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Match Reports

Report: Barnet 0-2 Cheltenham

23 December 2017

Cheltenham Town won away from home for the first time since September as goals from Irish pair Kevin Dawson and Carl Winchester helped them to a first-ever league victory at Barnet.

Gary Johnson's side dominated the first half from start to finish and after some near misses from Mo Eisa and Nigel Atangana, two goals in five minutes courtesy of Dawson and Winchester gave them a comfortable lead at the interval.

Barnet improved during the second half after Simeon Akinola was introduced at the break, but a solid defensive display ensured that the Robins left the Hive buzzing with all three points.

Johnson made three changes to the team that lost at Coventry City last weekend, as Taylor Moore, Atangana and Freddie Hinds came in for Daniel O'Shaughnessy, Kyle Storer and Danny Wright.

Bristol City loanee Hinds, who was making his first Sky Bet League Two start, started on the left hand side as Harry Pell partnered club top scorer Eisa up top.

The Robins started brightly as Eisa won a corner after hitting a deflected half-volley onto the roof of the net, but Jamie Grimes' header was comfortably held by Jamie Stevens.

Another Cheltenham corner was then headed goal-bound by Grimes but Andre Blackman blocked it on the line before Eisa blazed a close range effort over the top.

Atangana then released Eisa who cut inside and drove into the penalty area but was crowded out by the home defence.

The French midfielder then decided to take aim himself, whistling a long range effort just over the crossbar as Johnson's side continued to dominate.

Mark McGhee's Bees were under serious pressure and when goalkeeper Stevens sliced a clearance and then caught it, Cheltenham were awarded a free-kick just inside the penalty box, but Kevin Dawson's shot was blocked.

However, that pressure soon paid off as great exchange play between Morrell and Eisa allowed the latter to cross for Dawson to slide into an empty net for his sixth goal of the season.

Five minutes later the away fans were again on their feet again as Winchester netted his fourth league goal of the current campaign.

The Northern Irishman danced his way into the six-yard box and, after passing to Eisa, he regained possession and coolly lifted the ball into the top corner to double Cheltenham's lead after 38 minutes.

John Akinde finally managed an attempt on goal for the hosts, heading wide following a corner in a half totally controlled by Cheltenham.

As the match approached the hour mark a rare break from Barnet saw them get through two on two, but Shaquile Coulthirst's shot was blocked by Grimes, who was having a fantastic game at the heart of the defence.

A neat piece of play involving Akinde and Richard Brindley led to a dangerous cross from the full-back, but nobody was on the end of it, as McGhee's team undoubtedly enjoyed their best, albeit brief, spell.

After near misses from Dawson and Pell, Will Boyle rose highest to meet a corner but his powerful header dropped inches wide as Cheltenham sought to make their dominance count with a third.

But two goals were more than enough for Cheltenham, who held on to send the travelling 198 fans home with plenty of Christmas cheer.

BARNET: Stevens (Gk), Brindley (Vilhete 81), Clough (Akinola 45), Santos, Nelson, Watson, Akinde, Campbell-Ryce, Coulthirst (Nicholls 78), Taylor, Blackman. Subs not used: Ross (Gk), Tutonda, Fonguck, Sweeney.

CHELTENHAM: Flinders (Gk), Grimes, Atangana, Pell (Storer 82), Dawson, Winchester, Boyle, Eisa, Morrell, Hinds (Wright 86), Moore. Subs not used: Lovett (Gk), Page, Bower, Graham, Dawes.

REFEREE: Trevor Kettle

ATTENDANCE: 1,487 (198 away)

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