Barnet secured League Two safety after a nervy 2-1 victory over Burton Albion

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

Bees survive with win at Burton. Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

For the third year running, Barnet escaped relegation from the Football League on the final day as the Bees claimed a 2-1 victory over Burton Albion.

It was a match where the Barnet fans went through every emotion.

Mark Byrne scored a deflected free-kick five minutes into the contest to send the travelling support ecstatic.

Nervousness followed as Jacques Maghoma equalised and, as the half came to a close, there was relief as Calvin Zola smashed over a penalty.

In a frenetic second period the Bees once again went ahead as Mark Hughes fired a half volley into the corner on the hour.

Barnet defended well in the second period and, as the final whistle blew, the Bees faithful showed utter delight that their side had avoided the drop.

One change was made to the side as top scorer Izale McLeod dropped to the bench and Ben May started in his place.

Straight from kick-off Burton created the first opportunity. A long ball forward wasn’t dealt with and Zola hooked a half volley towards goal only for Dean Brill to save.

Barnet held off early pressure from the hosts and won a free-kick just outside the box as Hughes took a boot to the face.

Byrne waited for a touch off from Jordan Mustoe and struck a low drive towards goal. The ball deflected off the wall and rolled into the net to give the Bees an early lead.

Burton quickly regained control of the match but didn’t really test Brill. Jack Dyer smashed an effort well over before Zola forced the Bees stopper into a routine stop.

The hosts applied all the pressure since the opening goal and they grabbed an equaliser just before the half hour.

A pass was played into the box and Maghoma did well to collect the ball, turn and fire a shot into the corner.

With news that Hereford had taken a 3-0 lead against Torquay United – thus putting Barnet in the relegation zone – the atmosphere was understandably tense.

And on the stroke of half-time, Burton were awarded a penalty as Byrne was judged to have fouled Zola in the box.

The tall striker took the spot kick and fired his effort well over the crossbar and, to their delight, into the Barnet faithful.

Both sides went in at the interval level and as it stood, the Bees were sitting in the relegation zone.

A change was needed and Martin Allen brought on McLeod in place of Scott McGleish.

The introduction of McLeod gave Barnet a lift and they came agonisingly close to levelling. A deep cross from Mustoe was headed back across goal by Ben May only for a covering defender to clear.

The ball dropped to Sam Deering and he volleyed wide when he perhaps should have hit the target.

Allen was then incensed that the Bees were not awarded a penalty as Deering was bundled over in the box.

Burton struggled to cope with the movement of the Barnet attack and on the hour the Bees went back ahead.

A cross into the box was headed to the edge of the area. Hughes took his time and steered a left footed half volley into the corner.

Hereford had conceded two goals in the second period but there 3-2 lead was enough to keep them in the Football League if they Bees failed to take all three points.

Barnet should have netted a third as good work from Holmes teed up McLeod but he smashed over from six yards.

During three minutes added time, the Bees had to defend a series of corners. The second of which was headed towards the far corner from Patrick Ada only for Brill to pull off a fantastic one handed save.

It was the last action of the game as the referee blew the full time whistle to send the Barnet fans into delirium.

Burton Albion: Atkins, Stanton, James, Corbett, Zola, Palmer, Taylor, Maghoma, Dyer, Bolder, Ada.

Burton Albion substitutes: Poole, Phillips, Pearson, Garnett, Clucas.

Barnet: Brill, Byrne, Saville, Kamdjo, Mustoe; Deering, Hector, Hughes, Holmes; May, McGleish.

Barnet substitutes: Yiadom, O'Brien, McLeod, N'Diaye, Downing.

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