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Match Reports

Barnet v Notts County

26 November 2016

Barnet 3-2 Notts

Notts suffered a 3-2 defeat against Barnet at the Hive.

The Magpies had the dream start when captain Michael O'Connor opened the scoring with a beautiful effort.

But the hosts turned the game on its head, going 3-1 up thanks to goals from Luke Gambin (2) and Bira Dembele.

Jonathan Forte pegged the Bees back with a poacher's finish on 77 minutes but there was to be no equaliser for Notts.

John Sheridan made three changes to his side with Matt Tootle, Adam Campbell and Vadaine Oliver returning to the starting line-up at the expense of Elliott Hewitt, Alan Smith and the suspended Rob Milsom.

Richard Duffy lined up at right back as John Sheridan reshuffled his defence, with Louis Laing partnering Mike Edwards at centre back.

Barnet claimed the first shot of the match, Gambin forcing Adam Collin to tip his 18-yard shot over the bar.

But it was Notts who would take an early lead. It came after Forte, playing down the left, won a corner from Bees skipper Michael Nelson. O'Connor took it short, playing a one-two with Campbell to regain possession in an inviting position. The Northern Irishman elected to shoot and the execution was perfect - the ball sailed across goal and nestled spectacularly in the top corner.

Notts wasted no time in launching their pursuit of a second and came within inches of getting one when Oliver nodded Campbell's cross wide with a free header.

They were almost made to rue that missed opportunity when, after Tootle had blocked John Akinde's shot, Gambin drilled the ball across goal and wide.

Notts were off-target themselves shortly afterwards, Genaro Snijders using his pace to cut in from the right before rolling the ball wide of the near post.

And, seven minutes later, Barnet struck. It looked like the danger was over when Collin made a superb save from Akinde but Dembele was quickly on the scene to fire home the rebound.

Notts had looked threatening in the opening half, however, and will feel more than aggrieved to have not regained the lead on 34 minutes through Oliver. The frontman met Forte's excellent cross with a powerful diving header, sending the ball crashing off the underside of the bar, on to the helpless Bees keeper Jamie Stephens, on to the inside of the post and, somehow, into Stephens' grateful grasp.

The hosts claimed the final chance before the break, Curtis Weston firing the ball over after Tootle failed to clear, but the sides returned to the dressing rooms deadlocked.

It was a cagey start to the second period, punctuated on 58 minutes when O'Connor was penalised for a foul on Mauro Vilhete.

Shortly afterwards, Duffy bravely blocked Weston's shot and O'Connor diverted substitute Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro's header off-target from the resultant corner.

Sheridan made his first change on 62 minutes, sending Aaron Collins on for Campbell in a straight swap up front.

But it was the hosts who next threatened in the attacking third - and they scored a fortuitous goal as Gambin's low shot took a nick off a Notts defender, diverting the ball beyond the helpless Collin.

Tootle was booked before Burke replaced Snijders in Sheridan's second swap.

But, once again, Barnet pounced. Duffy gave the ball away cheaply to Akinde on halfway and the Bees broke away down the left, Akpa Akpro crossing for Gambin to score his second from an unmarked position at the back post.

Notts weren't dead and buried, however, and pulled the score back to 3-2 on 77 minutes when Forte stroked home the rebound after Stephens had parried Burke's well-struck 20-yarder.

The hosts were able to see out the rest of the game in relative comfort, however, and the match ended in the Bees' favour.

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