Date: 3rd October 2007 at 11:55am
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Barnet made it five games without loss thanks to strikes from Adam Birchall and Jason Puncheon in the second-half. The Bees came up against a Rotherham side who had not lost away in the league all season but an inspirational half-time team talk from Paul Fairclough relit the Bees who came storming out after the break, along with a brilliant tactical substitution with Ashley Carew adding a new dimension to the Bees’ attack.

It wasn’t a first-half to remember for anyone associated with Barnet, having created very little and the away side dominating position, although the defence held strong up till the break. The Millers’ were using a physical approach, to get in the faces of the Barnet players but the home side stayed calm before they unleashed waves of attack in the second 45.

Birchall’s effort from close-range after Nicky Nicolau crossed from the left, but that was saved with the keeper’s legs. And the striker thought he had bagged his first league goal of the season when he ran through the defence thanks to a lovely through-ball from Puncheon, Birchall slotting through calmly, but was denied when the offside flag went up.

HT: Barnet 0 – 0 Rotherham United

Fairclough changed their approach, bringing on Carew for the ineffective Max Porter on the right and it brough instant rewards. Within seconds of the restart, Barnet had a nice flowing move where Birchall cleverly dummied a ball – something quickly becoming his trademark move – which gave Puncheon acres of space inside the box but his shot smashed off the inside of the post when he really should’ve put Barnet a goal up.

Birchall was put through again, this time from Neal Bishop and he made no mistake of being offside this time, sliding the ball home at the near post down the right.

Barnet 1 – 0 Rotherham United

Barnet didn’t stop there. Seven minutes from the end, Josh Wright’s free-kick into the area caused Birchall to be brought down by the man marking him and the ref pointed to the spot for Barnet’s first penalty of the season. Birchall wanted to get his second of the game but Barnet’s new penalty taker, Puncheon, stepped up and flamoyantly flashed the ball into the top corner to give the ‘keeper no chance.

Barnet 2 – 0 Rotherham United

It was the first time in the league this season that Barnet had scored more than a goal and the defence held strong from the final minutes to give the Bees a comfortable 2-0 victory.

FT: Barnet 2 – 0 Rotherham United

That’s the first time in five years Barnet have kept three clean sheets on the trot and now move up to 9th in the table. A very respectable position considering the awful start to the season they had to endure. The good form will look to continue in the second of the home double-header against last season’s Carling Cup heroes, Wycombe.