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Much improved Barnet held to goalless draw against Rotherham
4:57pm Saturday 22nd September 2012 in Sport
Given Barnet’s form this season a point and 0-0 draw against promotion favourites Rotherham United is undoubtedly a good result.
But given their performance, the Bees will be disappointed not to have got their first win of the campaign.
Ricky Holmes caused the Millers problems throughout both halves and he came close on several occasions in the opening 45 minutes.
Alex Revell should have scored with a header in the second period before he was dismissed for a foul on David Stephens on 79 minutes.
However, the Barnet couldn’t take advantage of the extra man and the game ended in a stalemate.
Bees boss Mark Robson made three changes to his side as Oliver Lee, Ahmed Abdulla and Jake Hyde replaced Curtis Weston, Jon Nurse and Jamal Lowe.
Barnet started the contest brightly and passed the ball crisply. Hyde sent a header narrowly wide before Ricky Holmes seemed to be barged over the in the Rotherham area. The referee thought otherwise.
Robson’s side controlled the opening 45 minutes. Holmes continued to drop into space and ran at the Millers’ defence regularly. He forced Scott Shearer into two good saves and the Bees certainly looked anything but a team at the foot of the table.
Rotherham rarely threatened in the opening period but the Bees looked a little nervous when they did go forward. However, the defence dealt well with the sporadic attacks from the visitors.
In the final minute of the half, Holmes again came close. He received the ball on the left side of the box, cut inside onto his right foot and saw a low shot well held by Shearer.
The Bees went off to standing ovation of the break and the only disappointment they didn’t establish a lead. After the restart Robson’s side fashioned a good chance to break the deadlock. Good work from Barry Fuller down the right flank meant he crossed into the box. Hyde laid the ball into the path of Lee but he fired over the crossbar.
The Millers continued to break down the Bees defence but came close to going ahead from a free-kick.
The ball was crossed into the box and Revell was unmarked. He dived to meet the delivery but could only direct his header against Graham Stack.
Barnet reacted to the chance positively and nearly took the lead from an unlikely source. Right-back Barry Fuller received a pass on the half way line. He continued to move forward unchallenged before his curling left-footed shot forced Shearer into a good stop.
Holmes looked the most likely player to open the scoring and he came agonisingly close with a shot across goal. It beat Shearer but went just past the post.
With 11 minutes remaining, Revell was dismissed. After chasing down a pass, the Millers striker dived in on Stephens. Referee Dean Whitestone deemed the challenge reckless and showed a red card.
Although a man down, Rotherham created a good chance to snatch all three points. Substitute Kieran Agard broke free but was held up by Stephens before forcing Stack into a good stop.
In stoppage time, Krystian Pearce headed over a John Oster cross and the game ended all square.
Barnet will hope to build on the display, and their first clean sheet of the season, when they make the long journey to Fleetwood Town next Saturday.
Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Stephens, Pearce, Brown; Kamdjo, Lee, Abdulla, Oster; Holmes, Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Fortune, Saville, Nurse, Warren, Cowler, Weston, Sykes.
Rotherham United: Shearer, Bradley, Sharps, Morgan, Tonge; Taylor, Rose (Ainsworth, 68), O'Connor, Pringle; Odejayi (Agard, 68), Revell.
Rotherham United substitutes: Warrington, Mullins, Ainsworth, Evans, Nardiello, Hunt, Agard.
Attendance: 1, 821 (384).