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Coca Cola League Two
By Ian Pletcher
Another very impressive second half performance saw Barnet claim all three points on their longest away trip of the season.
For the second time in a week the Bees trailed by a single goal at half time, but came back strongly in the second half to win the game in good style.
Barnet started the game in good form, using the large pitch to demonstrate some slick passing moves which saw both Bailey and Graham waste excellent positions out wide with a poor cross.
Barnet clearly looked the more accomplished side for the opening twenty minutes and it was no surprise when Lee and Graham combined well to set Grazioli free. Unfortunately, the striker rushed his shot and it bobbled into the arms of a grateful goalkeeper.
All the good work of the opening quarter of the game was undone when Carlisle took the lead with their first real chance of the game. An excellent corner was curled into the six yard box and central defender Livesey reached the ball first to head home at the near post. Barnet looked rocked by conceding the goal after starting so well and Carlisle proceeded to take control of the game up to the break.
Moments after the goal, Hawley almost capitalised on some slack defending in the Barnet box, shooting over after King and Gross had got in a mess, probably their only error of the game. Despite the fact that Carlisle were starting to pile on the pressure, they failed to create much in the way of clear cut chances. Twice, weak clearances fell to home players on the edge of the penalty area, but on both occasions wild shots failed to trouble Tynan in the Barnet goal.
Tynan was forced action just before half time, the Barnet goalkeeper reacting smartly to turn away a long range effort that appeared destined for the bottom corner.
Once again, Paul Fairclough must have given an excellent half time team talk, because Barnet started the second half in a very positive fashion. A mistake in the Carlisle defence had already let in Grazioli once, but he was slow to capitalise and the chance went away. However, his first goal of the season was only moments away.
The wind had gradually got up during the game and played a role in the Barnet equaliser. Some excellent approach play from Hendon saw him feed Bailey on the right wing. The midfielders cross appeared to be heading for the goalkeepers hands, but the ball moved in the wind and the keeper slipped as he tried to adjust, leaving Grazioli to bundle the ball in from close range.
Moments later Barnet were ahead. A long ball deceived the Carlisle defence. Grazioli appeared to be the favourite to reach the ball, but he was hauled him back by a defender, but Bailey reacted quickly to burst past both of them, taking one touch before thrashing a superb volley into the net from an acute angle.
From that moment forward the game settled into a pattern, Carlisle playing lots of long balls into the Barnet defence, all dealt with without undue alarm. The closest Carlisle came was when Hendon tried to chest the ball back to Tynan, but inadvertently sent it past the startled goalkeeper and heading for the net. Fortunately Tynan reacted well and was able to reach the ball before it trickled in.
In between all Carlisles huff and puff Barnet mounted a series of slick raids that resulted in a number of chances for the Bees. Grazioli, should have scored again when the Carlisle defence presented him with the ball in the area, but his lob landed on the roof of the net and then Bailey shot wide from a good position.
Barnet always looked comfortable and the seal was put on the performance in the final minute when a neat dummy from Sinclair saw him slip through the Carlisle defence. Finding himself clear in the middle of the pitch, the midfield strode forward and coolly slotted the ball under the on rushing Carlisle keeper from the edge of the box. There was still time for Graham to get clean through only to be denied by a smart save from the Carlisle keeper, but it was only moments before the referee brought the game to an end.
This was an excellent performance, Barnets passing and movement were excellent and their passing on the ground made light of difficult, blustery conditions. Charles was superb in the heart of the Barnet defence looking very assured and winning virtually every header. Gross had another sound performance at left back and the central midfield trio of Sinclair, Bailey and Lee were all excellent. The game was played in a good spirit and unusually the referee felt no need to use any cards.
Ref: E Ilderton (Tyne & Wear).
Tynan, Hendon, King, Charles, Gross, Strevens, Bailey, Sinclair, Lee, Graham, Grazioli (Norville 79)
Subs Not Used: Flitney, Bowditch, Soares, Gomis
Williams, Arnison, Livesey, Gray, Aranalde, McGill, Adam Murray, Billy (Nade 87), Murphy (Simpson 71), Holmes (Glenn Murray 79), Hawley
Subs Not Used: Grand, Westwood
Other League Two Scores
Boston Utd 2 - 2
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