Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Barnet 1 Mansfield 0

Someone up there's looking after Barnet. No wait, it's someone down here. In a green shirt with a whistle. Two penalties last week, two men sent off today, all favouring the Bees. Barnet took the lead early on, just a couple of minutes after I thought to myself "wouldn't it be just like football for Hatch (a striker) to score his first of the season today", the self same man cracked a half-volley into the bottom corner, leaving Kevin Pieman munching his chicken & mushroom in vain. Mansfield played some decent stuff and kept Barnet on their toes for the rest of the half but they managed to keep them out.

After the break, Barnet's Fuller and Mansfield's Coke were involved in a tangle on the ground after a tackle ; both were booked, but Coke walked having already been booked in the first half. Not long after, substitute Reet followed him for a challenge that I thought wasn't even a foul ... but the referee may have seen it as a downward stamp even if he did touch the ball. Needless to say the visitors were not best pleased, and I felt they had a case as the likes of Hessenthaler and King had put in some crunching fouls earlier on. Swings and roundabouts.

Barnet were dreadful against nine men, seeming to be completely unable to change tactics, keep possession and switch the ball like you should with two extra men. Mansfield forced a couple of decent chances, one with a player receiving treatment and only 8 men on the pitch, but missed them. Bailey hit the post for Barnet but wasn't made to pay and eventually the game ended. The Bees still have to play Stockport at home and Rushden away in their last two games but it's in their hands.

I might make them favourites to finish higher in League Two than Rangers will finish in the Championship. The R's continue to find new and inventive ways to lose games, from 2-0 up with fifteen minutes left today. Playing the percentages I would guess this is not unconnected with the name Santos appearing at centre half. With Reading and Watford to come in their last two games, there's a very fair chance Rangers will finish one place above the relegation zone despite never having been in any real trouble all season, which would be a fittingly bizarre end to a disappointing campaign. Whoever takes over full-time has a hell of a job to do this summer that's for sure.


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