National League

REPORT: National League Play-Off Eliminator – Yeovil Town 0 Barnet 2

Barnet’s Mauro Vilhete celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with Paul McCallum. Picture: PA Images

McCallum 53, Vilhete 86
By David Richardson
Darren Currie was off to buy a lottery ticket after seeing his fortunate Barnet side live a charmed life to progress into the play-off semi-finals.
Yeovil Town will spend the rest of the summer wondering how they managed to lose the tie after dominating the second half, hitting the woodwork three times and having two efforts cleared off the line.
Paul McCallum, on loan from Solihull Moors, gave Barnet the lead against the run of play early in the second half and then Mauro Vilhete scored a bizarre second five minutes from time.
It was a typical smash-and-grab victory and Bees boss Currie knows his side will have to play better when they visit Notts County in the semi-final on Saturday.
“I said to many of their players and their manager that I thought they were better than us today,” Currie said. “I’ve got to do the lottery tonight without a doubt. We’ve rode our luck, there’s absolutely no doubt about that, but what we’ve done on enough occasions was put bodies on the line and headed balls away.
“They played their game far better than we played our game, but without taking any credit away from my players, they’ve worked hard. It’s cup football, it’s not about how you play it’s about winning so from that respect I’m delighted.

“Defensively I thought we worked incredibly hard and for me Ricardo Santos was a stand-out player.
“I’m over the moon to come away with a victory that was what we’re here to do. I’m not getting carried away. Although defensively we were very good today, we can play a lot better than that.”
Barnet have become known for their attractive passing style under Currie but right from the off they struggled to find their usual rhythm.
Simeon Akinola, Wes Fonguck and Shaquile Coulthirst – all injured – were big losses from the Bees squad as Harry Taylor filled in at centre-back in a back three alongside Ricardo Santos and Elliott Johnson.
Despite their make-shift defence, Barnet kept Yeovil at bay during the first-half with the hosts’ Matt Worthington toe-poking an effort narrowly wide after dribbling into the area.
Ephron Mason-Clark had the visitors’ only sight of goal before half-time with a shot from distance that hit the side netting.
In injury time, Glovers top scorer Rhys Murphy saw his shot hit a Barnet arm in the penalty area but referee Carl Brook waved away the claims.
Yeovil had their first big chance of the second half within two minutes of the restart when centre-back Luke Wilkinson headed against the crossbar from a corner.
But it was Barnet who were soon celebrating the opener as Mason-Clark eased Myles Hippolyte off the ball in midfield before feeding McCallum on the edge of the area, who sent goalkeeper Stuart Nelson the wrong way with his shot.
Josh Walker nearly made it two minutes later but his curling shot went wide.
The fast start to the half continued and Johnson managed to turn the ball against his own post from a harmless cross.
In the same passage of play, Yeovil recycled possession and Remeao Hutton delivered a brilliant cross which was turned goalwards by substitute Jimmy Smith.
His effort was pushed against the inside of a post by goalkeeper Scott Loach and cleared by Santos amid strong Yeovil appeals that the ball had crossed the goalline. TV replays proved inconclusive as to whether it had or not.
Smith was involved again in Yeovil’s next big chance, volleying at goal from inside the area with his effort superbly cleared off the line by Taylor.
The home side kept the pressure on but when Barnet managed a rare breakaway, Medy Elito’s cross was just out of reach for Vilhete.
However, Yeovil left-back Carl Dickinson inadvertently headed the delivery against the wing-back’s arm which sent the ball crashing against a post and then the crossbar before hitting the head of Vilhete, who was led on the goalline, for the second.
It summed up a luckless day for the hosts leaving manager Darren Sarll rueing his side’s missed chances and the moment when it looked like they had equalised.
“It looked like it was in the goal,” he said. “I think you’ve got to give full credit to Barnet and score the chances you create and they did that.
“I would hate to know the number of entries we had into the box. I would hate to know what that converted into in terms of credible chances, but we didn’t take them.
“With our missed chances we gave them too much hope.”
Match Stats:
Shots on: 3/2
Shots off: 5/3
Corners: 11/1
Offsides: 2/0
Fouls conceded: 12/7
Yellow: 0/1
Red: 0/0
STAR MAN: Ricardo Santos (Barnet)
REFEREE: Carl Brook
YEOVIL TOWN: (4-1-2-1-2): Nelson; Hutton, Wilkinson, Collins, Dickinson; Lee; Hippolyte, Worthington (J Smith 61); Skendi; Duffus (Richards 75), Murphy (Dagnall 75).
Subs not used: Alcock, Cooper, A Smith
BARNET: (3-5-2): Loach; Taylor, Santos, Johnson; Vilhete, Dunne, Adams, Mason-Clark (Elito 65), Tutonda; McCallum (Edwards 90), Walker (Pavey 86).
Subs not used: Matrevics, McBurnie, Vasiliou

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