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Barnet 3-1 Forest Green Rovers
Graham (50)
Grazioli (58, 69)
  Griffin (29)
HT 0-1   Attendance 1321

Nationwide Conference
14 August 2004

By Jack Foord

BARNET CRUISE TO A 3-1 OVER FOREST GREEN ROVERS IN THEIR FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON WITH GOALS FROM GRAZIOLI (2) AND RICHARD GRAHAM

Barnet brought in 3 new faces to the starting line up since the play-offs. Richard Graham who looked impressive in pre season, Dean Sinclair and Dwayne Lee who also look very good in pre season. Also in the line up with Plummer and Danny Maddix injured, King went to central defence with Yakubu and Cist took on the role of left back, and Stevens played on the right side of midfield.

Barnet didn't get into the game much in the first bit and Forest Green Rovers had plenty of possession in the first quarter. Richard Graham didn't look pretty promising and had a few runs down the wing, just like in pre season. Also Grazioli who didn't have a very good pre season nearly scored from a Graham cross. Forest Green Rovers also did get stuck in with high flying challengers especially from some of their midfielders.

Forest Green Rovers who were playing well did have a chance but Gore made a good save to cancel Forest Green out. Moments later after that chance Forest Green Rovers did score from Griffin who headed the ball low from 2 yards out even though he was in an offside position the goal was given.

Barnet did try and get something before half time but just couldn't get the goal they needed before the break. Even though Lee, Stevens and Hatch had chances they went into half time 1-0 down to Forest Green Rovers.

Second Half

When the Bees came out for the second half they got stuck in going for the ball and chasing players down quickly and chances followed from Graham, Lee and Liam Hatch. Soon after that Graham equalised scores with a wonderful goal when he cut inside the defender and unleashed a glorious shot into the net, the goalkeeper had no chance.

After that Barnet kept on pressuring Forest Green who looked to begin to get weaker and weaker and further chances kept on following with Lee having a free kick going just wide of the mark and Hatch again heading wide.

After that Grazioli then made the scoreline 2-1 by taking on the keeper and slotting the ball neatly home after a superbly flicked pass by Ben Stevens.

Barnet kept on pressuring the Forest Green Defence and they started to lose concentration and lose the balance of the side and once again were split open by Graham and that lead to a pass through to Grazioli who cooly and brilliant placed home the third goal of the afternoon for the Bees.

Further chances didn't appear to come as Dean Sinclair hit over from five yards out and Lee had yet another ambitious shot and Hatch headed wide and Stevens came close to scoring aswell before the final whistle went.

At the end of the day it was a brilliant performance in the second half by the Bees and they showed that they probably will be up with good teams this season. Also the players and Paul Fairclough I have been impressed with especially Lee who has done well in the central midfield role and Graham on wing.

Quotes

Ian Hendon (captain) said: "The new signings were brilliant. Everyone gelled and we just got stronger as the game went on. We looked a lot fitter than them and it could have been more."

Bookings

Barnet

Strevens

Forest Green Rovers

Rogers
Davies

Ref: K Yeo (Purfleet)

Teams

Barnet

Gore, Hendon, Yakubu (Champion 80), King, Clist, Strevens, Lee, Sinclair, Graham, Grazioli, Hatch.

Subs Not Used: Millard, Bailey, Lopez, Roache

Forest Green Rovers

Perrin, Green (Danks 77), Davies, Gould, Gadsby, Cowe (Marvin Brown 37), Rogers (Cleverley 82), Holloway, Sykes, Griffin, Beesley

Subs Not Used: Greaves, Matt Brown

Other Reports

Barnet Times

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