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Barnet record a surprise 1-0 win over League Two leaders Gillingham
They may not have been the best side for long periods in the game but Barnet battled, pressed, defended well and rode their luck to record a 1-0 victory over Martin Allen’s Gillingham.
Jake Hyde scored what proved to be the winning goal in the first half. The striker smashed home from the edge of the box.
After the interval Gillingham dominated the half but couldn’t break through a resilient Barnet defence.
Graham Stack produced several fine saves and the Bees held on to claim only their second away win of the season.
Only one change was made to the Barnet starting XI as John Oster replaced the injured Clovis Kamdjo.
In the opening exchanges neither side took control of possession but the Bees worked hard to deny the hosts time on the ball.
Barnet looked threatening on the counter attack and Edgar Davids forced Stuart Nelson into a comfortable near post stop before Ricky Holmes tested the Gills goalkeeper with a long range shot.
Gillingham struggled in the opening half to show any real quality and, on 18 minutes, the League Two leaders fell behind. After a tackle from Davids, the ball broke in midfield to Hyde.
He moved forward unchallenged from the halfway line before firing past Nelson from the edge of the box.
Gillingham attempted to step up their performance and Matt Fish’s low strike was well saved by Barnet goalkeeper Graham Stack.
The Bees dealt well with any long passes forward and Oster came close to doubling their advantage with a free-kick which required Nelson to save well.
Allen’s side pushed forward towards the end of the half but Barnet defended strongly and deservedly went in at the break ahead.
The second period began in the same fashion as the first and the Gills remained lethargic in possession.
The Bees looked more likely to add to the score and Davids Stephens headed over before Barry Fuller’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by Nelson.
On 58 minutes the hosts made a triple substitution as Romain Vincelot, Charlie Lee and Lewis Montrose replaced by Adam Birchall, Chris Whelpdale and Jack Payne.
The changes gave the Gills supporters a lift and their side responded.
Whelpdale forced Stack into a good stop from close range before Deon Burton tamely headed into the arms of the Barnet keeper from six yards.
Gillingham bombarded the Barnet area in the second half but the Bees remained resolute and when the Gills did find a way through, Stack produced two fine saves to deny Joe Martin and Burton.
The home side continued to threaten and in stoppage time Joe Martin curled a free-kick inches wide of Stack’s post.
The referee added a few more seconds to the additional four minutes but Barnet held on to claim an impressive victory.
Barnet return to action on Saturday as they take on Exeter City.
Gillingham Nelson; Fish, Barrett, Davies, Martin; Montrose (Payne 58), Allen, Vincelot (Birchall 58), Lee (Whelpdale 58); Burton, Weston.
Gillingham substitutes: Payne, Whelpdale, Kedwell, Strevens, Frampton, Birchall, Forecast.
Barnet: Stack: Fuller, Stephens, Iro, Johnson; Oster, Davids, Byrne; Yiadom, Holmes (Weston 84), Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Brown, Fortune, Nurse, Cowler, Weston, Lee, Atieno.
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