Barnet got 2013 off to a disappointing start as the Bees suffered a 1-0 home defeat against fellow League Two strugglers Aldershot Town.

Barnet created the better chances in the opening half as Ricky Holmes and Jon Nurse forced Jaime Young into two good saves.

But a disastrous start to the second period proved costly for the Bees as a penalty from Craig Reid put the Shots ahead and Nurse was sent off just two minutes later.

Barnet battled bravely for the remainder of the half but were unable to find an equaliser and suffered  defeat in the league at Underhill for the first time since October.

There were three changes to the Barnet side as Edgar Davids, who missed out due to a shoulder injury, Mark Byrne and Elliot Johnson were replaced by Curtis Weston, Nurse and Jordon Brown.

Barnet began the contest sluggishly and the Shots forced the first opportunity as Sonny Bradley flicked a header into the arms of Bees keeper Graham Stack.

Davids’ side battled their way back into the game and Holmes’ shot from 20 yards was well saved by Young.

When in possession, Barnet used the ball better than Aldershot. John Oster linked the midfield and attack well and a clever pass from the former Welsh international created the Bees next chance.

The midfielder threaded the ball through to Nurse, the striker turned well and sent a shot towards goal.

Young palmed the ball clear and Barry Fuller could only fire the rebound wide of the left post.

Holmes continued to cause the Shots problems down their left flank and he cut inside and sent an effort goalwards, only for the ball to be deflected wide.

Barnet looked the more likely to break the deadlock but in the closing minutes of the first half, the Shots came close through Dani Lopez.

However, Stack saved the striker’s effort and then stopped a header from Reid.

The two sides went into the interval level but just two minutes after the restart, the Bees fell behind.

A corner into the box dropped to Bradley and his shot struck the arm of David Stephens. Referee Carl Berry, perhaps harshly, pointed to the spot and Reid fired in the penalty.

Things got worse for the Bees two minutes later as Nurse was dismissed. The striker dived into a challenge on Lopez on the halfway line and referee Berry decided it was worthy of a red card.

The Shots pushed forward in search of a second goal and Stack did well to push away a strong shot from Kieran Cadogan.

However, despite their man disadvantage, it was the Bees who created the better chances in the remainder of the second period.

Holmes first forced Young into a good low stop after a powerful run from midfield before the Shots keeper got down well to save a Yiadom effort from inside the box.

The Bees continued to push forward and thought they had pulled level as Holmes again got behind the Aldershot defence, crossed into the box and Hyde turned the ball in at the near post.

But assistant referee Michael George judged that Hyde was offside and the goal was ruled out. It was a questionable decision and one Bees head coach Davids clearly disagreed with.

The Shots heeded the warning and managed the game sensibly. They defended in number and didn’t over commit players when attacking.

In the final minute of normal time, Aldershot almost sealed the victory as substitute Danny Hylton struck the post after a clever pass from former Barnet loanee Michael Hector.

It almost proved a costly miss as Mark Byrne’s looping shot was tipped over the crossbar by Young and the following corner found Davids Stephens but his powerful header was cleared off the line and the Shots held on for victory.

Barnet return to Underhill on Saturday as they host Bradford City.

Barnet: Stack; Fuller, Stephens, Iro (Atieno 77), Brown; Yiadom, Weston, Oster (Byrne 75), Holmes; Nurse, Hyde.

Barnet substitutes: Cowler, Kamdjo, Byrne, Fortune, Lee, Atieno, Johnson.

Aldershot Town: Young; A.Morris, Brown, Bradley, Tonkin; Cadogan (Sinclair 81), Hector, Rose, Vincenti; Reid (Hylton 82), Lopez (Mekki, 60).

Aldershot Town substitutes: Hylton, Sinclair, Bergqvist, Mekki, Madjo, G.Morris, Roberts.

Attendace: 2,772 (444).