Stimson double seals Barnet victory

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Herts Senior Cup Final

Barnet 2 Stevenage 1

BORO were unable to prevent Barnet from making it a record 21st Herts Senior Cup title as two goals from Charlie Stimson gave the Bees a 2-1 victory at Underhill.

Stimson, the son of former Boro and Barnet boss Mark, was on target in either half with his goals sandwiching a second half strike from Craig Reid, the striker’s fifth goal in two appearances in the competition.

Assistant manager John Dreyer took charge of a strong Boro side packed with first team players with David Bridges deployed at centre half and captaining the side.

The home side took advantage of several Boro players playing out of position and dominated the first half.

On-loan Stevenage goalkeeper Joe Welch entered into a personal head-to-head dual with Ricky Holmes with the Barnet man having a big influence over proceedings.

The first time the two came head-to-head was when Holmes received a quick free kick 20 yards from goal and hit a swerving shot that changed direction mid-air forcing Welch into a swift readjustment to get behind the ball.

The ‘keeper was soon called upon again to deny Holmes getting down low to divert the midfielder’s effort wide of the post after he had been given too much time and space on the edge of the area. From the resulting corner John Dunleavy rose unchallenged to head towards goal but Welch was again on hand to stick out a paw and tip the ball over the bar.

The pressure Boro were facing was relentless and they soon cracked. Charlie Taylor was played in behind makeshift left-back Peter Winn and his low cross found Stimson unmarked who bundled the ball home from a matter of yards.

Boro hit back with Reid seeing his free kick whistle past the post but things could have got worse for the visitors when ex-Boro man Mark Hughes spotted Welch off his line and tried an audacious lob. Thankfully for the visitors the big stopper recovered well to claw the ball away to safety.

Whatever Dreyer said in the dressing room appeared to have an impact as Boro come out looking a lot brighter after the break and the second period was only three minutes old when Reid drew them level.

Winn was the architect bursting down the left wing before picking out Reid at the far post and the striker’s neat first touch took him inside his marker before firing a curling effort inside Sam Walker’s right hand post.

Reid was proving a nuisance to the Bees’ defence and his jinking run to the byline should have produced a second goal but the cut back evaded everyone in a white shirt.

Boro were in the ascendancy now so it came as a surprise when Barnet scored what turned out to be the winner against the run of play in the 63rd minute.

The Bees took advantage of a hole in the Boro defence to play in Stimson and he calmly lifted the ball over the diving Welch and into the back of the net.

Dreyer’s side could have hit back immediately when they broke from a corner but despite having a three-on-one advantage Taiwo Atieno was thwarted by Walker as he attempted to round the prone goalkeeper.

Then, from a corner the ball fell to Reid who was lurking on the edge of the area but his fierce goalbound shot hit Jordan Parkes on the line and looped over the bar.

The final chance for Boro to salvage the game and force extra time came when a long ball forward by Welch caused panic in the Barnet defence but Byron Harrison could only help the ball into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Walker.

It was a bad night at the office for Boro and their 89 travelling fans but with bigger fish to fry attention now shifts firmly back on making it back-to-back promotions.

Barnet (4-3-1-2): Walker; Dunleavy (Johnson 90), Kamdjo, Yorke, Parkes; Cox, Hughes, Jarvis ©; Holmes (Vilhete 60); Taylor, Stimson.

Subs not used: Adebayii, Johnstone, Coulton (GK).

Stevenage (4-4-2): Welch; Long, Bridges ©, Buffano, Winn; Amokeodo, Byrom, Beardsley, Atieno (Carvalho 87); Harrison, Reid.

Subs not used: Knight, Bricknell, Hallam.

Referee: Mark Mellor (Hemel Hempstead)

Att: 435 (89 away).

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