The Barnet play-off “train” has hit the buffers. A 1-0 defeat at Kidderminster Harriers means the Bees have lost their last three Skrill Premier matches and have dropped to seventh in the table.
A goal from Michael Gash on the hour mark settled the contest. The striker’s deflected shot looped over Graham Stack and the Barnet goalkeeper was sent off later in the half for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.
The Bees didn’t perform badly. They had their chances but their profligacy in front of goal proved costly.
There were five changes to the Barnet side which began last week’s 1-0 defeat to Gateshead. Stack returned in goal for his first appearance since New Year’s Day, Nick Jupp dropped to the bench. Valentin Gjokaj, Jon Nurse, Marciano Mengerink and Harry Crawford also came into the starting XI.
The first half lacked quality but chances were created. Lee Vaughan saw a tame shot easily stopped by Stack before Mengerink dragged an effort wide for the Bees.
Harriers left-back Mickey Demetriou twice fired over from distance while Cadogan forced Danny Lewis into a good stop from a free-kick.
Michael Gash headed over for the hosts but, as the opening 45 minutes drew to a close, the Bees began to threaten.
Jon Nurse’s low strike was hacked clear off the line and the striker then had another effort blocked.
Barnet’s defence had performed well but they were almost undone in the closing moments of the half.
Anthony Malbon did brilliantly to escape Cadogan and Mauro Vilhete. He advanced into the area, rolled the ball past Gjokaj but clipped his shot over the crossbar.
Neither team made a change at the interval but Barnet should’ve gone ahead less than a minute into the second period.
Nurse sent a low cross into the six yard box, Cadogan flicked his shot towards goal but Jamie Grimes managed to block the ball on the line and the danger was cleared.
Kidderminster responded and created a good chance. Malbon held of Andy Yiadom, cut onto his right foot and curled a shot towards the far corner. Stack pushed the effort clear and Vilhete poked the ball away from the penalty area.
Harriers increased their pressure on the Bees goal and they broke the deadlock on the hour mark. Gash collected the ball 20 yards out and fired towards goal. His shot took a deflection, looped over Stack and nestled in the net.
It was a disappointing goal to concede but Barnet responded positively and Gjokaj had a header scrambled clear.
Keanu Marsh-Brown was introduced with 17 minutes remaining and he brought fresh urgency to the Bees attack.
The winger broke down the right flank and crossed into the area. The ball dropped to Cadogan but, again, his shot was blocked.
Barnet had began to control possession, however, Kidderminster threatened on the counter attack.
And, with eight minutes remaining, the Bees were reduced to ten men. From a Barnet attack, the ball was cleared.
Marvin Johnson was through but Stack raced out of his goal and collided with the winger around 40 yards out.
There was no question it was a foul and the referee Paul Rees had no hesitation in showing the Bees goalkeeper a red card.
It halted the visitors’ momentum. Jupp was brought on in place of Nurse and Kidderminster kept the ball well in the close stages.
The hosts created good chances to add to their lead. Johnson was denied by Jupp and the substitute keeper then did excellently to push clear a shot from Malbon.
In the final minute, the Bees had two chances. Crawford had a header saved and the resultant corner was headed inches wide by David Stephens.
It was the final action of the game. The referee blew the final whistle and tempers flared at full time.
But the Bees will need to arrest this slump in form, they travel to Macclesfield Town on Tuesday.
Kidderminster Harriers: Lewis; L.Vaughan, Gowling, Grimes, Demetriou; O’Keefe (Byrne 53), Jackman, Gittings (Johnson 80), Gash (Wright 69), Malbon, Morgan-Smith.
Kidderminster Harriers substitutes: N.Vaughan, Bell.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Gjokaj, Vilhete; Weston, Abdulla (Marsh-Brown 73), Cadogan (Gambin 77); Nurse (Jupp 82), Crawford, Mengerink.
Barnet substitutes: Johnson, Warren.
Attendance: 1,950 (158)