ICEMAN TAYLOR MELTS HATTERS
BARNET manager Rossi Eames dubbed teenager match-winner Jack Taylor “the Iceman” after the midfielder’s first professional goal in stoppage time capped an emotional day for his family.
Taylor – dismissed late on in the Bees’ league opener at Forest Green last Saturday – was a first-half replacement for his brother Harry, who sustained a nasty facial injury.
“They’re the emotions of football – Jack’s family will watch his goal over and over again tonight,” said Eames. “I call him the Iceman as nothing really fazes him.
“He has that quality in him. I’ve seen that for the six years that I’ve been coaching him. I’m very proud of him, he’s a fantastic player. That bit of quality at the end was superb for us.”
Harry Taylor’s injury was one of three within the opening 36 minutes of the match, something that severely impacted on the tempo of the opening half. Eames confirmed that the defender requires plastic surgery following a clash of heads.
The only chance of note saw Barnet goalkeeper Jamie Stephens brilliantly tip Dan Potts’ header from Alan Sheehan’s corner onto the bar.
“It was an ugly game, it didn’t really get going,” added Eames. “It was a sticky pitch, there wasn’t enough water on it.
“But we had a plan, we wanted to frustrate Luton, and the players put a shift in. I’m delighted.”
Experienced Bees midfielder Jamal Campbell-Ryce twice came close to opening the scoring early on in the second half.
First he blazed across goal from an acute angle, before Town goalkeeper Marek Stech tipped his curling effort wide.
Hatters centre-back Potts seemingly saved his side’s clean sheet as he produced a spectacular last-ditch tackle to deny the unmarked Mauro Vilhete from shooting ten yards out. But Taylor had other ideas, leaving Stech little chance with a low curling shot from 25 yards seconds into injury-time.
Stephens ensured Barnet claimed all three points as he produced another great save to tip Olly Lee’s 96thminute header over the bar.
Town boss Nathan Jones challenged his players to find some consistency after their poor performance. “We didn’t deserve to win the game,” he said.
“Barnet work hard, they’ve got a structure to them and they deserved to win.
“Inconsistency troubled us last year. We had that 8-2 victory (over Yeovil Town last Saturday) and then suddenly we put in a performance like that. We’ve tried to change that (inconsistency) and I’m hoping it’s not going to creep in this year.
“We didn’t do the basics well enough. We didn’t pass it well enough to cause them a problem, we didn’t win our headers, we didn’t win the second balls, we didn’t get a foothold of the game.” BARNET: (3-5-2): Stephens 8, Santos 8, Nelson 8, Tutonda 8, H Taylor 7 (J Taylor 36 7), Vilhete 7, Campbell-Ryce 6, Weston 6 (Fonguck 71 6), Johnson 5 (Clough 6 7), Coulthirst 6, Akpa Akpro 7 Subs not used: Ross, Akinola, Bover, Amaluzor LUTON TOWN: (4-4-2): Stech 7, Stacey 5, Cuthbert 6 (Rea 20 7), Sheehan 6, Potts 7, O Lee 5, McCormack 5, Shinnie 4 (Cook 71 5), Mpanzu 7, Vassell 4 (Lee E 89 N/A), Collins 5 Subs not used: Shea, Mullins, Gambin, Cornick, Jones
BATTLE: Luton’s Isaac Vassell, left, takes on Barnet’s Jamal Campbell-Ryce GOAL: Jack Taylor nets the Bees’ late winner