off but couldn’t before Johnson brought a smart stop out of Garratt with a low drive.
With 11 minutes to go Barnet carved out their best chance to break the deadlock. Akinde somehow found a way through the centre of the Crewe defence but placed wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Akinde met a Weston corner from the right with a firm header a couple of minutes later, but saw his effort blocked on the line by Crewe.
Barnet continued to put Crewe under pressure and it was Weston who was left head in hands moments later when his looping header was nodded off the line at the back post.
At the death the Bees squandered another opportunity, Akinde bursting through on the left-hand side of the penalty area but slashing his shot over the crossbar.
Next up for Barnet is a trip to League Two leaders Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday, November 22 (kick-off 7.45pm).
Barnet: Stephens; Vilhete, N’Gala, Nelson (c), Muggleton (Mason-Clark 74); Gambin, Watson (Akpa Akpro 54), Champion, Johnson; Weston; Akinde.
Subs: Vickers (GK), Togwell, H. Taylor, Tomlinson, Nicholls.
Crewe Alexandra: Garratt; Turton, H. Davis, Guthrie, Ng; Cooper, Jones, Hollands, Lowery (Ainley 76); Saunders (Udoh 79), Lowe (c) (Nugent 87).
Subs: Richards (GK), Kirk, Wintle, Finney.
Referee: Gavin Ward.