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BARNET (1) 1

Vanarama National League match
played on Saturday, 23 January, 2021 at 3pm
behind closed doors


Altrincham had the better of the first half but fell behind, against the run of play, in the fourteenth minute through an individual error.

With Alty pressing at one end of the pitch, a long clearance by Barnet should easily have been cleared by Senior, near the centre spot, but he took a poor first touch and JJ Hooper dispossessed him. The Barnet man ran some 40 yards up the middle before slotting the ball past captain for the day, Tony Thompson.

Altrincham responded well and had most of the forward momentum as the half progressed. The pressure paid off when Mooney got into the box but was initially halted.

However, via Harrison the ball came out to Kosylo from Mooney's lay-off and, from 18 yards in a central position, he slotted a low shot into the net off the keeper's right hand post (36 mins).

Harrison should then have put Alty ahead but sidefooted disappointingly wide. Half-time arrived with the score level at 1-1.

Immediately after the break Harrison missed an even better chance as Kosylo fed him with the ball in front of an empty net. But the ex-Barnet striker somehow contrived to stumble over the ball and put it wide.

Alty had much the better of the second half without creating too clear an opening before Hannigan headed narrowly wide at towards the end of normal time. So, it looked like Barnet would escape with a draw. But good work on the left between substitutes Ceesay and White allowed the left-back to put in a low cross which Hancock steered into the net to win the game deservedly (90+2 mins).


REFEREE: Lee Collins (as on teamsheet) or J Durkin (as on Barnet's streaming service commentary). Online sites show both names!
ATTENDANCE: Behind closed doors.

Altrincham, without captain Jake Moult and winger Ryan Colclough, gave a first start to Byron Harrison in their unsettled role of striker, with Yussifu Ceesay dropping to the bench. Tom Hannigan returned to the defence and Dan Mooney started. Toby Mullarkey moved from the back line into midfield.

In the period since their last match, the new Barnet boss Tim Flowers had brought in no fewer than three giant centre-backs, the shortest being 6ft 3 inches. Flowers's first two matches had seen a debutant sent off in each of the games.


BARNET (Amber and black) 1. Scott Loach, 2. James Dunne (c), 7. Alexander McQueen, 9. Alfie Pavey, 11. JJ Hooper, 15. Themis Kefalas, 16. Harry Taylor, 17. Ben Richards-Everton, 26. Jerome Binnom-Williams, 27. Ephron Mason-Clark, 38. Liam Daly. Subs: 10. Michael Patrasso, 14. Muhammadu Faal, 24. Aymen Azaze (gk), 31. Ben Nugent, 3. Jack Connors

ALTRINCHAM (Red shirts with white chest panel, black shorts, white socks): 1. Tony THOMPSON (c), 3. Connor HAMPSON, 4. Ritchie SUTTON, 5. Tom HANNIGAN, 25. Toby MULLARKEY, 24. Joel SENIOR, 29. Alistair SMITH, 15. Matty KOSYLO, 7. Dan MOONEY, 10. Josh HANCOCK, 28. Byron HARRISON. Subs: 2. Andy WHITE, 11. Yusifu CEESAY, 30. Simon RICHMAN, 20. Shaun DENSMORE, 23. Tom PEERS


Covid meant that Barnet had not played since 2 January and Alty had also had a gap in matches, in their case, since 9 January. The Bees had not won a league game for eleven weeks and started the game in 22nd place, whilst Alty lay fifth.

Altrincham's last league match against Barnet was in September 2014 when they crashed to a 5-0 defeat in the National League at The Hive, early in a season in which Barnet were to regain their Football League place,

Altrincham's historical record against the Bees is very much one of home dominance by each of the sides, which produces a fairly even overall record in matches between the clubs...


Altrincham kicked off and after an early Barnet effort had gone well wide, Mooney got to the byline at the other end but overhit his cross (5 mins). The game's first corner was won by Kosylo, operating on the left, in the ninth minute and was immediately followed by a second, this time on the right.

After Mooney had fed Hancock there were appeals for a penalty as the visitors' number ten went down but nothing was given, probably correctly. A Kosylo shot won Alty a third corner of the match and a fourth soon followed but nothing came of them (13 mins).

