Barnet succumbed to a disappointing defeat at home to Wealdstone, during a clash that was marred by incidents by the visiting fans.
By Aaron Jaffe
Barnet battered by bullish Wealdstone
It was chaotic, to sum it up in one word, at The Hive on Saturday afternoon. An inconsistent Barnet side who had once triumphed over Aldershot convincingly but then be outclassed by Notts County in the week.
They faced a Wealdstone side that was gunning to do the double over a club they despise so greatly. The away end was electric as well, 848 fans all in high spirits, singing and making a racket, even flipping off Barnet's mascot before kick-off as he ran to sarcastically greet the travelling supporters.
And it was the Stones who started on the front foot too, former Barnet player Medy Elito combining with on-form Josh Umerah to create more troubles for a troubled Aston Oxborough who has been lacking confidence in the past weeks.
Rob Hall and Jordan Thomas' link-up play was a sight of hope for Dean Brennan's side but they were shut down in only 12 minutes when Harry Taylor's clearance could only find Nathan Ferguson's path to the goal. The former Southend man's attempt soared past Oxborough putting Barnet into even more trouble.
Josh Umerah's quest for his tenth goal of the season was not found when his successful pivot around Reiss Greenidge hit the derelict standing terrace. Minutes later Nikola Tavares found him again and he only had to tap it into the empty bottom corner to make it two in half an hour. The nightmare start for present Barnet coach and former Wealdstone gaffer Dean Brennan who was mocked by away fans chanting "Deano, what's the score?"
Barnet were forced into an early substitution bringing Kian Flanagan on for Sam Woods and some extra pressure created a few chances but the Bees struggled to convert before the interval.
As if the game wasn't hectic enough, police were called to deal with Wealdstone fans who were alleged to be racially abusing stewards, throwing bottles at mascots and players and ripping out seats in Barnet's post-match report.
The Bees did start on the front foot and Jordan Thomas' long ball was fumbled by George Wickens into a sea of black and amber shirts. Ben Richards-Everton was there again to see the ball home and pull one back at only 2-1.
There was a huge chance for the leveller to create even more drama when Daniel Powell received the ball in a dangerous position but curled the ball over. Yet again though, Wealdstone dominated through the counter-attack and with no tackle attempted by any Bees defender, an impromptu run from Jaydn Mundle-Smith allowed him to drift into an enticing area where he was forced to shoot, and shoot he did. The ball rocketed into the top corner as he ran over to celebrate with what was left of the Stones' away support.
Stuart Maynard's side was in full control by now and Jack Cook's slightly misplaced overhead kick seemed to assert the dominance. Wes Fonguck provided creativity but the lack of strike force created difficulties for the hosts. George Wickens was tested little in the second half, but when called upon was there to parry Powell and Tasdemir's efforts into safety.
The last ten minutes were sheer frustration for a deflated Barnet team and returning loanee Ryan De Havilland was the only driving force trying to salvage something.
In the end, a lack of bravery and real striking force prevented Barnet from getting any sort of result on the board in a game that they are expected to win to survive or even do well in the league. With no Jamie Turley due to an unknown suspension, the club captain should be returning in time for Northwood in the cup and then for their next league game. However, on the attacking end, it is known that Brennan is trying to ship in a striker to improve their goal scoring abilities but it's whether chairman Tony Kleanthous will pay up or be forced to spend in the summer.
A dire result for a Bees side that face Torquay away next, but so vital for Wealdstone who have the chance to leapfrog Woking and Eastleigh into 14th if they beat Maidenhead on Tuesday night. A great team performance that was slightly let down by fans, despite the game and its importance to the rest of the campaign.