The Easter Bank Holiday weekend is generally a time when dreams can be prolonged or smashed into a million pieces but with still 12 odd games to go for most National League clubs it hasn’t got the same appeal this year.
For Barnet, the season is really done, last week it looked like the side went through the motions at Yeovil after a mishmash of a week with no manager in place. Once again Head of Performance Gary Anderson was in charge with chairman Tony Kleanthous still undecided on his next appointment as manager and that is unlikely to change before Monday’s trip to local rivals Wealdstone.
Anderson recalled Antony Wordsworth to the starting line-up and was joined by Alexander McQueen returning from international action, Xander McBurnie and Tomi Adeloye dropping to the bench. The visitors arrived at The Hive with very little to play for themselves so an afternoon high on easter entertainment was likely to be in short supply.
The Bees began with a 3-5-2 formation, Lee Vaughan filling in at left wing back whilst McQueen looked to take up the right hand side position with Michael Petrasso and Ephron Mason-Clark tucked slightly more inside as a result.
The visitors controlled possession with Barnet unable to keep the ball when they did win it back, touch was lacking and some careless decisions. However, the early chances came the way of the home side, McQueen should have given the Bees the lead inside ten minutes, but indecision meant a wild volley sent into the terrace instead of a bulging net.
Mason-Clark was next to try his luck but his strong shot failed to dip back down under the bar. Barnet were forced into an early change when Petrasso left the pitch with what looked like a hamstring injury replaced by Antonis Vasiliou, a chance for the youngster to get more minutes under his belt at this level.
Moors should have been in front on the half hour mark, Aymen Azaze slightly fortunate the ball headed from a corner was straight at him and a reflex save kept the ball out.
Just as it looked like the Bees would see out the first 45 minutes, the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time, Tyrone Williams with a free header six yards out made no mistake. Barnet could and should have levelled things before the half time whistle went, JJ Hooper with a fantastic chance to bring parity but a weak shot was easy for Ryan Boot to gather.
The second half had Barnet on the front foot and with a bit more purpose, Wordsworth trying to catch out Boot in the Moors goal from a free kick but the save was equal to the shot taken.
Mason-Clark’s deft back header hit a post although unlikely to end up in the net given the angle but the closest the Bees came to a goal during the afternoon. Anderson then decided to change shape as Barnet chased the game, Adeloye replacing Vaughan.
As it was just four minutes later the visitors scored a potentially controversial second goal, one open for much debate. A pass out from Azaze put his defender under pressure and the controversy came from whether the ball came back to Kyle Hudlin from either Harry Taylor or the pressing Moors midfielder which was ruled after by the officials as from Taylor, Hudlin rounding Azaze and putting the ball in the back of the net.
That goal certainly put the game beyond Barnet and as has been the case on a few occasions ill discipline took over and the Bees finished the game with ten men, young centre half Themis Kefalas picking up two yellow cards in the space of three minutes to leave the Bees minus two central defenders for the Easter Monday trip.
There was a chance for the visitors to score a third but Ward effort was well saved by Azaze as the Bees slumped to yet another league defeat.
One win in twenty-seven games is now the stat for the sorry state of affairs and with eight red cards so far this season there is every chance records will be set everywhere and none of them good.
It is by far the worst time supporting the Bees in my 23 years and I was around when Gary Phillips put together a rag-tag team of journeymen who tried, had pride, and rarely got smashed around the park. It’s no disrespect to the players out there now but quality is lacking and a reason why these guys have not pitched up elsewhere.
Whilst there is merit in spending a few more days in getting the right man in place it is starting to wear a little thin that we can’t be honest in communicating where we’re at, why we’re delaying and why we won’t see certain players again in a Barnet shirt, it’s not difficult to keep what little fanbase you have onside.
That in no way is a dig at our media man Adam Rowe, a top job done under difficult circumstances and the content that does come out is top drawer but in a day and age where social media is king powered by the rumour mill let’s clear some of that up and be more transparent, remember at some stage fans will be allowed back into The Hive but at the moment we might be lucky if we fill one stand let alone four……….