Att: 1,583

Line up : (4-4-2)

Jon Sheffield

Adam Lockwood

Tom White

Terry Skiverton

Anthony Tonkin

Nick Crittenden

Darren Way

Lee Johnson

Andy Turner

Carl Alford

Chris Giles

Subs used: Colin Pluck (26, for Skiverton)

Naisbitt, Gledhill, Doolan, Sawyers, Heald, Arber, Flynn, Gower, Brown, Essandoh, Midgley
Subs used: Purser (57, for Brown), Bell (68, for Doolan), Taylor (68, for Midgley)

Scorers: CRITTENDEN (39, 0-1), JOHNSON (56, 0-2), RAMSAY (82, 0-3), Flynn (86, 1-3), Essandoh (90, 2-3)

This report courtesy of Ben Ashby:

It was an important game for Yeovil. Though still early in the season, this was the sort of game which we had to win if we truly had ambitions of going up this term. A defeat would leave us some ten points adrift of the pace, a mountain to climb even at this stage of the season.

The ground is a pretty poky affair. What Underhill lacks in atmosphere, it attempts to make up for in its colour scheme – lurid splashes of orange, blue and green. The away end was well stocked (of course) but the home fans had obviously opted for a night at home. I was disappointed to find that Toby Oshitola was not named in the Bees’ squad. I’d have loved to have heard his name booming over the tannoy and appalling the residents of the nearby houses. He’s apparently quite a promising player – I can see him getting some stick from away fans, though, poor lad.

Yeovil lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, and Barnet handed the number 9 shirt to Roy Essandoh, he of Teletext-FA Cup-Wycombe Wanderers fame.

The home side made a bright opening, Essandoh looking a handful from the off. He was put through a flat Yeovil defence after six minutes for a one-on-one with Jon Sheffield, but the Yeovil stopper stayed on his feet long enough to pull off a fine save. Just a couple of minutes later, Essandoh again found himself denied by Sheffield who raced off his line to make a smothering block when the big Barnet forward looked favourite to score.

Yeovil gradually worked themselves into the match after Barnet’s good start. They began to enjoy a greater share of possession, and a couple of neat moves led to a pair of decent efforts from Carl Alford, though neither troubled Bees’ keeper Danny Naisbitt.

On 25 minutes, Terry Skiverton paid a heavy toll for a heroic piece of defending. He rose to head away a dangerous cross from the right, clashing heavily with a Barnet forward and going down like the proverbial sack of shit. He was subsequently stretchered off with a nasty looking head injury and was replaced by Colin Pluck.

The game continued to take place mainly in midfield with Yeovil edging the play and either side squandering half chances. Essandoh rose to meet a cross from the right but could only head wide, and at the other end Nick Crittenden pounced on a defensive miskick in the Barnet area but could only poke wide.

Six minutes before the interval, the Glovers broke the deadlock. Lee Johnson crossed form the left, Alford executed a spectacular overhead kick which struck the post, and Nick CRITTENDEN reacted first to knock in the rebound.

Yeovil were just about worthy of their goal advantage at half time, having shaded the possession and played the better football, though arguably Barnet had created the better chances. The away side had cause to thank their goalkeeper for his alertness early in the game when the rest of the side were napping.

Yeovil were sluggish out of the blocks once more at the start of the second period. Barnet forced a corner from the right, John Doolan rose to meet it but could only direct a thumping header wide.

Suddenly, against the run of play ten minutes into the half, the away side doubled their lead. Johnson picked up the ball after a neat build up involving the irrepressible Darren Way and ran at the heart of the Barnet defence before unleashing a magnificent drive with the outside of his left foot which whistled past the outstretched hand of Naisbitt and inside his right post.

The away fans and players celebrated with gusto, knowing Barnet now faced a difficult task. The home team responded by bringing on Wayne Purser but the second goal was a hammer blow which rocked their composure. Passes started to go astray and heads visibly dropped. Tom White was having an oustanding game for Yeovil at centre-back, reducing Essandoh to a peripheral figure.

However, the home side showed some guts to drag themselves back into the game, asserting a stranglehold in midfield and slowly pushing Yeovil back. With 20 minutes to go they threw on a couple of subs and, largely inspired by the impressive Lee Flynn, pressed forward in search of a goal. Yeovil started defending a little too deep, struggling to link play and inviting Barnet on to them.

Barnet had a great chance to pull one back when a cross from Lee Flynn flashed across the six-yard box. Unfortunately for the home team, nobody could get on the end of it to apply the finish. Flynn put another effort wide and a smart turn and shot from Mark Gower also went the wrong side of the post before Yeovil struck a third in bizarre circumstances in the 82nd minute.

A long hoof from the back – Yeovil’s stock in trade for large periods in the second half – seemed a formality for Naisbitt to deal with, but somehow the Barnet keeper misjudged the flight and watched, aghast, as it bounced over his head. Scott RAMSAY was on hand to benefit from Naisbitt’s clanger, nipping in to slot the ball home from the angle.

Again, Yeovil fans and players were jubilant. Barnet surely couldn’t come back from this – could they?

Barnet then poured forward with renewed vigour and got their reward. 5 minutes form time, the Yeovil defence backed off Lee FLYNN, who said thank’s very much and buried a left-footed drive into Sheffield’s bottom left-hand corner.

All of a sudden, with Barnet marauding in search of another, Yeovil looked nervy and vulnerable. Every time a Yeovil foot or head cleared the ball, it just came back at them. Then in the final minute of the ninety, substitute Mark Taylor lifted a wicked cross to the back post, and big Roy ESSENDOH rose highest to plant a firm header past Sheffield.

Suddenly the Yeovil fans were silenced, and the Barnet faithful, both of them, began to believe in the impossible. The assistant referee indicated that tonight’s bonus ball was to be 3, and all three of those minutes were spent with the bees buzzing desperately around the Yeovil area. In the final minute, Yeovil hearts were in mouths as Lee Flynn once more let fly from outside the area, this time the ball whizzing agonisingly past the post.

Mercifully, the whistle-happy referee blew for time and Yeovil celebrated an excellent away win. It was a great victory, but it could so easily have gone the other way. Yeovil took their chances and, despite a nerve-wracked grandstand finale, were rewarded with three priceless points. Us fans can still dream the impossible dream of league football – for another week, at least.

Ben Ashby