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Barnet match report
29 September 2015 22:58 Post ID: #71423
Argyle had to battle against a very determined Barnet team to grab a 2-1 win.

How the hell did we win that?

It's the sign of a good team that having not played well we picked up the three points, we had to battle and stand up to a robust and strong Barnet team who can count themselves unlucky not to at least claim a draw.

It's a delicious irony that the last time we came back to win a league game after going behind was against....... Barnet in March 2013.

For me the result hinged on three incidents in the game.
1: At 1-0 up Barnet striker Akinde strode through the Argyle defence and with only McCormick to beat he hit the post.
2: Early in the second half Adams switched to a 4-4-2 formation with Carey on the right, the equaliser came from Carey cutting inside from the right.
3: THAT block tackle on Akinde by Sawyer not only stopped the big striker but pushed the ball out to Wylde who ran the length of the pitch and crossed to Jervis for the winning goal.

Wylde for Brunt was the only change made by Adams from the away game at Mansfield.

All the early signs before the game was that Barnet were going to park the bus, except they did the exact opposite and put it in fifth gear, steered it straight at us and attacked Argyle from the first minute.
Playing in a version of royal lilac Barnet were a big, strong team - long throws and big kicks to the heavy artillery up front - and closed us down and hassled the player on the ball.
We just couldn't get going and most passes went astray, especially from the usually careful Carey.
Our first touch was also poor with the ball escaping a players' foot most of the time, the result was a scrappy first half with no momentum.

We did have chances with shots from Boateng and Reid either going wide or were easily saved.
The Argyle defence was the busier of the two and finally Barnet got the lead their industry deserved.
A cross into the box was swept home by the unmarked McLean.

Adams responded by switching Reid out to the right and Jervis in the middle. We looked a better side but still couldn't break down a resolute Barnet defence that included N'Gala, remember him?

The start of the second half was much the same, Barnet were closing down and not allowing us any time on the ball.
A ball over the top allowed Akinde to out-battle Hartley and Nelson, he was clean through with only McCormick to beat but luckily his shot hit the post and rolled across the area and we were able to block the follow-up shot.

Adams then called over Carey to the touchline with the result of a 4-4-2 formation and it worked almost immediately. Carey danced in front the right, fed the ball into Reid on the edge of the area, he held off a challenge and rolled the ball back to Carey who smashed it into the roof of the net. A great one-two goal.

Soon after it was 2-1 thanks to Sawyer. Akinde flattened Hartley and Nelson on the way to goal but the big striker wasn't going to get past Sawyer who put in a fantastic tackle, the ball fell to Wylde who ran 60 yards and crossed to Jervis who scooped in a left-footed shot. 2-1.
But Sawyer didn't know anything about it because he was in a heap back in Argyle's penalty area. After receiving attention and a standing ovation he was ok to carry on.

Adams replaced the injured Carey and Reid with Tanner and Threlkeld and strengthened the midfield with Threlkeld sitting just in front of the back four.

Still Barnet wouldn't give up and laid siege on McCormick's goal late in the game with long throws into the box, it was like the Alamo for those last minutes with hearts in mouths when Barnet hit the crossbar.

We somehow saw out the five minutes of injury time and the win was more due to our battling qualities rather than our usual passing game.

Most of the players had a poor first half and even when in front we didn't stamp any kind of authority on Barnet, but a win when playing not at 100% is a very good sign.

Sawyer was the stand out player for me, he was steady throughout the game and not only stopped a shot on goal but set-up the winning goal in the same move.

McCormick pulled off a couple of good saves but didn't dominate his area and allowed Hartley and Nelson to deal with any cross or long throw coming into the six yard box. Another over the top rollicking from him to another player, this time Boateng was McCormick's target following a corner, Hartley was there to give him some encouragement after his head dropped.

Reid had a quiet game but played a huge part in the equaliser that got us back into the game.

Jervis was another who went missing, although he has a knack of scoring important goals.
Carey's radar needed recalibrating during the first half and he was much better in the second half.
Wylde had the beating of the Barnet right-back and his crosses were the best chance of us scoring and so it proved.

Hartley and Nelson know they have been in a game, they had a good battle with Akinde.
Simpson didn't shine but did enough for the team.

Credit to Adams for changing tactics and getting us that crucial equaliser from Carey.

McCormick 6, Mellor 6, Hartley 6, Nelson 6, Sawyer 8, Boateng 6, Simpson 6, Carey 7, Wylde 7, Reid 5, Jervis 6. Subs Threlkeld 6, Tanner 5, Brunt n/a.

Man of the match - Sawyer.

Goals Argyle: Carey 53, Jervis 60. Barnet - McLean 30.

Attn: 6,115.
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