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'Battling' Bees see off blunt Daggers
11:42am Wednesday 30th September 2009 in Sport
The Barnet dressing room at the end of this bruising London derby provided enough evidence that Ian Hendon had got what he wanted from his players.
He called for a bit more fight after Saturday’s limp showing at Rotherham United – and he got it.
He remarked during the post-match press conference that there were a number of players bleeding, or with ice bags on knocks, after the Bees had seen off their local rivals on Tuesday evening.
“On Saturday, we had a clean bill of health," he remarked, highlighting the fact that Barnet had perhaps not been so willing to shed blood for the cause at Don Valley.
“We had to battle tonight (Tuesday). You don’t just go out and win games, you have to battle hard, and we did that.”
Dagenham boss John Still graciously admitted: “It was a tough evening. Barnet played better than us.”
Indeed, this was a fine all-round team performance, the damage done in a dominant first half.
Yannick Bolasie was a constant menace to the home defence and he started the move that led to the opener on 20 minutes. The winger freed Kenny Gillet on the left and his cross was met first time by the incoming Paul Furlong, the ball flashing past keeper Tony Roberts from just six yards out.
It was game over on the stroke of half-time, when Bolasie teased Scott Dole into tripping him just inside the box, John O’Flynn stepping up to the spot to send veteran Roberts the wrong way with the perfect penalty.
The Daggers surprisingly offered little in return and there was never any hint of a dramatic comeback after the interval. Their best effort was not until stoppage time, Peter Gain clipping the bar with a drive from the angle of the box, but the game was long over by then.
Still said: “I find it hard to think of a save that the Barnet keeper had to make. We were poor.”
In contrast, the Bees were much more solid, the return of Gary Breen to the centre of defence another factor in the improved performance.
Hendon said: “Breen marshalled the back four. It’s nice to have him back. His experience showed. The other lads respond when they are around him.”
These two sides came into the game as League Two’s surprise packages, but it was the hosts, who started the day in eighth, who went home happy, a rather subdued Dagenham failing to recapture the form that had propelled them to second place in the table.
BARNET (4-4-2): Cole; Devera, Yakubu, Breen, Gillet; Adomah, Hughes, M Hyde, Bolasie (Jarrett 81); Furlong, O'Flynn (Charles 84). Subs not used: Carpenter, O'Neill, Kamdjo, Leach, J Hyde.