Barnet 5-2 Ebbsfleet United
Barnet 5-2 Ebbsfleet United

Barnet turned the tables on the Fleet after losing by three goals at the Kuflink Stadium earlier in the season by racking up their own margin at The Hive.

Twice Fleet responded from being a goal down but all too quickly surrendered their avenue back into the game and the Bees were out of sight by the end.

Kevin Watson was forced into one of two changes, Jamie Grimes not recovering from his back injury, meaning Tyler Cordner earned a recall and he sat in a midfield berth. Tomi Adeloye was the other man making way as Andre Blackman came into the side.

Barnet, on a run of poor form and with the harsh words of their manager ringing in their ears since the weekend, were the more fluent from the start in a slow opening spell.

The lively Wes Fonguck began to pull at the visiting defence and he found room to send an effort over the bar in the third minute after Alex Reid inadvertently sent an interception back his way.

Reid had half a chance on the break before he was well tackled and he fired off the Fleet’s first shot but without much conviction. At the other end Josh Walker got round the back but Harry Palmer found his low effort easy to deal with.

Walker threatened to get round the back again as he got the better of Ayo Obileye on 18 minutes but Reid had raced back to protect his box.

It was an uneventful first 25 minutes, however, with neither side penetrating, though Payne saw yellow for a high challenge on Joe Dunne.

And Payne was unable to check a run from midfield on 27 minutes, perhaps mindful of that caution, and with Fleet standing off, Jack Taylor produced a sublime, dipping strike from 30 yards that whipped goalwards and twisted in under the stanchion leaving Palmer no chance.

Fleet were left chasing shadows for a while after the goal as Barnet strung passes together with confidence. But the visitors clawed their way back into it on 36 minutes with their only real incursion into the box. The unlikely figure of Obileye was in position to accept a free-kick delivery and he showed great footwork to twist and turn into a shooting position before firing past Scott Loach.

But the jubilation at that goal was short-lived. Within six minutes, Barnet were ahead again. Simeon Akinola nudged ahead of Jack King inside the box as the Fleet skipper tried to clear and he had sight of goal to fire past Palmer.

Walker got Barnet going early in the second half with a speedy strike across goal that just missed Akinola at the far post. But Fleet began to gain more possession and Payne’s 51st minute shot from distance was a good connection that drew a save from Loach.

And it was Payne whose moment of quality five minutes later got Fleet their second equaliser of the night. He angled a perfect through ball past the Barnet full back for Blackman to run on to. He in turn squared it across the box for Ugwu to pounce from close range to make it 2-2.

But no sooner had Fleet finished celebrating than it was Barnet’s turn again. Switched off in midfield after their goal, there was no red shirt to be seen as Akinola cantered down the left, advanced into the box and fired out of Palmer’s reach to regain the lead.

After that, Fleet were never in it. Akinola had a clear chance for his hat-trick that Palmer turned behind before Walker’s unchallenged run and trickery down the right allowed him a run and shot on goal to make it 4-2 on 67 minutes.

Fonguck blazed wide with clear sight of a fifth goal but one arrived on 72 minutes anyway. A shot into the box hit a Fleet arm and the referee pointed to the spot, Akinola despatching the penalty for his well-deserved hat-trick.

Fleet thought they had reduced the deficit in a crazy game again three minutes later when a cross into a packed box was converted but the referee spotted a handball, perhaps by Reid, and brandished a yellow card.

Alfie Egan injected some enthusiasm with his introduction and Fleet enjoyed more possession but it was long past counting for much against a Barnet side three goals to the good and it was they who gladly trooped off with maximum points.

EUFC: Palmer, Ekpiteta, Blackman, King, Cordner, Obileye (Egan 72), Payne, Sutherland (Adeloye 62), Weston, Reid, Ugwu.

Subs: Wilson, Achuba, Holmes

BFC: Loach, H. Taylor, Johnson, Tutonda, Reynolds, Dunne, Sweeney, J. Taylor, Fonguck (Vilhete 82), Walker (Adams 84), Akinola (Vasiliou 90).

Subs: Boucaud, Matrevics

Attendance: 776


 
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