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Barnet secured a 2-0 victory at Underhill against Bradford City
A strong defensive performance and clinical finishing helped Barnet secure a 2-0 victory over Bradford City.
The Bees rarely threatened in the opening period but they went into the break ahead after Taiwo Atieno marked his full debut with a goal.
Two minutes after the restart Barnet scored a second through John Oster and although the Bees spent the majority of the second 45 minutes in their own half, they held on to claim an important three points.
Edgar Davids made three changes to his side with Jake Hyde, the suspended Jon Nurse and Jordon Brown replaced by Atieno, Mark Byrne and Elliot Johnson.
The first half lacked real quality with both teams relying on long passes forward rather than working the ball through midfield.
Chances came and went for Bradford throughout the opening 45 minutes with James Hanson and Gary Jones both guilty of missing good opportunities from the edge of the box.
The Bantams’ top scorer Nahki Wells found several gaps in the Bees defence but when he did have space to shoot, he failed to force Graham Stack into a difficult save.
Barnet had rarely attacked with purpose in the first half but four minutes before the break Davids’ men went ahead.
Johnson battled well down the left flank and the ball broke into the young left-back’s path.
He took a touch, sent a fine low cross onto the six-yard box and Atieno had the easy task of tapping past Matt Duke to give the Bees a half time lead.
Phil Parkinson decided to make a switch at the interval with Kyel Reid introduced in place of Ritchie Jones.
However, the change didn’t have the desired effect and Barnet doubled their lead shortly after the restart.
Ricky Holmes won the ball on the edge of the Bradford area and passed to Oster. The midfielder steadied himself before coolly sliding the ball past Duke.
The Bees grew in confidence after going ahead and started to create good chances to extend their advantage.
Ricky Holmes headed wide shortly before forcing Duke into a good save with a shot from distance.
Bradford continued to hit long balls forward but the Bees centre-back pairing of Davids Stephens and Andy Iro defended strongly.
When the visitors did manage to find a way through the assistant referee’s flag came to Barnet’s aid as a Hanson header was ruled out off for offside.
Barnet rarely got out of their own half in the final ten minutes and Jones fired a free-kick narrowly wide before Alan Connell shot over the crossbar from 12 yards out.
Blair Turgott then sent a half volley past the post as the Bees defence continued to battle impressively.
Wells was next to miss the target for Bradford as he scuffed a shot past Stack’s left hand post.
Bradford continued to push forward but Barnet defended well and saw the game out to keep a clean sheet and claim their first League Two points of 2013.
The Bees are on the road next week as they travel to Rotherham United.
Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Stephens, Iro, Johnson; Byrne, Weston, Oster; Yiadom, Holmes (Thompson 81), Atieno (Hyde 88).
Barnet substitutes: Brown, Kamdjo, Hyde, Cowler, Barker, Holwijn, Thompson.
Bradford City: Duke; Darby (Turgott 76), McArdle, Doyle, Good; Ravenhill (Connell 65), R.Jones (Reid 45), Atkinson, G.Jones; Wells, Hanson.
Bradford City substitutes: McGlaughlin, Reid, McHugh, Connell, Turgott, Brown, Hines.
Attendance: 2,317 (479).
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