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Pre Season Friendly
Bees Caught in a Hayes
By Gerard Butler
It was a frustrating night for Barnet as Josh Scott's 51st minute penalty secured Hayes a 1-0 win against their mixture of first teamers and trialists.
Liam Hatch was captain for the day, and played for an hour, but it was Margaro Gomis and Fola Onibuje who caught the eye with some promising approach work and testing set pieces against an always-competitive Missioners side.
The hosts made the early running, and after eight minutes Nathan Stamp's right wing cross set up a far post header by Abbi Nsubuga which was gathered by keeper Lance Cronin, but a strong break by Hatch from his clearance won a corner, with Gomis' delivery causing havoc in the home rearguard. There was a big blow for Barnet, though, as Lee Roache was stretchered off through injury within ten minutes, and he was replaced by Onibuje.
The Bees were finding it hard to create chances, whilst Hayes went close after 17 minutes when Scott's sweet volley was scrambled away and Cronin did well to tip over an attempted chip from Michael Bartley. The Missioners looked to press their opponents into mistakes as they looked to play out of defence, but there continued to be promise from Onibuje and Gomis, who threatened with a 25 yard free-kick which just nicked wide.
Gradually, the Bees began to click, as Andy Hodge's headed pass set up Jason Norville to turn and fire, but this was gathered by solid home keeper Kevin Davies. Moments later, Hatch showed great tenacity to retain possession on the left before having a low shot from a tight angle saved by the home keeper, and Norville set up Gomis but his effort went wide.
Soon, though, Cronin was forced into action to tip away a Michael Bartley free-kick. Adam Gross picked up the game's first booking in a hard-fought game, but Michael Bartley's deft header from the free-kick edged just past the target.
Hayes made a couple of changes at the break, and the first real action of the half saw the hosts take a decisive lead as Kieran Knight's run into the area was halted by Damian Batt, and Scott stepped up to roll the ball in from the spot. Moments later, Scott almost laid on a second, but Knight narrowly failed to convert his cross from close range, and Orlando Jeffrey looped a header over from a Knight free-kick.
There was a real energy about Hayes' play, with Barnet losing their impetus in attack by this stage, however, just before he was subbed, Hatch hooked over from 20 yards for the Bees. The home side continued to enjoy the lion's share of chances as Dennison glanced a header wide from a Stuart Goodall corner, and a mistake by Cronin almost proved costly as a clearance went straight to Jeff Goulding who set up Kesuke Genade, but the keeper redeemed himself by tipping over the resultant drive.
As the game entered its last 20 minutes, an incisive pass by Olabaye set up Louis Soares to run in from the left, but he failed to beat Davies on the angle before a neat switch of play from right to left ended disappointingly for Barnet as Gross thudded wide. Their last real chance came in the 82nd minute, this time initiated by Gross, whose wicked cross found Ben Bowditch at the far post, only for him to fail to trouble the keeper.
So, a rare setback in a positive pre-season campaign, but with so many trialists on show against a competitive Hayes outfit, no cause for alarm.
Lance Cronin, Andy Hodge, Adam Gross, Louis Soares, Ben Bowditch, Margaro Gomis, Lee Roache (Fola Onibuje 8), Liam Hatch (Armand One 60), Jason Norville, Amadu Kuman, Damien Batt
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