Toothless duo settle for share of spoils
BARNET manager Martin Allen was impressed with the way his charges bounced back from defeat last week to secure a hard-earned point in difficult conditions.
On a bitterly cold and blustery afternoon, both teams had periods of superiority, but neither had the final quality to break the deadlock.
Tom Barkhuizen had a goal disallowed and missed from close range for Morecambe while Josh Clarke and John Akinde both spurned chances for Barnet.
Allen felt that, with a bit more composure up front, Barnet could have taken all three points.
“There were some good points to the game and perhaps there could have been some improvements in the final third,” he said.
“They had some opportunities, too, but it’s another point on the board, it’s a clean sheet and clean sheets are always a positive.
“There were lots of good individual performances. As a group, we defended resolutely. The whole team was well organised, disciplined and drilled.
“The conditions play a massive part.We saw it last season, on many occasions, how difficult it was for us to play.
“We kept them out in the second half, didn’t let them near our goal. In the second half, we dominated the game. But we didn’t take the chances when they came our way.”
The first shot on goal came on the half hour from a Morecambe counter-attack, but top scorer Barkhuizen failed to convert from six yards.
Minutes later, the 22year-old forward had the ball in the net after he followed up a parried shot and slotted home, but his finish was ruled offside.
Barnet were a completely different side after the restart and had several chances to go ahead.
First, Clarke ran in from the right unmarked to meet a cross, but keeper Barry Roche closed him down. Then Michael Gash put a free-kick narrowly over and Akinde blasted over when free in the area.
Morecambe manager Jim Bentley was pleased that his side showed character after a disappointing midweek defeat in the FA Cup to Dagenham. “We had to bounce back and show character after Tuesday and that’s just what we did,” he said.
“I thought first half, we were the better side, had the better chances. They penned us in during the second half. They’re a big, strong, physical side. As a group, we defended well.
“I thought they shaded the second half, so overall probably a point is a fair result. It was important we got something today, bounced back and got something on the board. Get some positivity back.
“A clean sheet and a point. That was important. It could be better, but I’m pretty pleased.”
STAR MAN ANDY YIADOM