A goal from Mark Byrne helped Barnet secure a 1-1 draw against Southport in the Skrill Premier

Mark Byrne equalised for the Bees in stunning fashion. Picture: Action Images

Mark Byrne equalised for the Bees in stunning fashion. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
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Mark Byrne’s stunner earned Barnet a point at Southport to leave the Bees outside the play-offs by two points and three places.

Barnet found themselves a goal down after three minutes when Scott Brown headed home, but equalised on half-time with a stunning 20-yard from Byrne.

Martin Allen made just one change to the side which beat Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, bringing Ahmed Abdulla into the side in place of Elliot Johnson, meaning Mauro Vilhete started at left-back.

Barnet fell behind after just three minutes when Brown was afforded the room to nod Jason Walker’s inch-perfect cross over Graham Stack in the Bees’ goal.

Just three minutes later the Bees were grateful for the linesman’s flag as Vinny Mukendi saw a similarly free header ruled out for offside.

Southport had begun the better of the two sides and Stack had to be alert to push Matthew Challoner’s low effort around the post in the 16th minute.

Barnet were poor in the first half and were struggling to create any chances of note.

The opposite was true of the hosts, who tested Stack again before the break when Steven Bootham saw his effort from a tight angle pushed wide by the former Arsenal gloveman.

Allen’s side had created next to nothing in the first period, but somehow dug out an equaliser when Byrne scored in spectacular fashion.

On the stroke of half-time the Irish schemer flicked the ball up and volleyed past Southport goalkeeper Danny Hurst from 20 yards to level, somewhat undeservedly.

Byrne was quick to try his luck after the restart, but couldn’t stretch Hurst with an effort from 30 yards.

The dangerous Mukendi nearly put the Yellows back in front in the 56th minute, crashing a header against Stack’s crossbar following a corner.

Southport substitute Osayamen Osawe wasted little time trying his luck, darting inside shortly after his introduction before curling an effort towards the top corner of the Barnet goal which Stack did well to push away.

Osawe was looking bright after his introduction and it was his cross which fell to Walker, who in turn fed Karl Ledsham to shoot comfortably into the palms of Stack.

Barnet substitute Sam Muggleton drew a great save from Hurst shortly after his introduction, testing the Yellows’ stopper with a snap shot.

Andy Yiadom thought he had a claim for a penalty in the 90th minute, crashing a shot against the arm of a Southport defender, but referee Darren Handley was unmoved.

Barnet continued to push for a priceless winner in injury time, James Harper stinging the palms of Hurst with a piledriver which the Southport keeper was equal to.

The Bees were much improved in the second period, but could not find the winner which would have taken them within a point of the play-offs.

Southport: Hurst, Challoner, Fitzpatrick, Nsiala, George; Brown, Ledsham, Boothman (Osawe 60), Walker; Mukendi (Monthe 90) & Sullivan.

Unused subs: Henry-Francis, Daly & Dillon.

Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Gjokaj, Vilhete (Muggleton 58); Nurse, Abdulla (Dymond 54), Harper, Byrne, Marsh-Brown (Lowe 80); Hyde.

Unused subs: Saville & Crawford.

Attendance: 774 (63 Barnet fans)

Referee: Mr D Handley

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