Game of Two-Halves as Notts Fall to Barnet
Notts County suffered a second successive defeat on the road as Barnet took all three points at The Hive.
The Magpies were left to rue a string of missed chances in a dominant first-half display, succumbing to three second-half goals in the space of 16 minutes.
Notts started the game well, as a second minute attack saw an effort by Filip Valencic fly wide of the goal.
In the fourth minute it was very nearly Barnet who took the lead. Mark Randall won possession in midfield, heading the ball through to Fumnaya Shomotum whose pace saw him race away from the Notts defence, with only a brilliant save from Scott Loach keeping the ball out of the net.
The Magpies immediately went on the counter, winning a corner. Alan Smith’s header then found Liam Noble who teed up Izale McLeod. His shot was blocked but the ball found its way back to McLeod who was brought down for a penalty.
Skipper Jon Stead stepped up and coolly hit the spot kick low to the right, sending Jamie Stephens the wrong way.
The next 10 minutes saw Notts have chances to extend their lead. First of all McLeod turned inside and out to make space for a shot which curled agonisingly wide of the far post. In the eleventh minute, a long ball forward saw Stead cushion a header to Noble, who cut inside and fired in a shot which was pushed away at the keeper’s right for a corner.
Another Stead header saw him pick up the ball around the half-way line, playing it through to McLeod whose shot was blocked.
A minute later, Notts were almost punished as the ball was given away cheaply by Stanley Aborah to Shomotum who played in Justin Nwogu but his cross was blocked by Haydn Hollis for a corner.
Liam Nobel had a long range effort on target in the 18th minute but it was saved by Stephens.
Hollis came to Notts' rescue again in the 26th minute as Shomotun used his pace to beat Aborah. His cross beat Loach but was put behind for corner by Hollis.
Jon Stead almost doubled his tally and Notts lead in the 34th minute. Noble passed to Valencic who fired in a cross. Stead slid in but poked his shot narrowly wide of the post.
Thierry Audel struck wildly over the bar after a Smith long ball and a deft touch by Noble. Moments later, Noble was the creator again as he threaded a pass through to put Jon Stead one-on-one with the Stephens, but the striker pulled his shot wide of the right hand post.
The Magpies were almost made to pay a minute later as McLeod gave away the ball cheaply, Noble found himself committed leaving space in behind but Barnet could only muster a poor cross, ensuring Notts went in ahead at half-time.
Barnet made two changes at half-time, bringing on Bira Dembele in place of Shomotun and Michael Gash replacing Justin Nwogu.
Gash made an instant impact as he was brought down off the ball inside the box, the referee awarding a Barnet penalty. Akinde stepped up and dispatched it low to Loach’s right leaving the keeper rooted to the spot, drawing The Bees level.
Mark Cooper made his first change in the 53rd minute bringing on Graham Burke for Valencic.
Burke’s first contribution was a free-kick driven over the bar from 40 yards out following a Barnet handball.
A slick move saw Barnet take the lead in the 55th minute. Randall powered a shot past Loach after cutting through the Notts defence with a neat one-two with Yiadom.
Montel Gibson made another first team appearance as he was brought on for McLeod with half an hour left to play.
Yiadom then extended Barnet’s lead. He was allowed space to run at the Notts defence, before cutting inside and hitting a shot from outside the box, which took a big deflection and found its way past the helpless Loach.
Montel Gibson got his first sight of goal after 64 minutes as the Magpies looked for an instant response but he was only able to scuff his shot straight at the keeper.
Noble went close a minute later as his powerful low shot from an Audel cross was saved by Stephens who hung onto the ball at the second attempt.
Audel found himself in the referee’s book for a heavy challenge. From the resulting attack Gambin played in Akinde but the Bees striker shot straight at Loach.
Barnet made their final change just after the 70 minute mark bringing on Harry Taylor for Gambin. Seven minutes later he should have had an assist, as his cross was fired over by Akimbe from a few yards out
Notts final change saw Adam Campbell come on for Aborah in the 78th minute.
Barnet had another clear chance to extend their lead in the 82nd minute after Randall was played clean through but shot straight at Loach.
Graham Burke tested Stephens in the 84th minute with a long range shot which was pushed away to the bottom right for corner.
A minute later Hewitt was booked for holding back Yiadom after being beaten by the Bees’ wide man.
Notts final half-chance fell to Gibson. Smith threaded a ball through to the youngster but his cross-come-shot went tamely to keeper.
Barnet kept things solid for the five minutes of added time consigning Notts to a second away defeat in a week.
Team: Loach, Smith, Hollis, Noble, Hewitt, Valencic (Burke 53’), Stead (C), Audel, Aborah (Campbell 78’), Edwards, McLeod (Gibson 60’).
Unused Subs: Carroll, Amevor, Sarpong, Atkinson.
Attendance: 1,322 (Away 261)