the-hive-stadium

Barnet could not build on a bright start against Exeter City at The Hive in EFL League Two on Saturday and, after going 1-0 up, lost 4-1 to the Grecians.

 

The Bees went in front after 11 minutes when John Akinde nodded home from a corner. But just before half time Exeter levelled with a stunner from Jake Taylor.

 

Paul Tisdale’s men scored twice in the space of six minutes after the restart to take a 3-1 lead; Lee Holmes and David Wheeler scoring.

 

Late on Exeter bagged a fourth, Reuben Reid converting from 12 yards after the Grecians were awarded a soft penalty.

 

Martin Allen made four changes from the side agonisingly beaten 3-2 at Doncaster Rovers last weekend.

 

Jamie Stephens, Harry Taylor, Curtis Weston and Alex Nicholls came in for Josh Vickers, Elliott Johnson, Sam Togwell and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro.

 

With Johnson missing out, Mauro Vilhete started at left-back and Taylor on the the right. Nicholls, against his former club, was up front alongside Akinde.

 

Barnet made a bright start and were rewarded for their positive intentions when they went in front after 11 minutes.

 

A corner from the right was met by Akinde and the Bees forward nodded past Christy Pym in the Exeter goal.

 

Nicholls, starting up front against the club he left to join Barnet in the summer, could not resist a crack at goal after 20 minutes but sent a half volley over.

 

Barnet’s best bit of football came eight minutes before half time and the play alone deserved a goal.

 

A smart exchange of passes between Curtis Weston and Watson released the latter down the right and his first-time cross was brought down by Akinde. But Exeter managed to get a body in the way and blocked the forward’s half volley.

 

The Bees had another great chance in the 39th minute, Muggleton launching a javelin of a throw into the penalty area where Akinde looped a header agonisingly wide of the back post.

 

But just before half-time the Grecians dug an equaliser out of nothing.

 

Stephens did well to parry a firm strike from Lee Holmes around the post initially. But, from the resulting corner, Taylor rifled home from 25 yards to equalise.

 

Five minutes into the second half the Grecians went in front.

 

A neat move inside the penalty area saw Holmes released in the clear and he tucked low past Stephens.

 

Six minutes later City extended their lead. Stephens parried Ollie Watkins’ low shot away but the Bees could not clear and Wheeler stabbed home from point-blank range.

 

The Bees pushed hard for a route back into the game nearly found one when substitute Akpa Akpro had a shot cleared off the line from six yards.

 

Vilhete went close soon after, cutting inside and curling towards the top corner only for City keeper Pym to pluck his shot out the air.

 

With the minutes remaining the game was taken beyond the Bees. Vilhete attempted a tackle but referee Michael Salisbury felt the Portuguese had committed a foul and awarded a spot kick.

 

City striker Reid took the spot kick and dispatched past Stephens with minimum fuss to wrap up the points.

 

Barnet are next in action at Wycombe Wanderers next Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

 

Barnet: Stephens; H. Taylor, Nelson (c), Dembele, Vilhete; Campbell-Ryce (Akpa Akpro 48), Weston, Watson, Muggleton (Batt 61); Akinde, Nicholls (Gambin 68).

 

Substitutes: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), N’Gala, Tomlinson, J. Taylor.

 

Exeter City: Pym; Sweeney, Taylor-Moore (c), Croll, Woodman; Wheeler (Stacey 71), Taylor, James, Holmes (Grant 82); Reid (McAlinden 86), Watkins.

 

Substitutes: Olejnik (GK), Oakley, Jay, Riley-Lowe.

 

Referee: Michael Salisbury.

 

Attendance: 1,640 (360 Exeter City supporters).

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