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Edgar Davids was absent as Barnet sufferd a 1-0 defeat against Burton Albion
Barnet missed Edgar Davids. There is no doubt about that. Any team would miss their manager.
Were the Bees beaten 1-0 by Burton Albion solely because the Dutchman was absent due to illness? No they weren’t.
What proved costly was a lapse in concentration just three minutes into the game. It resulted in a penalty which Jacques Maghoma scored.
The rest of the contest was even and the two sides missed chances which they perhaps should have taken.
Despite the defeat, Barnet will take the positives from the game though as they played well for the majority of the contest.
Davids and Jake Hyde were unavailable due to illness and injury respectively; their replacements were Andy Yiadom and John Oster.
The Bees couldn’t have made a worse start and went behind in the third minute. A long pass forward was flicked on by Calvin Zola to Maghoma.
He took a touch into the box and was bundled over by Barry Fuller. Penalty to Burton.
Maghoma decided to take the spot kick and sent Graham Stack the wrong way to give the Brewers an early lead.
It was one they failed to build on though and Barnet controlled the rest of the half. Chances came and went for the Bees.
Andy Iro had a header saved by Stuart Tomlinson and, after good passing between Ricky Holmes and Ibra Sekajja, Holmes fired wide.
Billy Kee curled a shot narrowly past the post for the Brewers but they struggled to test Stack in the Bees goal. Barnet’s best chance of the opening period fell to Sekajja.
Holmes battled through several challenges before being disposed.
The ball dropped to the Crystal Palace loanee 12-yards out. However, he rushed his shot and sliced wide.
Neither team made changes at the interval but shortly after the restart the Bees nearly went further behind.
A cross into the box was pushed clear by Stack and the ball rebounded off Iro and just wide of the post.
The Bees continued to pass the ball well but were lacking a real threat up front.
Sekajja showed some neat touches but found it difficult against two strong centre-backs.
Zola caused the Bees defence problems throughout and he should’ve doubled the Brewers lead when the ball fell to him ten yards out. However, the tall striker scuffed his shot wide.
Burton looked dangerous on the counter and Zola again came close only for his curled strike to be well saved by Stack.
Barnet continued to try to pass their way through the hosts’ defence but weren’t able to thread the final pass.
New signing Harry Crawford was introduced and smashed a shot just wide with his first touch for the Bees.
In the final five minutes, Iro moved into attack and the Bees attempted to use him as a target man in order to build attacks.
Unfortunately for the Barnet, it didn’t work and despite increased pressure, the Brewers saw out the game fairly comfortably.
It was Barnet’s first loss on the road in over a month but there were several positives to take even in defeat.
The Bees return to action on Friday as they travel to fellow strugglers Bristol Rovers.
Burton Albion: Tomlinson; O'Connor, Diamond, Sharps, McCrory; Drury, Bell, Weir, Maghoma; Zola (Dyer 81), Kee (Paterson 65).
Burton Albion substitutes: Webster, Stanton, McGrath, Lyness, Phillips, Paterson, Dyer.
Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Stephens, Iro, Johnson; Weston (Crawford 71), Oster, Byrne; Yiadom (Kamdjo 83), Holmes; Sekajja.
Barnet substitutes: Brown, Kamdjo, Lee, Gambin, Cowler, Holwijn, Crawford.