The Bees returned to league action last night and returned to winning ways with a narrow 1-0 victory over Torquay United at Underhill.
The Bees made six changes from the team that faced Oxford United on Saturday, but despite that the side had a more settled look about it, with Graham Stack and Krystian Pearce returning in defence, Anthony Edgar, Edgar Davids and Jake Hyde the returning forwards with Elliot Johnson being called upon for his first-team debut with the regular left-back Jordan Brown suffering from a groin strain.
For much of the game Torquay held the upper hand and in the first-half created a good number of half-chances with the Bees not overly troubling Michael Poke in the Gulls’ goal.
It was the defence which held firm and kept the home side in the game. The whole team put in a good shift, but Stephens and Stack in particular were towers of strength.
Johnson had a good debut and can be pleased with himself. He looked comfortable on the ball, was aggressive when needed and used the ball well out of defence and was also involved Barnet’s late winner.
In the first-half Barnet’s best efforts were shots from distance that took deflections and caused confusion in the Torquay defence, but come half-time the visitors would be wondering how they were not in the lead.
In the second-half the Bees upped their game somewhat, but still the visitors were enjoying the lion’s share of the possession, the Barnet defence was holding firm and the Bees were beginning to mount dangerous breakaways, usually via the flank players, Edgar and Yiadom.
Paul Bodin and Lee Mansell had good efforts for Torquay but a combination of their wastefulness and sound defending kept the possibility of a Barnet victory very much alive.
Olly Lee came on in the 73rd minute and played just off Jake Hyde with Davids moving to the left of the midfield.
Lee revelled in the freedom this position afforded him and made a significant contribution.
It was then fitting that Clovis Kamdjo got Barnet’s winner – he had toiled manfully in midfield, breaking up their play and using the ball simply, but efficiently.
The ball was passed down the line by Johnson with Hyde cleverly setting up Kamdjo in the inside left-position. Kamdjo addressed the ball and then thumped an unstoppable shot into the roof net. 79 minutes were on the clock.
The Bees then withstood the predictable late onslaught by Torquay. Stack was performing to a high standard with his catching, punching and calling just what was required in the circumstances.
The Bees might still occupy one of the relegation places in the table but have got themselves off the bottom. This has been achieved in remarkably quick time given how far the Bees were once adrift and although it is only a small step in the terms of a whole season, it must boost confidence levels and bodes well.
The Barnet players are due to visit the Globe Arena in Morecambe on Saturday.