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Barnet's final home game of the Skrill Premier season ended in a 1-1 draw against Braintree Town
Barnet ended their first season at The Hive with 1-1 draw against Braintree Town – a result which dented the visitors' Skrill Premier play-off hopes.
In a low-key first half, the Bees broke the deadlock thanks to a sumptuous goal from Keanu Marsh-Brown. The winger received the ball and rifled a 25-yard strike into the top corner.
While Barnet’s play-off ambitions were over, Braintree needed the points. They drew level through a Kenney Davis penalty but were unable to find the winner.
The Bees failed to create a clear chance in the second period. A draw was the fair result and leaves Barnet eighth in the table with one game remaining.
After he named an experimental XI against Nuneaton Town two days earlier, Bees head coach Martin Allen picked his strongest side.
There were eight changes. Graham Stack, Elliot Johnson, James Harper, Curtis Weston, Mark Byrne, Keanu Marsh-Brown, Jon Nurse and Jake Hyde all came back into the team.
The Bees started brightly. Hyde flicked an early Andy Yiadom cross wide before Curtis Weston dragged a shot narrowly past the post.
Byrne then broke through on goal but his tame effort was saved by Nick Hamann and Johnson’s over-hit cross struck the post before bouncing into the arms of the Braintree goalkeeper.
The Iron grew into the half and almost went in front. David Stephens headed clear a corner, the ball dropped to James Mulley and he volleyed just wide.
Bees keeper Stack then had to push clear a Dean Wells shot which was headed for the corner of his net.
Moments of quality had been rare in the first half but, with five minutes until the interval, the Bees went in front.
Marsh-Brown collected the ball 25 yards out, took a touch and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner. It was a touch of class from the winger.
It was a goal that put the Bees ahead at the interval but, knowing how important a victory would be, Braintree improved in the second period.
The visitors kept the ball well after the break. They maintained possession around the Bees penalty area and were awarded a spot kick when Davis was tripped by Valentin Gjokaj.
The midfielder stepped up and converted the penalty. Stack got a strong hand on the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Braintree brought on Jordan Cox in place of Dan Holman. There was an immediate chance for the striker but he fired wide.
The Bees did have the ball in the net for a second time. Iffy Allen, who had replaced James Harper, received a pass and teed up Marsh-Brown who tapped home. However, Allen was offside in the build-up.
Allen had perked up the Barnett attack and the young winger had a shot easily stopped by Hamann before he dragged another effort wide.
Luisma Villa fired over and the Bees failed to create a clear chance in the closing stages.
Braintree almost claimed the three points in the 88th minute. Josh Laurent broke through on goal but Stack was quickly off his line and denied the substitute.
It proved the final opportunity of the contest and the Bees’ final game of the campaign at their new home ended level.
Barnet have one game remaining. Allen’s side round off their campaign with a trip to Lincoln City next Saturday.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Gjokaj, Stephens, Johnson (Muggleton 79); Byrne, Harper (Allen 65), Weston; Marsh-Brown, Nurse; Hyde (Villa 65).
Barnet substitutes: Abdulla, Vilhete.
Braintree Town: Hamann, Peters, Habergham, Wells, Massey, Isaac (Sparkes 87), Mulley, Paine (Laurent 81), Davis, Marks, Holman (Cox 62).
Braintree Town substitutes: McDonald, Daley.
Attendance: 1,339 (155).
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