Tooth­less duo set­tle for share of spoils

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Alex Brodie

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.”



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