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SUPERB STAGS MISS HATFUL OF CHANCES BUT END UP
14th October 2007 0:04


Barnet 1 – 1 Mansfield Town
Hatch 71. Muggleton saved pen 77. Brown 47
Attendance: 2,041 (145 from Mansfield)

Martin Shaw at Underhill

Mansfield ended the sequence of 6 successive league defeats at Barnet this lunchtime, with a 1-1 draw. Barnet themselves had won 4 on the trot, but you wouldn't have thought it as the Stags tore into the home side for 71 minutes and should have been several goals ahead, before Barnet equalised. For the final 19 minutes however the Stags were hanging on as Barnet had a penalty saved and hit the post. Fantastic entertainment but a real feeling that the Stags should have claimed all three points.

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Stags Deserve Their Draw
BARNETFC.COM, David Bloomfield
Jason Puncheon missed a late penalty that would have given the Bees a fortunate victory over lowly Mansfield Town at Underhill today. The Stags had taken a lead early in the second half and it was due to a strike from the Barnet substitute Liam Hatch that the teams took a point apiece.

Midfielder Neal Bishop and defender Joe Devera were deemed fit enough to start the game, although Barnet manager Paul Fairclough later admitted that they were only able to play "with their handbrakes on'' and their performances were slightly restricted as a consequence.

Joe O'Cearuill was making his first starting league appearance for the Bees and he was instantly involved when he made a high clearance.

Very early on Adam Birchall had a chance to open the scoring when he was fed the ball by Bishop but his left-footed effort did not overly alarm the veteran Carl Muggleton in the Mansfield goal. Moments later an inviting cross from the left from Puncheon could have led to the Bees taking an early lead.

As the half developed Mansfield indicated that despite propping up the table they were no push-overs. Strikers Simon Brown and the ever alert Michael Boulding kept the Bees defence at full stretch which looked lacking some of the composure of recent weeks.

The visitors should have been a goal to the good when their right back, Johnny Mullins, was left unmarked at the far post and when it seemed more difficult not to score, he somehow managed to evade the target.

Lee Harrison was called upon to make several saves of note and skipper Sagi Burton needed to be on hand with important interceptions.

Two minutes into the second half Mansfield took the lead. O'Cearuill was out jumped and Simon Brown bore down on the Bees goal before hitting a crisp shot past Harrison.

Mid way through the second half Devera was replaced by Ian Hendon and the hard working Max Porter was replaced by the more attacking Anthony Thomas as the Bees re-shuffled their line up in search of an equaliser.

On 72 minutes Hatch latched onto a long ball and then after flicking the ball into the path of Birchall who returned the compliment he retained his composure to blast an unstoppable shot past Muggleton.

Three points certainly looked to be heading in Barnet's direction when the Bees were awarded a penalty for handball by Boulding. However Puncheon's effort, although well struck was pushed onto the wood work by Muggleton.

The woodwork again came to the rescue of the Stags when a deflected effort by Ashley Carew hit a post as both sides went in search of a winning goal.

Bishop was unfortunate that his late effort went over the bar, but that would have been cruel on Mansfield, who on this evidence must surely soon climb out of the lower reaches of league 2.

Perhaps 5 games in 14 days is one reason this less than sparkling Barnet performance but the players this week, without a midweek match to focus on, will need to regain the spring in their step for the trip to Wales, when they face Wrexham next Saturday.


Press Ass:
Barnet saw their fine run of recent form come to a grinding halt as they were held at home by bottom-of-the-table Mansfield.

After an uninspiring opening 20 minutes, the visitors then began to enjoy the better of the play.

They felt they had a penalty shout when Bees skipper Sagi Burton slid in on Simon Brown only for the referee to point for a corner and then they spurned two gilt-edged chances.

First, Michael Boulding raced clean through only to be denied by Lee Harrison in the home goal, before Stephen Dawson's cross into the box was met by Johnny Mullins at the far post, but he somehow headed it back across the face of the goal when it seemed easier to have scored.

However, they didn't have to wait long to get in front as just 90 seconds into the second half, goalkeeper Carl Muggleton's long kick forward was flicked on by Boulding into the path of Brown who struck low past Harrison.

Stung into action, the Bees had a glorious chance to get back on level terms through substitute Lee Hatch.

However, had he of converted from six yards out it would have caused a near riot as the attack came as a result of Barnet not giving the ball back after Mansfield had kicked it out of play for an injured player.

But there was no controversy in the 71st minute when he fired in from eight yards out after being neatly set up by Adam Birchall.

They had the chance to go ahead through Jason Puncheon after Boulding handled the ball in his own box, but 39-year-old Muggleton produced a fantastic save to turn the ball onto the underside of the bar.

Barnet pressed for a winner and came agonisingly close in the 90th minute when Ashley Carew's shot took a wicked deflection off a Mansfield defender but hit the foot of the post
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