The Valiants fought from behind to earn a point in an entertaining 90 minutes of football at The Hive. Anton Forrester’s equaliser brought Vale level after Barnet’s early goal, but ultimately neither team could capitalise on their late chances
It was the perfect start for The Bee’s, who found themselves in front on four minutes. Ryan Watson let fly with a powerful strike from distance which rocked the Vale bar, before Alex Nicholls tucked the rebound in the bottom rcorner.
The Valiants were on top afterwards and nearly equalised three minutes later. Cristian Montano’s cross was flicked on by Forrester to David Worrall at the back post who’s effort went straight into the arms of George Legg.
After a blistering start, the game quietened down, with both teams looking to keep possession and take control of the game. Marcus Harness was presented with the best chance of the first half for Vale. His strike on the turn from inside the box looked to be heading for the bottom corner, but a great dive from Legg in goal meant he was able to tip it round the post.
Vale looked dangerous later on in the half, and continued to test the Barnet ‘keeper. A one-two in the box between Worrall and Forrester brought the Vale fans to their feet, but Worrall couldn’t keep the attempt on target, striking the ball over the bar.
Barnet came out strong at the start of the second half, keeping Vale pegged back in their own third for the majority of the first five minutes. Their lead was nearly doubled on 49 minutes, when defender Ricardo Santos headed just wide of the post.
It was The Valiants who put the ball in the back of the net though, with Anton Forrester bagging the equaliser in the 50th minute. A corner delivered into the middle by Michael Tonge was nodded underneath the keeper by Forrester, and into the back of the net.
It was a tight and tense affair at The Hive for next ten minutes, with both teams trying to stamp their dominance on the game. Both teams came close to taking the lead, with Barnet skipper, Weston, letting fly with a first time effort from 25 yards, which flew just wide of the post. Vale went straight down the other end though, as Hannant played Forrester in on goal, only to fire over the bar.
The game quickly turned into an end-to-end battle, with both sets of fans roaring their team on to find the winning goal. A couple of Vale substitutions in Donovan Wilson and James Gibbons brought a lot of energy to the team, and Wilson nearly bagged the winner in the 80th minute. A great ball from Hannant cut the defence open, as the on-loan man’s effort goes just wide.
Vale had more of the ball, and the better of the play in the final ten minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the Barnet net. Charlie Raglan’s header was cleared off the line to end the game all squared.