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Barnet ended their winless run in the Skrill Premier following a 3-1 win against Salisbury City
Andy Yiadom was Barnet's man-of-the-match in their win against Salisbury City. Photos: John Macdonald-Fulton
It was a game that changed in three minutes.
In the 71st minute against Salisbury City, Barnet were behind and looked out of ideas. By the 74th they were 2-1 up and in control.
Ahmed Abdulla and Andy Yiadom were the game changers. The first headed home from close range and the latter smashed a shot into the far corner.
There was even time for Keanu Marsh-Brown to add a third. 3-1 the final score and, in truth, it was one that flattered Barnet who struggled to breakdown the Salisbury backline for the majority of the match.
The Bees went into the game without a win in five matches. Edgar Davids made three changes to his starting XI with Roberto Casabella, Luke Gambin and Keanu Marsh-Brown back in the side.
Barnet’s Achilles heel in recent weeks has been their inability to defend set-pieces. So when Davids conceded a free-kick 20-yards out, there was a sense of inevitability about the opening goal.
Elliot Frear whipped a cross to the back post and Dan Fitchett escaped his marker and side footed the ball into the bottom corner.
Barnet looked to respond. They maintained possession for large spells of the first half but struggled to breakdown a well organised Salisbury defence.
When they did threaten it came from a mistake. Luke Gambin nicked the ball off a defender and broke into the penalty area.
He manoeuvred room for a shot but his low effort was well saved by goalkeeper Will Puddy.
Salisbury had worked hard to close down the Bees throughout the opening 45 minutes but they hadn’t forced Graham Stack into a meaningful save.
A change was made at the break. Gambin was brought off and Mauro Vilhete, who scored his first Barnet goal in the midweek defeat to Macclesfield Town, was introduced.
But Salisbury remained resolute and the Bees struggled to break down their backline – a Luisma Villa shot which missed the post all they had to show for their efforts.
The visitors almost grabbed a second after Davids again conceded a free-kick on the edge of his box and Frear’s free-kick went narrowly wide.
Then a moment of indecision from the Salisbury defence allowed Barnet back into the game. Yiadom won a corner and it was quickly taken by Villa.
He laid the ball to Marsh-Brown and the winger’s cross was headed in at the back post by Abdulla – his first goal for the club.
The momentum was with Barnet and they grabbed a second goal two minutes later.
Villa evaded his marker and slid the ball to Yiadom. The right-back avoided a tackle and thumped his low shot into the far corner.
Had Barnet done enough throughout the game to be ahead? Arguably not. But once Davids’ side were in that position, they never looked like losing the game.
They controlled possession and Salisbury failed to build any attacks of note.
With two minutes remaining, the Bees sealed the three points. Marsh-Brown was brought down on the edge of the box and a free-kick was awarded.
Davids stood over it. He touched the ball into the path of Marsh-Brown and his low struck shot deflected past Puddy.
The final result certainly doesn’t reflect the game. Until they equalised Barnet were poor and rarely threatened.
However, the final score is what matters. Barnet’s winless run ended and a result that could reignite their promotion challenge.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Davids, Stephens, Johnson; Villa (Acheampong 83), Casabella, Byrne (Abdulla 31); Marsh-Brown, Gambin (Vilhete 45), Mengerink.
Barnet substitutes: Acheampong, Crawford, Jupp, Abdulla, Vilhete.
Salisbury City: Puddy; Ruddick (Brett 19), Clarke, Wilson, McPhee, Wellard, Lewis (Kamdjo 52), Frear, Sinclair, Fitchett, MacDonald.
Salisbury City substitutes: Brett, Kamdjo, Wright, Feeney, Thomson.
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