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On-loan Stevenage striker Dani Lopez scores twice as Barnet beat Concord Rangers in FA Cup
Barnet ensured there was to be no upset at The Hive as two Dani Lopez goals helped them to a 3-0 victory over Concord Rangers and a place in tomorrow’s FA Cup first round draw.
The Bees kept faith with the same line-up which secured a 1-0 win at Hereford United the previous week but one person who was absent was head coach Edgar Davids, who was in Holland receiving treatment on his ankle according to club officials.
Concord, who were playing in the Essex Senior League as recent as 2008, made a committed start to the tie but after taking a little time to settle, the Bees made the breakthrough in the 20th minute through Keanu Marsh-Brown. And that advantage was doubled eight minutes later when an unmarked Lopez headed in a Kieron Cadogan cross.
This gave the Bees the platform to go on and control the game and they scored a third with 18 minutes remaining when excellent work by Luisma Villa set up Lopez for his second.
Villa also hit a post from a free-kick before the end as his side ultimately ran out comfortable victors over the Skrill South outfit.
It was the visitors who had the first semblance of an opening when midfielder Sam Collins clipped a shot over Graham Stack’s bar from around 20 yards as the contest got off to a scrappy opening.
Indeed, the visitors were more than holding their own in what were unpleasant conditions in the early stages but Barnet slowly began to settle and took the lead in the 20th minute when Lopez broke down the right before squaring for Marsh-Brown, who took a touch before dispatching a right-footed shot past helpless goalkeeper Jamie Butler.
A second could have followed three minutes later when Villa received the ball on the left side of the area and he tried a right-footed curler but bent his effort wide of the far post.
Stack wasn’t unduly troubled by a Steve Cawley shot from the edge of the area but in the 28th minute the Bees did double their lead.
Again it came when the hosts attacked at pace with Marsh-Brown initially leading the charge. The ball was worked out to Cadogan on the left and his cross was superbly headed past Butler by Lopez to make it 2-0 to net his first goal since returning on loan from Stevenage.
The Beachboys had a opportunity to try and reduce the deficit in the 34th minute when Jack Saville was penalised for a foul near the edge of his own penalty area but Gary Ogilvie was unable to keep his left-footed free-kick beneath the bar.
Saville picked up the game’s first yellow card five minutes before the break for pulling back Sam Higgins and from the resultant free-kick, the ball fell on the edge of the area for Ogilvie to connect well with a left-footed half-volley which brought a fine save from Stack as he dived to his left to push the ball behind for a corner.
The Bees had one further opportunity in first-half injury time when a free-kick was rolled short to Marsh-Brown but his right-footed strike from around 20 yards cleared the stand.
The hosts made a change at the start of the second half, with Mark Byrne making his return from injury in place of Saville. This meant Carl Fletcher moved back and into the heart of defence.
Barnet continued to control the game after the restart, moving the ball around nicely at times without creating any real opportunities.
With their cup hopes slipping away, Concord made a double change in the 57th minute as Tony Stokes and Reece Harris came on for Cawley and Bradley Hamilton.
But the Bees continued to control the exchanges and were in the position to withdraw the influential Marsh-Brown with 23 minutes remaining as he was replaced by Marciano Mengerink after Byrne had tested Butler with a strike from the edge of the area.
The Concord keeper also had to keep an eye on a Villa free-kick from long-range but was not unduly troubled by the effort. But the keeper was beaten for a third time with 18 minutes left when some excellent work by Villa ended with him sliding in Lopez, who confidently beat Butler to ensure his side will be in the hat for tomorrow’s draw.
Butler had to go to ground to hold on to a long-range Mauro Vilhete effort before Lopez, who was seeking his hat-trick, strode forward but fired over the top.
Concord made their final substitution with 12 minutes left as Nathan Livings came on for Higgins and then the hosts followed suit, with Jon Nurse replacing Fletcher.
Those substitutions happened as the Bees were preparing to take a free-kick from left of centre and when Villa did strike the set piece it almost resulted in a fourth goal as his effort rebounded back off Butler’s near post.
Cadogan also had an opportunity soon after but stabbed his rising right-footed shot wide of the near post. But the closing stages were increasingly about Villa and Lopez, with the former forcing Butler to back track with an audacious effort from inside his own half. The midfielder then curled another effort just wide after Lopez had been unable to get a shot away before the on-loan Stevenage forward appeared to have done most of the hard work but then blazed well over the top.
Barnet: Stack; Acheampong, Stephens, Saville (Byrne 46), Vilhete; Fletcher (Nurse 78), Abdulla; Marsh-Brown (Mengerink 67), Villa, Cadogan; Lopez. Not used: Jupp, Johnson, Crawford, Allen.
Concord Rangers: Butler; Hamilton (Harris 57), King, Easterford, Glozier; Gordon, White, Cawley (Stokes 57), Ogilvie; Collins; Higgins (Livings 78). Not used: Lee, Lampe.
Bookings: Saville for a foul on Higgins (40).
Attendance: 1,373 (226 away).
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