AKINDE FLUFFS THE BEES’ CHANCES

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Oli Gamp

LU­TON Town man­ager Nathan Jones ad­mit­ted his side were let off the hook by a mis­fir­ing Barnet as the Hat­ters claimed a smash-and­grab raid with vic­tory at the Hive to boost their play-off as­pi­ra­tions.

Olly Lee scored the only goal of the game de­spite the con­test be­ing largely dom­i­nated by Barnet, who missed great chances to go ahead from John Akinde and Mauro Vil­hete.

Jones said: “I’m de­lighted with the re­sult at this stage of the sea­son. Per­for­mance-wise we were nowhere near and, to be fair, we were a lit­tle bit for­tu­nate.

“Barnet prob­a­bly had the best chances. We had a glo­ri­ous one in the first half, but they had good op­por­tu­ni­ties. What I said to them was ‘get the clean sheet and win the game’, and that’s what we did.

“I would rather win and play badly at this stage of the sea­son.”

Kick­ing off with a scrappy end-to-end af­fair at the sun-drenched Hive, some good work by Law­son D’Ath down the right forced Jamie Stephens into an early save.

Akinde, guilty of miss­ing a cou­ple of great chances against Stevenage last week, fluffed an­other golden op­por­tu­nity when put clean through on goal by Curtis We­ston, pok­ing a weak ef­fort straight at Moore, and Jones ad­mit­ted his side failed to de­liver on their pre-match prepa­ra­tions.

“I said to them yes­ter­day, ‘when we are in pos­ses­sion that is when he (Akinde) is at his most dan­ger­ous’. But it is all about the re­sult.”

Ruben Bover let fly with an ef­fort that curled inches wide from about 35 yards out, and the Bees crafted an­other open­ing when a cor­ner was met by Char­lie Clough, whose glanc­ing header fizzed just over the bar.

Sec­onds be­fore the half time whis­tle, Akinde found him­self once again with just Moore to beat, who this time pulled off a won­der­ful in­stinc­tive save.

Barnet claimed the best chance of the game as a deep free kick found Vil­hete, who pow­ered a header to­wards the top right- the out­stretched arm of Moore com­ing to the res­cue.

The Hat­ters snatched the lead against the run of play – a pass­ing move found Lee, whose first-time ef­fort ri­fled into the bot­tom-left cor­ner.

A late fight­back was at­tempted by the home side as We­ston’s shot was hacked off the line by Rea, while Akinde missed a third chance when he nod­ded an early cross well over, leav­ing Barnet boss Kevin Nu­gent frus­trated.

“It seems to be a con­tin­u­ous thing,” said Nu­gent. “To­day was an ex­cep­tional per­for­mance. Tac­ti­cally we got it spot on against a good side. Once again, they’ve had two shots on tar­get.

“We should have won the game and we haven’t. Any­one here to­day would have felt that we de­served to win the game.

“The young lads have al­ready had chances, but we’re go­ing to be in­te­grat­ing them and we’re still try­ing to win.”

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