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Edgar Davids was sent off in Barnet's 3-2 defeat against fellow League Two struggers Accrington Stanley
5:57pm Saturday 16th March 2013 in Sport
It was a game that had almost everything.
Barnet and Accrington Stanley knew how important a win would be in their battle against League Two relegation.
After 34 minutes it seemed that Stanley were easing to victory. Lee Molyneux had scored a hat-trick and the Bees had played poorly.
Elliot Johnson pulled a goal back just before the interval. A second half fight-back from Barnet ensued.
Ross Jenkins grabbed the Bees second just after the hour. A fine overhead kick. Barnet threw players forward and they came close to scoring an equaliser on several occasions.
However, on 85 minutes the Bees were reduced to ten men. Edgar Davids sent off for a second booking. It ended Barnet’s hope of claiming an unlikely draw.
There was a surprise in the Barnet starting XI as John Oster returned from injury. Chiro N’Toko and Jake Hyde were also included in the side.
From kick-off Accrington pressed the Bees across the pitch and Davids’ side struggled to keep possession.
Several passes from Barnet had been misplaced in the opening minutes and the hosts took advantage.
Oster played a pass in between Barry Fuller and David Stephens. The two defenders left it to each other and Molyneux collected the ball and fired past Stack.
It was a soft goal and Barnet looked to immediately hit back. Hyde forced Paul Rachubka into two good stops with headers.
The Bees continued to give the ball away in their defensive third and Francis Jeffers almost took advantage with a shot from distance which forced Graham Stack into good stop.
From their next attack, Stanley doubled their lead. Barnet failed to clear and the ball dropped to Molyneux who curled a shot over Stack and into the net.
The Bees threatened sporadically. Davids forced Rachubka into a routine save with a shot from distance before Lawrence Wilson missed a good chance to add a third for Accrington.
Jeffers intelligent movement off the ball had caused N’Toko problems throughout the opening half hour and the former England striker won a penalty when the Dutch defender brought him down in the area.
Molyneux took the spot kick and coolly sent Stack the wrong way.
Davids reacted by bringing on Luke Gambin in place of N’Toko. Gambin went out to the left-wing with Davids surprisingly going into centre-back.
It was a switch which worked and just before the interval Barnet pulled a goal back. Oster whipped a cross to the back-post and Barry Fuller headed back across goal.
Johnson arrived into the area and sent his volley past Rachubka. It was the young left-backs first professional goal.
Davids made another change at the interval with Craig Beattie brought on in place of the ineffective Mauro Vilhete.
Barnet started the second period with an urgency that they lacked in the first half. Hyde, who had moved out to the left, forced Rachubka into a low save from a header.
Jeffers continued to be a threat for Accrington and he shot wide, however, the hosts’ attacks were limited in the second period.
Barnet overcommitted players forward when they attacked and on 63 minutes they pulled a second goal back.
Barry Fuller crossed into the Stanley penalty area and Jenkins connected perfectly with an overhead kick and the ball found the corner.
The Bees piled forward in search of an equaliser. They left just two players back to defend and Molyneux forced Stack into another low stop.
Half chances came and went for Barnet and with five minutes remaining, Davids was sent off for the second time this season. The Dutchman brought down James Gray near the touchline and was shown a second yellow card.
David Stephens moved forward and became an emergency target man. The Bees won several corners. Stack came forward and had a volley well blocked. Soon after the final whistle was blown. Barnet were beaten.
Despite a dramatically improved second half display, the Bees paid the price for a poor opening 35 minutes.
They will need to start better at home to Fleetwood Town on Tuesday.
Accrington Stanley: Rachubka; Hunt (Murphy 25), Winnard, Aldred, Wilson; Boco, Joyce, Linganzi, Molyneux; Hatfield (Beattie 61), Jeffers Gray (67).
Accrington Stanley substitutes: Murphy, Liddle, Linfield, Miller, Gray, Beattie, Dunbavin.
Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Stephens, N'Toko (Gambin 35), Johnson; Oster, Davids, Jenkins; Byrne, Vilhete (Beattie 45), Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Kamdjo, Gambin, Weston, Barnes, Flanagan, Crawford, Beattie.
Attendance: 1,559 (115).