A Harrison effort was then cleared by Barnet, upfield to the centre circle, where Senior had time to collect the ball and clear but, unfortunately, his first touch was poor and he lost possession to JJ Hooper. The Barnet man advanced up the middle and slotted the ball coolly past the exposed Thompson to give the Bees the lead against the run of play (14 mins).

Undeterred, Alty soon won a fifth corner before Barnet opened their own corner account in the 17th minute through Hooper. Soon afterwards a freekick from 28 yards by Hancock just missed the upright before the same player almost immediately won a second freekick, five yards nearer to goal. This time Hancock smote the ball into the defensive wall (22 mins).

Altrincham continued to have the better the game with even the Barnet streaming service's commentatrors declaring that Altrincham were "one of the most organised sides we've seen at The Hive".

As Alty continued on top, Mooney got into the right of the Barnet box. He was partly halted. However Harrison relayed the ball back to the right of goal. Mooney then laid the ball into the path of Kosylo on the 18 yard line, slightly left of centre. The winger directed a low shot into the net off the bottom of the keeper's right upright to make it 1-1 (36 mins).

It was Kosylo's first competitive goal for Alty and a just reward for his lively performamce in this game.

ALmost immediately after play had resumed, Harrison should also have netted his first Alty goal as a ball came in from the right but he steered it disapppintingly wide of the target. As the interval approached Kosylo and Mooney switched wings but the half ended with two corners for the hosts. Despite the opposition giants facing them the Alty defence coped well and no danger to the visitors' goal resulted from either flag-kick.

Half-Time: BARNET 1

If Harrison's first half miss was disappointing his miss at the start pf the second half was much more so. Kosylo and Harrison found themselves with only the keeper to beat. Kosylo unselfishly played the ball six or ten feet to his right, where Harrison had only to tap it into the vacant net from six yards. Sadly he failed to do so as he seemed to get his feet in a tangle and, as a defender arrived, he could only nudge the ball wide of the target (47 mins).

Mason-Clark now became the first name in the referee's notebook, for a foul on Hampson (50 mins). After this, a long shot from Mullarkey, earned Alty a corner which Kosylo took and which an Alty head put wide.

At this point Tim Flowers passed a paper note to his captain Dunne who read it before slotting it down his sock.

When Hampson was crudely challenged by Taylor, the Barnet man became the match's second booking (52 mins). Another Alty corner came and went before Flowers sent on his Canadian leading scorer Patrasso to replace Mason-Clark (56 mins).

The Barnet manager's handwritten tactical note was then passed around to other players before the Barnet keeper decided that he needed his laces re-tied which gave Flowers the opportunity to gather players on the touchline and impart his plans verbally.

Barnet's resulting reorganization did get them a little more into the match for a spell without the hosts seriously threatening to score. Indeed, after Harrison's glaring miss, the second half had been bereft of goalmouth incident at either end.

On 71 minutes Peers replaced Harrison up front for Altrincham, and a minute later Kefalas became the third home player to see a yellow card.

Next McQueen was replaced by Faal for Barnet (73 mins) and the stoppages continued when Ceesay came on for Mooney after 75 minutes. Kosylo switched to the right as Ceesay slotted in on the left. After another hiatus whilst Hampson received treatment, Andy White replaced the Alty left back (81 mins).

After this disjointed spell of the game, Altrincham finished the match strongly. A Ceesay shot was blocked and, a few moments later, a fine cross from White came off Binnom-Williams for a corner. Barnet were offering little apart from a cross by Patrasso which would have been testing had any team mate been in the goalmouth.

As time ticked away it looked as if Altrincham would have to settle for a single point and, when Hannigan cleverly headed a Ceesay ball across the face of goal but narrowly wide, it seemed that a draw was to be the outcome (89 mins).

But then a good Alty move up the left saw Ceesay and White combine for the latter's low cross to be turned into the net from close range by Hancock (90+2 mins). Alty then wound down the clock with Ceesay keeping the ball in the corner but Peers got himself needlessly booked for timewasting (90+4 mins) before the final whistle ensured a three-point haul for Altrincham.

This was a well deserved win for the visitors who remained in fifth place as Barnet faced a long hard winter to drag themselves clear of relegation.

Full Time: BARNET 1