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Npower League Two
Robins show their class to defeat out of luck Bees
By Andrew Taylor
Despite The Bees battling hard two first goals were enough for table topping Swindon to continue their march towards the League Two title, an early strike from Ronan Murray followed by an Oliver Risser goal gave the visitors a deserved victory at Underhill.
Barnet made two changes from Friday night's defeat to Torquay, Paul Downing had recovered so filled in at right back for Saed Hajrovic, Andy Yiadom came in on the right side of midfield as Ricky Holmes found himself on the bench.
Within fifteen seconds Jonathan Smith was booked for a needless lunge but fortunately this didn't set the tone for the game, the first ten minutes was even enough and Swindon were finding the slick Underhill turf to their liking as they zipped the ball around better than most that have visited Underhill this season, they certainly looked like a team aiming for the title, manager Paolo Di Canio was already on the edge of his technical area barking instructions to his players and showing his disapproval when the rare pass went astray.
On 12 minutes the Visitors took the lead, Luke Rooney was allowed time to play a pass through to Ronan Murray who found himself one on one against Dean Brill, Murray passed the ball confidently into the corner of the net, cue celebrations not only from the good travelling support but also the remaining outfield players who converged on the six yard area to congratulate Murray, you could tell this was a big goal for them which was probably part of Di Canio's master plan.
The home side didn't give in and created their best chance ten minutes later, Ben May's knock-down gave Yiadom the chance to hit the target, he couldn't and The Bees were made to pay, on the half hour loan signing Jay McEveley sent in a free kick, which was a very generous award from the referee, but even more generous was that Oliver Risser was allowed space in the six yards box to prod home and all but end the contest.
A change was forced before half time as Mark Byrne, who was struggling from the early stages was forced off to be replaced by Ricky Holmes, Holmes took up a position on the left and Sam Deering joined Mark Hughes in the middle, earlier in the half Paul Downing had been moved into the centre half position with Michael Hector switching to right back, at the very end of the half came the home sides best chance of the match, Izale McLeod was sent through but keeper Foderingham was equal to it and Swindon went to the interval with their lead in tact and few could deny it was worthy, the bottom line being they took their two good chances and Barnet didn't.
The early stages of the second half was a very even affair. Swindon unable to regain their quick passing and movement from the first 45, Yiadom started to see more of the ball but often found himself running down the flank and being halted by the strong Robins defence, Lawrie Sanchez decided a second substitution was required, McLeod being hauled off for Scott McGleish, it was disappointing to see McLeod head straight down the tunnel he didn't seem to be injured perhaps upset with more costly missed chances.
A couple of half chances followed as Ben May and Ricky Holmes threatened the visitors' goal but you got the feeling a goal wouldn't come if they were there all night such was the organisation of the Swindon defence, they are top for a reason and they were showing why, it was a very professional performance leaving the two sides with very different aims this season. Barnet's Easter period sees them head off to Cheltenham on Friday and then Steve Evans' Crawley visit on Easter Monday, it won't get any easier.
Brill, Mustoe, Hector, Saville, Downing, Hughes, Byrne (Holmes - 36), Deering, Yiadom, May, McLeod (McGleish - 63)
Unused substitutes: O'Brien, Parkes, N'Diaye
Foderingham, McEveley, Flint, Devera, McCormack, Risser, Rooney (Thompson - 78), Smith (Ferry - 56), Benson, De Vita (Connell - 82), Murray
Unused substitutes: Bostock
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