AKINDE BLOW TO BLUNT BEES

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By An­drew Brook

JOHN AKINDE’S late with­drawal with a ham­string prob­lem robbed Bar­net of their most po­tent weapon and their best chance of vic­tory in this frus­trat­ing stale­mate.

Carlisle en­joyed the bet­ter spells of pres­sure and Bar­net had the bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties, but nei­ther goal­keeper was called on to make a dif­fi­cult save.

Bees man­ager Martin Allen said: “We had about four good chances in the first half where we should have scored.

“In the se­cond half it was dif­fi­cult for our team to play higher up the pitch be­cause our for­ward play­ers weren’t quite at full fit­ness.The ball kept on com­ing back.

“Shaun Batt was go­ing to be a sub­sti­tute but John Akinde’s ham­string was tight be­fore the game, so I threw Shaun in. He’s run him­self into the ground and he got tired when he ran through with one chance.

“Michael Gash has had a ham­string in­jury and he’s hardly trained. He’s done us and me a favour to play.

“In the past per­haps there’s been nu­mer­ous times when you play those games and you lose 1-0, but I don’t think in the se­cond half they ac­tu­ally had an ef­fort on our goal. They had pres­sure but they didn’t break our lines.

“We de­fended res­o­lutely and with dis­ci­pline. It’s an­other im­por­tant point on the board.We were not on top form, we were half-a-yard short, but the point is valu­able.”

Both mid­fields laboured keenly. It was blue-col­lar at­tack­ing with more per­spi­ra­tion than in­spi­ra­tion, but nev­er­the­less there should have been goals in the open­ing half. Char­lie Wyke es­pe­cially was guilty of fir­ing sev­eral at­tempts over the low ter­race stands be­hind the goals.

The two best chances fell to the Bees. Right-back Gavin Hoyte blazed very high af­ter slip­ping be­hind the crowded area un­no­ticed, and then Batt shot tamely wide when through on the keeper.

The im­pact of the live­lier play­ers, such as Bastien Hery, waned af­ter the break as both teams seemed in­creas­ingly happy to fil­i­buster for a draw that stretches Bar­net’s un­beaten home run to four games and moves Carlisle to within a point off the play-offs.

Hal­lam Hope pro­duced the only spark, bril­liantly con­trol­ling the ball by the touch­line and jink­ing past two de­fend­ers, but his weak shot was eas­ily saved.

Carlisle man­ager Keith Curle said:“We’ve come to a very dif­fi­cult place.They have the se­cond-best home record in the divi­sion, but we had the larger dom­i­nance in the game with­out re­ally cre­at­ing any clear-cut chances. They had a cou­ple of snap­shots in the first half, but over­all we had good dom­i­nance.

“Both man­agers prob­a­bly will feel a lit­tle bit more qual­ity could have made it more of a spec­ta­cle in the fi­nal third, but ul­ti­mately we had more dom­i­nance and en­tries into the fi­nal third.We’ve got some smil­ing faces in there be­cause the play­ers were chal­lenged and they’ve stood up to that.”

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