Saturday 17th March 2012
Barnet started the game the brighter of the two, with Ben May (on loan from Stevenage) partnering Izale McLeod up front for the first time. For long periods of the first half, in fact, the home side dominated – Mark Byrne going closest in the opening 10 minutes, before another opportunity for the midfielder arrived, from a free-kick – but the away side also caused the Bees’ defence problems as they went forward.
McLeod then had a goal ruled out for offside, with just under half an hour on the clock, but Barry Roche was easily the busier of the two keepers. Before the end of the first 45 minutes, Barnet continued to press and rally forward at every opportunity, displaying one of the better performances of late – it was hard to see the gulf between the two sides, in terms of positions in the League. Byrne again should have done better with what could have been a great goal; on a different day, or with more confidence, he’d have hit the back of the net. Holmes and McLeod, too, had opportunities which should have seen them on the score sheet.
And, unfortunately, it was the visitors that were to go into the break ahead, when, with two minutes remaining, Kevin Ellison scored. A slip from Michael Hector allowed Stewart Drummond through on goal and although his shot was saved by Liam O’Brien, the ball was spilt straight into the path of Ellison, who converted a simple tap-in.
It was a real case of one shot, one goal, as the goal was completely against the run of play, but was merely a much-needed wake-up call for the Barnet defence to stop conceding such unnecessary goals. Despite conceding late on, it was a positive performance in the first half; the necessity to take chances was a real lesson. But when you’re at the wrong end of the table though, that bad luck seems to rear its ugly head!
Half Time: Barnet 0–1 Morecambe (Ellison ’43)
After such a valiant and pleasing performance in the first half, Barnet fans were right to feel disappointed and angered with what was an unacceptable second half display. Morecambe dropped the tempo, when necessary and saw the game out to their strengths, preserving their lead. Barnet looked lifeless and flat – with no real urgency or desire to take the game to the visitors. There was no ‘plan b’ or attempt to try and change the result, or predicament the Bees currently find themselves in.
In fact, it’s fair to say the Shrimps dominated the second half and it’s clear their second goal killed the game off – they simply didn’t allow the home side a foot-hole in the game.
There were a couple of chances for the Bees to equalise in the opening stages of the second half: Byrne and May squandering opportunities. An excellent goal from the visitors’ Jack Redshaw settled the score and the away side never looked as if they’d give up their two-goal advantage!
And Morecambe could have so easily been further ahead, the crossbar coming to the Bees’ rescue with only a few minutes remaining. Lewis Alassandra’s shot thundered against the woodwork, with Barnet’s defence hapless.
A real Jekyll and Hyde performance from the hosts in front of an infuriating home crowd. Following the second half display, though, Barnet can’t be disappointed to leave the game with nothing.
Full Time: Barnet 0–2 Morecambe (Ellison ’43, Redshaw ’63)
Barnet – O’Brien; Hector, Downing, Dennehy, Mustoe; Byrne, Hughes, Deering, Holmes; McLeod, May
Morecambe – Roche; Parrish, McCready, Haining, Reid; Hunter, Drummond, McDonald, Ellison; Burrow, Redshaw