REPORT: Cheltenham Town 1-2 Barnet
Cheltenham Town started the festive period with a loss as Barnet ran out 2-1 winners at The LCI Rail Stadium.
Curtis Weston gave Barnet the lead shortly into the game before Danny Wright found an equaliser just before half time for Cheltenham.
The Bees re-took the lead six minutes into the second half and, despite heavy pressure from The Robins, defended well to claim the win.
The result means that Gary Johnson’s men stay as they were in the table going into Friday’s game with Wycombe.
Cheltenham came out of the blocks quickly as they attacked the Autovillage Stand in the first half, but it was actually Barnet who took the lead on eight minutes.
Luke Gambin let fly from outside the box with a spectacular volley that crashed back off the crossbar, and Weston was on hand to mop up the rebound to give the away side an early advantage.
Just a few minutes later Barnet almost doubled their lead when Gambin was again causing problems as his cross found the head of Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, though luckily his header went inches wide of the post.
From then on it was Cheltenham who had a good spell of pressure and almost equalised when Wright hit the near post from close range.
Barnet were breaking quickly, though, and hit the woodwork themselves when Akinde outmuscled Daniel Parslow and slid the ball under Griffiths, but his shot bounced back off the far post.
Two minutes before half time The Robins finally made their pressure pay as Jack Munns’ free kick was headed past Jamie Stephens and into the back of the net by Wright.
After the break Cheltenham started brightly but found themselves behind again on 51 minutes as Akinde went clean through on goal following a quick counter attack, and he beat Griffiths with a low shot.
After that Dan Holman and James Dayton came on as Gary Johnson looked to get his side back in the game, and it almost worked as the latter’s cross was guided narrowly wide by Billy Waters.
For all of Cheltenham’s attacking effort, Barnet were still a threat and almost extended their lead even further when Akinde hit the post for a second time with a header.
The home side threw everything forward for the remainder of the game but couldn’t find an equaliser as The Bees held on to claim all three points.
Cheltenham Town: R Griffiths, A Downes (C), D Parslow (D Holman, 59), R Dickie, J Cranston, J Barthram, H Pell, J Munns (J Dayton, 59), K Storer, B Waters, D Wright (A Morgan-Smith, 72).
Unused Subs: C Kitscha, D O’Shaughnessy, J Rowe, K Arthur.
Barnet: J Stephens, B Dembele, M Nelson (C), E Johnson, M Vilhete, J Taylor, C Weston, L Gambin (A Sesay, 86), A Nicholls (J Campbell-Ryce, 72), J Akpa Akpro (S Muggleton, 74), J Akinde.
Unused Subs: J Vickers, H Taylor, N Kyei, J Amaluzor.