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Npower League Two
Unlucky Bees beaten by managerless Red Devils
By Andrew Taylor
Barnet once again came away with nothing after a highly eventful match at Underhill, the home side were ahead at the break thanks to a Ricky Holmes strike but two second half goals meant promotion chasing Crawley, who had to withstand a late Bees onslaught and going down to ten men, left with the three points.
It was a rain sodden and blustery day in EN5 which would dictate both sides' style of play throughout the afternoon. The away side were rocked upon hearing the news of manager Steve Evans' departure to Rotherham, it would be interesting to see what affect this would have on the team. Barnet made one change from the Cheltenham game, Saed Harjovic came in at right back for striker Ben May meaning Clovis Kamdjo went into central Midfield and Ricky Holmes joining Izale McLeod up top.
There was action from the off, Billy Clarke was allowed space but his shot was tipped round the post by Dean Brill, from the resulting corner John Dempster headed into the net but it was ruled out for a push. The Bees looked dangerous going forward and after 15 minutes took the lead, McLeod's powerful effort was only parried by Michel Kuipers and there was Holmes to fire Barnet into the lead.
The home side started to dominate and Holmes was at the heart of everything good, his link up play with Mark Byrne and Sam Deering was impressive, Byrne had a shot well saved then just before half time McLeod found space in the box and turned but his shot was again saved as Kamdjo could only put the rebound wide. The whistle sounded and the team in Black and Amber went in deservedly ahead, their dominance worthy of more than a one goal lead.
Five minutes into the second half a familiar story unfolded. A sequence of corners were conceded and from the third Dempster was left unmarked to head the Red Devils level, ten minutes later Scott Davies, a half time substitute who had a big impact, unleashed a shot from 25 yards and it flew into the bottom left hand corner just past Brill's outstretched fingertips, the visitors clearly had a rocket at half time as now it was them dominating the game.
Barnet tried to respond, McLeod ran through from a Holmes pass and smashed a shot which struck the Crawley post and out to safety then it was Holmes' turn to go close as his shot was parried and Byrne's follow-up was blocked, with fifteen minutes to go Lawrie Sanchez made an attacking change by putting on youngster Mauro Vilhete for Hajrovic.
The final minute and the six that followed it were nothing less than breath taking, Sergio Torres was red carded for a late tackle then The Bees laid siege to the Crawley goal, McLeod's cross was met by Scott McGleish, recently on for Paul Downing, his tame shot was cleared off the line, from the resulting throw in Mark Hughes, Michael Hector and McLeod all had shots on target but all were rebuffed by one means or another, it really was the alamo but there was no way through.
The whistle blew and despite throwing everything at their opponents it was to be another defeat, the bonus being both Macclesfield and Hereford also lost, now all attention turns to Friday night and the huge relegation showdown as Hereford visit Underhill.
Brill, Mustoe, Hajrovic (Vilhete - 82), Hector, Kamdjo, Downing (McGleish - 90), Hughes, Byrne, Deering, Holmes, McLeod
Unused substitutes: O'Brien, Saville, N'Diaye
Kuipers, Howell, Dempster, Cummings, Akpan, Clarke (Neilson - 87), Torres Dismissed, Bulman, James (Simpson - 45), Alexander, Watt (Davies - 45)
Unused substitutes: Shearer
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