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Npower League Two
It's going to be a long week
By Andrew Taylor
A strong and determined 90 minute display from The Bees saw a well-deserved 4-0 victory against a distinctly average AFC Wimbledon.
Goals from man of the match Ricky Holmes, Sam Deering, Ben May and Mark Hughes sealed the win, it now means Barnet must better or equal Hereford's result next week to stay in the Football League, there is only one more spot up for grabs as Macclesfield were relegated after their defeat against Burton.
It was a blustery sodden day at Underhill, pre-match Martin Allen was out on the pitch taking charge of the warm-ups showing his usual enthusiasm and appetite, his first home line-up included a couple of surprises, Mark Byrne was to start at right back, Michael Hector in central midfield and Scott McGleish up front, it meant Clovis Kamdjo and Jack Saville were the centre-backs and maybe slightly harshly Paul Downing was on the bench.
The match started quite evenly with the conditions dictating a direct approach might be the best way to goal. On ten minutes Ricky Holmes found space in the box but his shot was beaten away by young keeper Jack Turner, ten minutes later Michael Hector's shot from distance was saved at the second attempt by Turner then the lively Holmes had an effort that was blocked inside the area, the home side were having all the play in the final third as The Dons struggled to create anything of note.
On 32 minutes Barnet deservedly took the lead, a poor kicked clearance from Turner in the Wimbledon goal led to a Bees throw in, from there the ball found its way to Izale McLeod in the box who turned and laid the ball to Holmes who passed the ball under the keeper and into the net, cue wild celebrations as all outfield players rushed to celebrate with the goalscorer, it had been a long time coming and Barnet continued to dominate as the first half came to an end.
The home side made a change at half time as Paul Downing replaced Jack Saville at centre-back, Scott McGleish had the first chance of the second period but his header was straight at Jack Turner. The conditions worsened but that didn't deter The Bees nor affect their performance, news was filtering around the ground that Hereford had scored at Crawley and so a nervous spell ensued, the Black and Amber army raised the volume a few notches as they tried to spur the lads on, now Hereford were two up and Macclesfield were behind but it was all about what was going on at Underhill.
And what was going on at Underhill was a superb finale where in the final ten minutes The Bees turned their dominance into a not so flattering result, Sam Deering side footed home from inside the box, the recently brought-on Ben May made the game safe with a finish from close range and finally skipper Mark Hughes scored from an equally close distance, Ricky Holmes had a hand in all the goals and fully deserved his recognition of man of the match, at times he was unplayable and is a joy to watch when in this form.
So it comes down to a straight fight next Saturday, Barnet travel to Burton and Hereford have a home game against promotion chasing Torquay. It's going to be a long week but if Barnet play like they did today surely they will be no match for a Burton side who were in free fall before relegating Macclesfield today. It's never dull with Martin Allen in charge and this performance had all his characteristics. Roll on the Pirelli Stadium and Burton-Upon-Trent.
Brill, Mustoe, Hector, Saville (Downing - 46), Kamdjo, Hughes, Byrne, Deering, McGleish (Gambin - 87), Holmes, McLeod (May - 80)
Unused substitutes: O'Brien, Yiadom
Turner, Stuart, Bush, Mitchell-King, Hatton, Wellard (Knott - 58), Jolley (Midson - 58), Kiernan (L Moore - 70), Yussuff, Moncur, Harrison
Unused substitutes: Brown, Reece Jones
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