1 - 4 Gravesend & Northfleet
Tuesday 8th October 7.45pm
By Daniel Fox
taught a footballing lesson tonight at Underhill against
a very impressive Gravesend proving that efficient
teamwork will always out play individual brilliance as
they came away 4-1 winners.
I say a footballing
lesson due to the fact that Gravesend like Barnet played
3 upfront, with their wideman proving to be a very useful
outlet as opposed to Barnet's Ben Strevens looking lost
up the other end of the field. Danny Brown and Neil
Midgley must be blamed for failing to pick him up on
Everyone would have been optimistic just before kick off
as club captain Greg Heald led the side out at the
expense of Lee Pluck and Lee Gledhill returning to right
back. Danny Brown continued at left back, as Ismail
Yakabu wasn't even in the squad.
Things started well for the Bees and an early run down
the right from Junior Agogo saw his deep cross narrowly
headed over by Wayne Purser. Midgley then went close to
scoring but he was just unable to connect with Gledhill's
low cross to the near post.
A neatly worked corner involving Gower and Brown saw
Doolan connect perfectly on the edge of the box, but his
sreamer, destined for the top corner hit Purser on the
back and was cleared.
Gravesend got over Barnet's early storm and scored from
their first attack. Jimmy Strouts' long ball from left to
right set Tostoa Kwashi free and the former Zimbabwean
international cut inside firing the ball past the
unconfident Lee Harrison into the bottom left hand
Barnet offered little in reply, Gower went close, putting
his free kick just wide of the right post and Strevens
went near to equalizing but he put his shot just wide of
the far post.
Gravesend soon doubled their lead through Che Stadhart,
arriving late at the back post to smash home Jimmy
Jackson's deep cross.
The Bees were rightly booed off at half time as the
Gravesend defence easily dealt with Barnet's predictable
The second half started better than anyone could have
imagined as Ben Strevens put the Bees back in it, heading
in Lee Gledhill's cross at the near post after just 48
seconds. This prompted the East Terrace to finally join
in and offer Barnet their vocal support as they sensed a
comeback was more than possible.
Neil Midgley isn't one of Barnet's best signings but for
the next 15 minutes he put in one of the best
performances in his Barnet career. He was everywhere,
fighting for everything and was unlucky not to equalize
for the Bees, collecting the ball from Gower, his 25-yard
thunderbolt went just over leaving the Gravesend keeper
Danny Brown was unlucky with a 20-yard free kick that
went just wide of the far post after Purser was fouled on
the edge of the penalty box. Agogo, Strevens and Purser
all went close and were a constant threat but just failed
to grab the all-important Barnet equalizer.
Throwing caution to the wind, Oshitola replaced Midgley
and Leon Bell came on for Doolan as the Bees went all out
attack. The move by Shreeves back fired big time, as a
Gravesend break saw the ball fall to the unmarked Hatch
at the back post whose low drive was only parried by
Harrison for Stadhart to poke to ball home.
Another incompetent referee was on show tonight and when
Doolan got caught in possession and bought down Strouts,
even the Barnet fans laughed at the fact that he didn't
award the away team a penalty. Decision after decision
was given wrongly, causing Doolan, Heald and Purser all
to be booked.
With the game won, the 3-1 lead still wasn't enough for
Gravesend as a long ball caused yet another defensive mix
up, letting in Liam Hatch to lob the ball over the
Barnet, can be given credit only for not giving up but it
was all in vain, Leon Bell made an impression but as
experienced season after season, lack of shots on target
caused Barnet's downfall.
A very disappointing performance from Barnet whose
downfall must be blamed on the likes of Gower and Agogo.
Yes, they gave it their all but forgot that they can't
take on all eleven of the opposition as their long runs
simply ended in the team losing possession when a pass
would have been the better option.
8 goals conceded in 2 games is not a promotion chasing
teams' material. The defence must be sorted, Heald
returning today simply made matters worse. But what can
be done? Unfortunately nobody seems to know.