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Barnet moved to the top of the Skrill Premier table after defeating Braintree Town 3-0
Barnet sit top of the early Skrill Premier table after an incident filled 3-0 victory at nine-man Braintree Town.
The home side had two players dismissed in the opening half but managed to go into the interval level after Nathan McDonald saved a Jake Hyde penalty.
The Bees went ahead however 60 seconds after the restart when Keanu Marsh-Brown fired home from close range.
Barnet’s lead was doubled after Mark Byrne found the corner with an impressive strike from distance and in stoppage time Hyde rounded off the scoring with a neat finish inside the area.
There were two changes to the Barnet side which drew against Nuneaton Town on Saturday. Elliot Johnson and Roberto Casabella were replaced by Jordan Brown and Harry Crawford.
Before kick-off it was a game Barnet were expected to win. After just two minutes that expectation increased as the hosts were reduced to ten men.
Mark Byrne collided with Dean Wells in midfield and the Braintree centre-back was deemed to have raised his studs. Referee Craig Hicks showed a red card.
But the Bees struggled to take advantage of the extra man and the home side almost went ahead.
A long pass forward bounced over Anthony Acheampong but there seemed little danger as David Stephens came across to cover.
However, Sean Marks nipped in between the defender and Graham Stack and sent a looping header just wide of the post.
The Braintree striker again came close soon after as he headed wide from close range.
The Bees had plenty of possession but hadn’t created a good chance until Luke Gambin and Hyde exchanged passes and the Barnet top scorer fired over.
Edgar Davids’ side then came very close to going ahead as a short corner found Harry Crawford and he curled a shot against the post.
The Bees next attack led to a penalty being awarded and another red card being shown. A long pass forward wasn’t dealt with and Harry Crawford was hauled down by Alan Massey in the area.
Referee Hicks pointed to the spot and dismissed the Braintree centre-back. Hyde stepped up from 12 yards but his low strike was saved by the legs of McDonald.
With the two man advantage, Davids decided to make an attacking change at the break.
Acheampong was replaced by Marciano Mengerink and Curtis Weston slotted into defence alongside Stephens.
It proved the correct tactical move and it took Barnet less than 60 seconds after the restart to go ahead.
A Jordan Brown cross was deflected to the back post, McDonald could only push the ball into the path of Marsh-Brown and the winger fired through the goalkeeper’s legs.
The anticipated Barnet onslaught didn’t arrive however. The Bees, who had played 48 hours earlier, looked sluggish and their passing lacked urgency.
There was a half chance for Mengerink who headed a cross wide while Hyde also sent an effort past the post.
With 18 minutes remaining Barnet did add the second goal. The ball was played across the pitch to Byrne and he fired his shot past the motionless McDonald from 20 yards.
The Bees came close to adding a third goal on several occasions. Marsh-Brown shot wide before Andy Yiadom moved past two challenges before having a low drive saved.
The rebound fell to Hyde but he sent an effort over the bar from close range.
In added time the Bees did get their third and it was a fifth goal in five games for Hyde.
The ball dropped to the striker just inside the penalty area and he coolly curled a strike home to round off a victory which moved Barnet into top spot.
The Bees are unbeaten in their five games this season and will look to continue that run when they host Hyde FC at The Hive on Saturday.
Braintree Town: McDonald; Peters, Hambergham, Wells, Massey, Isaac, Paine, Davis, Daley (Griffiths 34), Marks (Enver-Marum 75), Holman (Sparkes 6).
Braintree Town substitutes: Symons, Griffiths, Enver-Marum, Hamann, Sparkes.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Acheampong (Mengerink 45), Brown; Weston, Byrne (Abdulla 77), Crawford; Marsh-Brown (Vilhete 80), Hyde, Gambin.
Barnet substitutes: Saville, Jupp, Mengerink, Vilhete, Abdulla.
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