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Edgar Davids was absent as Barnet suffered a 2-1 defeat at Chester in the Skrill Premier
Updated 5:48pm Saturday 18th January 2014 in Sport
Barnet director of football Paul Fairclough stressed the need for “championship winning form” if the Bees are to make the Skrill Premier play-offs. A 2-1 defeat at fourth from bottom Chester certainly isn’t that.
Barnet, who were without head coach Edgar Davids once again, had struggled for the majority of the game but Jake Hyde headed home with six minutes remaining to cancel out Lewis Turner’s opener.
Parity lasted less than sixty seconds. Jamie Reed thumped in a winner at the back post after poor defending from the Bees who couldn’t fashion an attempt at goal as they looked to rescue a point.
The Blues arguably did enough to earn victory but the defeat is another dent in Barnet’s promotion challenge.
With no Davids it was left to Ulrich Landvreugd to take charge of the visitors.
There was just the one change to the Barnet side as Keanu Marsh-Brown returned to the starting XI in place of Dani Lopez whose loan with the Bees ended last weekend.
The opening 20 minutes of the match were uneventful and neither side maintained possession or created chances of note.
Reid sent an effort from distance well over the crossbar before Luisma Villa responded with a tame effort that John Danby saved.
The Bees did have the ball in the net when Hyde turned a Marsh-Brown cross home from close range but the assistant referee flagged for offside and the goal was ruled out.
Chester threatened twice from free kicks. John Rooney, brother of England international Wayne, curled a shot into the side netting and then forced Nick Jupp into a near post stop.
From their next attack, the Blues went ahead. Turner struck an effort from distance which took a deflection and the ball ended up in the corner of Jupp’s net.
The visitors came close to an immediate response as Marsh-Brown crossed and Hyde’s near post flick went the wrong side of the post.
Hyde saw another shot saved late into the half but the Bees went into the interval behind.
Barnet continued to struggle in the second period and their attacks were easily dealt with by the home side’s defence.
Villa did have a free kick well stopped by Danby but the visitors looked bereft of ideas for the majority of the second period.
Rooney flashed a shot wide for Chester before Landvreugd made a double change as Luke Gambin and Harry Crawford replaced Villa and Kieran Cadogan.
The changes didn’t help spark the Barnet attack into life and Gambin almost flicked the ball into his own net from a corner.
Chester defended well throughout but have been susceptible to late goals in recent weeks. And, with six minutes remaining, the Bees grabbed a barely deserved equaliser.
Crawford had space on the wing to cross and his delivery was perfect for Hyde and the striker headed past Danby.
Any hope the travelling supporters had of snatching a victory lasted less than a minute. Chester kicked off and the ball was played out wide to Turner.
He advanced towards the touchline without any pressure and whipped the ball across the area. The Barnet defence didn’t clear and Reed smashed home at the back post.
The Bees players were visibly disappointed and they were unable to threaten the hosts’ goal as they slipped to a third straight away defeat.
Every game Barnet don’t win makes it harder to reach the play-offs, Fairclough said on Tuesday. Maximum points will be required from the Bees next two home matches, starting with Aldershot Town on Tuesday.
Chester: Danby, L Turner, Horan, Killock, McIntyre, Rooney, Jarrett, G Miller, Menagh (Lindfield 69), Reed (Heath 87), Peers (Mahon 79).
Chester substitutes: Fearon, Kay.
Barnet: Jupp; Yiadom (Acheampong 82), Stephens, Saville, Johnson; Cadogan (Crawford 58), Byrne, Weston, Villa (Gambin 58); Marsh-Brown, Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Abdulla, Barnes.
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