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Edgar Davids was absent as Barnet suffered a 2-1 defeat at FC Halifax Town - their first defeat of the season
Barnet’s unbeaten run in the Skrill Premier is over. The Bees were beaten 2-1 by Halifax Town. But why did Barnet head coach Edgar Davids not attend the match?
Supporters presumed his absence at Gateshead earlier in the season was a one off. But before kick-off news filtered through that the Dutchman had not travelled with the squad.
Could or would he have made a difference on the touchline? Who knows. But he will need to come up solution as to why the Bees have been unable to produce a consistent performance over 90 minutes.
There was a single change to the Barnet side which defeated Hyde seven days earlier. Elliot Johnson returned from illness and started in place of Jordan Brown.
The Bees began the game sluggishly and Dan Gardener fired an early warning shot wide of the post.
Barnet responded and Jake Hyde had two efforts on goal in quick succession. The first cleared the crossbar while the second was saved by Matt Glennon - although the striker should’ve passed to the unmarked Mark Byrne on the edge of the penalty area.
Halifax remained in control of the half and continued to apply pressure on the Bees goal, it eventually led to the opener.
A series of crosses into the Barnet penalty area were cleared. The ball dropped to Scott McManus and his curling shot nestled in the corner.
Barnet did begin to show some urgency after going behind and Glennon produced a good save to push clear a Keanu Marsh-Brown free kick before Curtis Weston fired over the crossbar.
As the opening 45 minutes drifted to a close, both sides came inches away from scoring the second goal of the game.
A thunderous half volley from Halifax’s Lois Maynard rattled the crossbar and then Barnet’s David Stephens did the same down the other end of the pitch.
With no Davids it was left to Ulrich Landvreugd to take the half time team talk and the Bees created two chances shortly after the restart.
The first was a shot from Weston which was saved and then Byrne could only direct a header onto the roof of the net.
Barnet’s defence had looked shaky throughout the match however and five minutes into the second period Halifax added a second goal.
A free kick into the Bees penalty area was headed back across goal and Maynard smashed the ball into the net via the crossbar.
Landvreugd made a brave decision. Off came defender Anthony Acheampong and midfielder Roberto Casabella. On came striker Harry Crawford and playmaker Luisma Villa.
Barnet switched to three defenders, two of which were full-backs. It was all out attack. But it worked.
The Bees pulled a goal back with 25 minutes remaining. Weston evaded a challenge before his shot from 25 yards curled, dipped, clipped the crossbar and eventually dropped into the corner.
An onslaught ensued. Marsh-Brown fired wide and Villa scuffed an effort towards goal that was cleared.
Marsh-Brown again came close, collecting the ball before forcing Glennon into stop at his near post. The Bees left themselves exposed in defence but their gung-ho attitude was paying off.
The next effort on goal was yet again from Marsh-Brown. The winger’s over hit cross beat Glennon but clipped the post before being cleared.
Chances continued to come and go. In stoppage time Mauro Vilhete had a shot saved. The resultant corner was cleared. Game over.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Pearson, Lowe, Smith (McReady 77), Roberts, Ainge, Carver (Johnson 59), Gardner (Marshall 67), Maynard.
FC Halifax Town substitutes: Senior, Williams, Marshall, Johnson, McReady.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Acheampong (Crawford 56), Johnson; Weston, Byrne, Casabella (Villa 56); Marsh-Brown, Gambin (Vilhete 78); Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Crawford, Jupp, Luisma, Vilhete, Brown.
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