Bees hit self-destruct and gift Neal Ardley’s Moors two goals to keep the visitors on track for the play-offs


Photo taken by Kieran Gallop

Barnet only have themselves to blame as they shoot themselves in the foot at either end of a scrappy game, with Solihull Moors emerging as 2-0 winners. 

Both sides made three changes from their midweek exploits, but it was the visitors who started on top in front of a seemingly sparse crowd of 1,016 at the Hive. 

However, a huge amount of the credit for the goal has to go to Barnet’s defending, who failed to defend a tepid effort from the edge of the area and diverted the ball straight back into the path of a Solihull shirt. 

Who else but Andrew Dallas to step up and capitalise for the Moors, with the 22-year-old bagging his 14th goal in 15 games. It is fair to say the Scotsman has been the protagonist of Solihull’s destructive play-off charge. 

Barnet recovered well by getting a hold of possession but found it difficult to trouble the Solihull backline for the most part. Rob Hall proved to be providing most of the sting for the Bees, but even he was unable to unlock the blue wall that stood before him. 

Though the hosts were able to knock the ball from left to right with relative ease, it was still the visitors who posed the most threat when they did venture forward, displayed by a long-range effort from right back James Clarke skimming the top of the crossbar. 

As halftime approached though, Dean Brennan’s side started to pick up ahead of steam and thought they had found the breakthrough when Ephron Mason-Clark fired into the back of the net with real conviction. Sadly for the home side, the linesman adjudged there to be a touch from Adam Marriott to the 22-year-old defender, thus making him offside in the attacking scenario. 

In the dying seconds of the first period, the game broke down into a somewhat chaotic affair, with tackles flying in and frustration boiling over for both sets of players towards each other and collectively towards the referee. 

As the game entered its second half, Barnet started to gain a firmer grip on the contest, but simply did not put Ryan Boot to the test nearly enough. 

It took until nearly the 75th minute for the Bees to finally get some sort of second-half effort off, with Marriott getting on the end of a Hall cross and looping his header over the crossbar. 

Rather bizarrely, Brennan refused to make a single substitution as the game entered its final minutes, despite being behind and their opponents making all three by the 80th. 

Whether this was a factor in the second and ultimately decisive Solihull goal will forever be a mystery but four minutes after Neal Ardley made his final switch, the game was won. 

Ryan Barnett was afforded multiple opportunities to cross, and his final effort was too much for Ben Richards-Everton as the former Bradford City man could only nod the ball beyond his own keeper. Though it was a situation in which he was damned if he did and damned if he did not deal with it, the experienced defender will be disappointed that he was not able to divert the cross away from danger.

The goal killed off any momentum Barnet had heading into the closing moments, and the Bees manager decided to make a dual substitution immediately after the goal, with the game already done. 

Overall, it was a disappointing result for Barnet, who will be pleased with their play in possession, though will rue their defensive woes and the lack of attacking threat. 

It was workmanlike at times from Solihull, but in the end, they just had the extra edge over their opponents. Not their finest ever performance but three points nonetheless. 

Barnet will be keeping it local in the week to come, with a trip on Tuesday to Hampton & Richmond Borough for the Middlesex Senior Cup Final against Brentford B preceding a visit to the Chigwell Construction Stadium to face Dagenham & Redbridge in the National League. 

Solihull Moors stay in 4th thanks to wins for Wrexham and FC Halifax Town but now head into a mammoth fixture against the Dragons of North Wales with plenty of play-off implications surrounding the Good Friday clash. Wrexham are unbeaten in 13 in all competitions, whilst the West Midlanders are unbeaten in 14 in the league. 

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