Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting TIMES NEWS to 80360, or email us
Mark Byrne's late penalty gives Barnet victory at Chesterfield
Barnet are celebrating only their second league win of the season - and first away success - after Mark Byrne’s dramatic late penalty handed them a 1-0 win at Chesterfield.
The Bees had looked to extend their upturn in fortunes to a third game unbeaten but their afternoon took a turn for the better in the second minute of injury time when Andy Yiadom was tripped in the area and Byrne calmly converted from 12 yards.
While the visitors had rode their luck at times towards the end of the first half, they defended well for the most part and were deserving of a third successive clean sheet. By the same token though, they didn’t create a great deal going forward and keeper Richard O’Donnell was rarely tested.
The Bees made just the one change from the side that drew 0-0 at Wycombe Wanderers, with Byrne returning at the expense of Anthony Edgar.
The visitors started positively, with Edgar Davids looking to pull the strings in his advanced midfield role, but there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening stages.
The Bees won the first corner of the match in the 11th minute when a searching John Oster free-kick was headed behind. Oster took the set piece himself but Kystian Pearce was unable to direct his far post header back on target.
But it was Chesterfield who had the game’s first decent opening in the 17th minute when Jack Lester wriggled free in the area to create a chance for himself but he placed his attempted right-footed finish wide of Graham Stack’s left-hand post.
Tendayi Darikwa fired a cross-shot wide before Oster latched on to a loose ball in midfield and advanced before picking out Jake Hyde. His attempted cross deflected up off a defender and Davids was unable to generate enough power on his header to seriously trouble O’Donnell.
However, the Bees suffered an early blow when Oster, who had started well, was forced out of the contest with an injury after 21 minutes and his place was taken by Edgar. This meant Byrne moving back into a more central midfield position, with Yiadom switching flanks to the right.
Chesterfield then enjoyed a good spell around the 35-minute mark, with Graham Stack making two fine saves after pushing a Danny Whitaker 25-yard effort behind in less than convincing fashion.
However, the keeper made an excellent save from the resultant corner, tipping Sam Togwell’s curling shot from the left over the bar and following that up with an almost carbon copy save to deny the same player moments later, although the Spireites midfielder’s second long-range effort was from a more central position.
Chesterfield continued to ramp up the pressure as the half drew to a close, with Liam Ridehalgh heading a Whitaker corner wide. But the hosts’ left-back should have at least hit the target when he was picked out unmarked by another Whitaker set piece from the left but he headed badly wide.
Lester also spurned another good opportunity before the break when he headed a Darikwa cross from the right straight at the Bees keeper as the opening period ended goalless.
Little of note happening in the first ten minutes after the restart but the visitors were struggling to get their attacking game going. However, they had an opportunity in the 57th minute when Lester was pulling back Hyde but Pearce was unable to get enough on an attempted header from a Davids clipped cross after the free-kick had been taken short.
Yiadom then had a shot blocked and Hyde’s attempted overhead kick from the follow up was also repelled to give the Bees some grounds for encouragement.
Chesterfield made their first change in the 62nd minute, with Mark Randall coming on for Nathan Smith, but their opponents were looking firm at the back and starting to suggest they might get some joy further forward.
Davids received Barnet’s first yellow card three minutes later for a foul on Darikwa and then the subbed was subbed, with Edgar making way for Olly Lee.
Togwell was replaced by Craig Westcarr soon after but not before Drew Talbot’s searching ball from right-back picked out Whitaker in space on the left side of the area but he was unable to direct his volley on target.
Paul Cook played his final card in the 77th minute, with Micah Evans coming on for Darikwa, but then Chris Atkinson wasn’t far away with a right-footed shot from the edge of the area that brushed the side netting as it went wide.
Another good chance came and went for the hosts when Westcarr slid in but was unable to get anything on a dangerous ball in from left before Hyde made way for Jon Nurse.
But as Barnet looked set to claim their second successive goalless draw, the match dramatically turned in their favour when Yiadom was clearly tripped in the area as he sought to come back inside on his right foot and Byrne calmly converted the penalty to give his side the lead in the last minute of normal time.
The visitors still had to negotiate five minutes of stoppage time but their opponents never seriously threatened an equaliser.
Chesterfield: O’Donnell; Forbes, Talbot, Hird, Ridehalgh; Darikwa, Togwell (Westcarr 75), Atkinson (Evans 77), Smith (Randall 62); Whitaker; Lester. Not used: Wilson, Trotman Clay and Boden.
Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Pearce, Stephens, Brown; Oster (Edgar 21 (Lee 71)), Kamdjo; Davids, Byrne, Hyde (Nurse 83), Yiadom. Not used: Cowler, Fortune, Abdulla and Johnson.
Bookings: Lester for a foul on Hyde (57); Davids for a foul on Darikwa (65).
Attendance: 5,611 Referee: Andy Davies.