Magpies fail to draw Bees sting
Early strike decisive at The Hive
The Magpies recent improved run was arrested at The Hive against the division's form side, Barnet. Alan Devonshire made one change from the side which defeated Eastleigh at York Road in midweek with James Mulley taking Christian Smith's place in the starting XI. And it was an early goal which proved decisive for the home side, relegated from SkyBet League 2 last season, as the impressive Josh Walker thrashed home from just inside of the box following hesitant Magpies defending.
After that fourth minute strike the home side further threatened with Johnson firing over the top before Pentney denied Fonguck with his legs following more indecision in the Maidenhead back line. The visitors grew into the game however and a number of promising set piece situation were won in dangerous areas, albeit a quality delivery rather frustratingly alluded Maidenhead. Odametey and Owusu from range - the latter from another freekick - tested Cousins and there were loud shouts for a Maidenhead penalty as Josh Kelly went down in a melee following an Owusu corner. The hard-working Archer had a goal-bound effort blocked after good work by Kelly and Mulley but the clearest opening prior to the break came the way of the home side as goalscorer Walker was somewhat less clinical in rolling the ball past the onrushing Pentney and the far post when played through one-on-one.
The second period contained little by way of clear-cut opportunities. Alexander blazed over and that man Walker was perilously closed to picking the pockets of messrs Obileye and Pentney. Alan Devonshire used all three of his substitutes either side of the the hour mark with Max Worsfold particularly lively in delivering a number of promising centres from the left flank. Remy Clerima's long throws were also a useful weapon as Maidenhead spent prolonged periods in the Barnet half but the Bees were well-marshalled by centre-half Robson and they dealt with the Magpies threat with relative comfort. Worsfold brought Cousins into action with a routine save following an improvised flick at the end of Josh Kelly's cross but the biggest opportunity came from the penalty spot after Massey felled the Bees substitute Mason-Clark. Harrison's powerful spot kick glanced off the top of the crossbar and out of the ground. It was a miss however that Barnet were not to end up regretting.
MAGPIES: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Obileye, Kelly, Upward, Owusu (Sub Alves 59), Massey, Mulley (Sub Worsfold 59), Archer (Sub Akintunde 66).
Subs not used: Cole, Smith.
BEES: Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Robson, Adams, Harrison, Taylor, Fonguck (Sub Mason-Clark 79), Walker, (Sub Kyei 83), Sweeney, Payne (Sub Box 90)
Subs not used: Azaze, Sparkes.