Date: 27th September 2010 at 1:54pm
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From Vital Morecambe :

Barnet – who were the first team ever to play Morecambe in the Football League four years ago at Christie Park – visited the Shrimps’ new Globe Arena today in an attempt to earn enough points to get themselves off the bottom of the League Two table. Morecambe – who held this unenviable position themselves just a week earlier – were equally eager to put some distance between themselves and their fellow strugglers after a disappointing opening to the season.

Barnet – encouraged by only a few tens of supporters in the main stand (who – to their considerable credit – never stopped noisily encouraging their side throughout the game) didn’t play like a team at rock bottom of the pile, particularly when they were going forward. During what was largely a rather dull first half, they created all the chances and actually had a goal disallowed after about twenty-five minutes.

In the second half – possibly encouraged by the loss of Morecambe’s twin central defenders Will Haining and Chris McCready to non-contact injuries during the first period – the visitors threw caution to the wind and went for a win. Initially, only another inspired performance from Morecambe Captain Barry Roche in the Shrimps’ goal kept them out: his own defence seemed incapable of simply clearing the ball effectively and most of the game was being played in the home team’s half. When experienced Bees’ Centre Forward Steve Kabba eventually smashed the ball into the net after 52 minutes with a superb shot which even Roche couldn’t keep out, the goal had been threatening to come for quite some time.

Encouraged by this, Barnet continued to push forward and Roche remained by far the busier of the two goalkeepers on the pitch. Throughout the game, out-of-position Garry Hunter was given a torrid time at right full back by the visitors and it was no surprise when he conceded a penalty with a clumsy tackle on Ricky Holmes after sixty-eight minutes. Glen Southam duly converted.

Within a few minutes, Drummond hit the bar with another smart effort which left Barnet goalkeeper Jake Cole floundering and shortly afterwards fluffed another good chance when he totally failed to connect with the ball when attempting to shoot. Shortly after that, the Shrimps had a good shout for a penalty themselves when one of the Bees’ defenders chose to lie on the ball – and might just have handled it -during a mêlée in their penalty area as his fellow-defenders were reduced to Panic Stations all around him. The referee chose to award a drop-ball restart as a result of this in actually farcical circumstances: the entire Barnet team bar one stood on their own goal-line only a few feet away from the ball and then charged out as one and managed to clear it.

Despite this, Morecambe continued to dominate and with just eight minutes left, Scott Brown slung over a cross from the left which Paul Mullin headed home from close range with typical aplomb. After this, the game could have gone either way: the visitors continued to try and counter-attack and forced Roche to make further decent saves before the end of the match but at the other end, Barnet rode their luck and could have lost all three points right at the death when a goal-bound shot was clumsily blocked on the line and eventually cleared during injury time. For Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy, his team’s ability to come back from the dead must have felt like a win although he must be at a complete loss as to how to explain why the Shrimps only started to play when they were losing 2-0. Barnet Manager Paul Stimson, on the other hand, must be tearing his hair out because of the way his defence fell apart as soon as the home team started applying consistent pressure to it. But at least they didn’t lose and are now no longer bottom of the table. On this showing, however, both managers have a lot of work to do if either of these teams’ fortunes are going to improve markedly during this season.

This is just a sample, read the full article on Vital Morecambe: Morecambe 1 : 1 Barnet: Stimson pulls hair out of his Barnet – click here.

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