Defeat For Pools In Crucial Barnet Match
Two second-half goals from the visitors were enough to send Pools into the League Two relegation spots on a desperately disappointing afternoon for Dave Jones's side.
It was an extremely nervy first 45 minutes for Pools as they failed to put any real pressure on the Barnet goal.
The visitors looked more confident on the ball, playing with the belief and positivity that Pools lacked.
Joe Fryer pulled off a good early save to deny the powerful John Akinde with a header on goal, while former Poolie Michael Nelson saw a long-range effort hit against the post and go out of play.
Pools had brief respite when Brad Walker played in Nathan Thomas to the right of the area but his low drive at goal was easy for Josh Vickers at the near post.
Fumnaya Shomotun was a problem for Pools as he showed good pace down the right to open things up for the hosts, while Akinde provided the big target for balls into the box.
Michael Woods was the Pools player to show the most spark in the first half, throwing himself into a series of strong challenges to lift his team and give the fans something to cheer.
But with few real chances on goal and still the reliance to send the long ball up for striker Rhys Oates to chase after, it was a frustrating half for Pools.
Fryer saved again from Jack Taylor, tipping his effort over the bar before Jamal Campbell-Ryce fired wide with a strike from the left of the box.
Pools were fortunate to go in level at half time, with the visitors having dominated but there needed to be a big improvement for the second half.
But again it was Barnet who started the better after the break and Pools spent much of the early play defending their own goal from the lively visitors.
Jones’s side failed to get out of their own half in the first ten minutes or so of the second half and the fans began to voice their understandable frustration.
Pools responded to the poor start by bringing on top scorer Padraig Amond and the change sparked a reaction both on and off the pitch.
There was much more urgency to the play for a spell, with a frenzied atmosphere from the stands but that was all brought to a sharp halt on 66 minutes.
A ball forward picked out John Akinde and it was too easy for him as he sent a powerful strike past Fryer and into the back of the net.
It was 2-0 on 70 minutes when John Akinola was played into the box and he squeezed a shot in past Fryer at the neat post to send Pools closer to relegation.
Joe Fryer saved a John Akinde penalty after the striker was fouled inside the box as all of the real goal-mouth action came at the wrong end for Pools, who limped through to the end of the game and another defeat.
With other results also going against Pools, Dave Jones’s side now sit in the relegation zone of League Two.
Full Time: Pools 0 Barnet 2
Attendance: 4208 (203 Barnet)
Pools: Fryer, Magnay, Harrison, Bates, Deverdics, Featherstone (Blackford 69), Woods, Walker, Alessandra (Amond 59), Oates, Thomas.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Hawkins, Rooney, Rodney.
Barnet: Vickers, H Taylor, Nelson, Clough, Johnson, J Taylor, Weston, Bover (Champion 65), Shomotun (Akinola 65), J Akinde, Campbell-Ryce.
Subs Not Used: McKenzie-Lyle, Santos, Coulson, S Akinde.