By the time Tuesday comes around, it’ll be two weeks since Carlisle knocked a screw into Barnet’s relegation coffin, and possibly quite an important screw. After losing only one of Graham Westley’s first four games in charge, this was to be the game to lift the Bees off the bottom of the table, to put real pressure on those above and belief that Barnet FC may actually get out of the mess they’re in.
And for a good portion of this game, the Bees looked like they would be doing just that. In just a few weeks, Westley has built up small confidence bricks slowly building towards getting out of the bottom two, although confidence remains fragile.
The three points were very much there for the taking, Carlisle almost looking as if they were there because they had to be, so a formality right? Well, it should have been! The Bees deservedly took the lead 5 minutes into the second half through a Ricardo Santos goal and on the hour they were given a golden opportunity to seal the points.
John Akinde from the penalty spot shouldn’t need a second thought, 2-0 to the Bees and finally off the bottom of the Football League. BUT, Akinde stepped up and blazed the ball over the bar, and plain to see immediately one of those confidence bricks smashed out of the wall.
Ten minutes later and a direct ball over the top allowed Ashley Nadesan to lob the on-rushing Craig Ross to equalise and suck the remaining confidence out of the home players. Two further goals in the final ten minutes condemned Barnet to a morale sapping defeat and in the eyes of most supporters the final nail tapped in, with 12 games left to play and six points short of safety.
Mention has to be made to those Carlisle fans pictured above, a Tuesday night journey to the outskirts of London is some commitment and fair play to each and every one of them for following their team rewarded with three points.
The Bees gave themselves a shot in the arm just four days later with a superb 1-0 away win at Colchester, the only problem being everyone else around them won as well and bottom place is where they remain. The crucial six-pointer against Port Vale, hovering one place outside the drop zone, was postponed thanks to the weather and by the time Tuesday night is over, two more crucial games for Morecambe and Forest Green will have passed and hopefully no more damage has been done to Barnet’s very slim hopes.
Three tough games await the Bees next all against promotion chasing sides, but Westley knows only wins will do now and you can expect they will set up for all their remaining games to win, nothing else will do if Barnet are to remain a Football League club beyond May.