Full Report: Citizens sting Barnet youngsters
PUBLISHED: 11:09 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:11 26 October 2009
Welwyn Garden City 3 Barnet Academy 1 CITY boss Del Deanus got his wish for 90 minutes of match action as his side defeated a spirited Barnet Academy side 3-1 on Saturday. The former Leyton number one had 22 players available for the friendly, and it was
Welwyn Garden City 3 Barnet Academy 1
CITY boss Del Deanus got his wish for 90 minutes of match action as his side defeated a spirited Barnet Academy side 3-1 on Saturday.
The former Leyton number one had 22 players available for the friendly, and it was a useful opportunity to try out a host of new additions at the Herns Lane club.
Richard Morton and Adam Wallace both featured for the hosts, whilst Dan Teixeira made a welcome return to action after more than three months out with an Achilles injury.
And there were some familiar faces on show for the Barnet side with Max Turner, Matt Thomson and Andreas Pilides taking to the field having all represented WGC at some stage of their young careers.
City should have taken the lead after only two minutes when Craig Tomkins used his strength and skill to outfox the visiting centre-half, but with only the keeper to beat, he blasted over the bar.
The opening goal came from an unlikely source, when on 22 minutes defender Richard Teixeira got himself on the end of a Vince Rispoli corner and half-volleyed the ball past the Barnet custodian to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
It was 2-0 only four minutes later when Fabio Valenti poked home after Jason Williams had seen his 25-yard effort rebound off the post and into his path.
To their credit, the youngsters from Barnet never gave up and were rewarded almost immediately after falling two goals down.
Richard Morton was adjudged to have brought down Max Turner in the area and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Former Citizen Turner picked himself up to take the penalty, but saw his joy turn to despair as WGC keeper Rob Blackburne made a smart save to maintain his clean sheet.
Busy Barnet hitman Denzel Cato was looking lively in attack, and once or twice his pace unlocked the City defence, but poor finishing ultimately kept the score at 2-0 going into the half-time break.
After the interval, the visitors really came at Deanus's side from the off and were back in the game only two minutes into the restart.
Cato picked up the ball after City had squandered possession, advanced towards goal and slid the ball past the despairing dive of keeper Blackburne to put the Bees in with a shout.
The second half was a fairly drab affair, with both sides struggling to string consecutive passes together as the pitch once again put paid to the flowing and attacking game that Deanus would like to see his side adopt.
The former Edgware Town boss decided to rotate his team to the full with no less than 11 changes as he gave his new-look squad the chance to impress ahead of the visit to Holmer Green on Saturday.
And Mark Blackburne reminded the WGC manager of his quick-thinking football brain in the 65th minute, when he struck a direct free-kick past the Barnet custodian, who appeared more concerned with organising his wall than occupying a suitable position on the goal-line.
The only real talking point in a half of few chances came in the 90th minute, when livewire striker Stuart Blackburne sent a rasping shot towards the Barnet goal.
Blackburne's effort appeared to strike the arm or a visiting defender on the line, but despite the vocal appeals of City's top scorer this season, the referee waved play on and the hosts saw out a 3-1 victory.
The match was more about getting the players some valuable match action than the result, with the Citizens not having played a competitive match since the 3-1 victory over Langford on December 27.
And Deanus will be full of confidence his Ryman League-standard squad will be too strong when they take on bottom side Holmer Green on Saturday in the South Midlands League Premier Division.