Ten-man Pools fell to an agonising 2-1 defeat to Barnet onSaturday in a scrappy National League encounter at The Hive.
A swirling wind and bobbly pitch made life difficult for
both sides but the task became even trickier for Pools two minutes in the secondhalf when Gavan Holohan was shown a second yellow card.
New Barnet signing Paul McCallum came off the bench to score
with his first touch just after the hour but Pools looked to have rescued a
point when home defender Dan Sweeney headed Ryan Donaldson's cross through hisown goal.
However, McCallum then turned provided when he muscled his
way in to the box to square for Simeon Akinola to win it for the hosts tenminutes from time.
Dave Challinor had named an unchanged starting eleven for
the North London contest, with new loan signing Rob Harker handed a place amongthe substitutes.
Pools almost enjoyed the perfect start when Gavan Holohan
nicked possession on the halfway line and released Gime Toure but the Frenchman'sshot was blocked by a defender and the chance evaporated.
Darren Currie's side settled in to the game as it went along
though, with front man Josh Walker looking particularly lively in possession anda threat at times.
Mitch Beeney had to be alert to come off his line and thwart
Simeon Akinola as they looked to chase on to a quickly-taken free-kick flightedover the Pools defence.
Pools responded with a well-constructed attack down the
right which provided Mark Shelton with enough space to deliver a cross butAidan Keena just couldn't rise high enough to direct a header on goal in the middle.
Shelton was causing problems for the home side's defence
though and he delivered another superb ball moments later which flashed throughthe six-yard box without anyone managing to get a decisive touch.
The Bees had the best chance in first half injury-time when
David Tutonda burst in to the box from the left but he lost his footing as he tried
to turn away from Timi Odusina and Akinola's low shot was then wall saved downto his left by Beeney.
The second half got off to the worst possible start when
Holohan reached in to a challenge from behind and didn't quite get the ball –giving the referee a chance to flash a red card at the distraught midfielder.
Pools knew they were going to have to dig in after that but
the hosts immediately began to apply some pressure and had a couple of shotsblocked as Challinor's men defended with determination.
Tutonda drove in to the box but then struck the side-netting
with his shot, before Akinola lashed a free-kick off the underside of the bar beforeJames Dunne's follow-up effort was blocked.
Pools almost grabbed an unlikely lead on the counter when
Harker – on in place of Aidan Keena – turned superbly on the halfway line andplayed the ball through for Toure but he fired just over.
McCallum's introduction from the bench proved another turning
point as he was in the right place to turn home a debut goal within a minute ofcoming on to put the hosts 1-0 up.
Shelton blocked an effort on the line as Barnet looked topress home their advantage as the final quarter-hour approached.
But it was Pools who scored next when Donaldson whipped a vicious
ball in from the left and Sweeney could only glance a header past the strandedLoach to gift the visitors an equaliser.
The game was in to the final ten minutes when a long ball
over the top found McCallum and he got the space to play a low ball inside forAkinola who swept it across Beeney and in to the bottom corner of the net.
Challinor threw on Luke Molyneux and Josh Hawkes in the closing
stages as they chased another leveller but it wouldn't come and their four-gameunbeaten run was brought to an end.
Full Time: Barnet 2 Pools 1
Barnet: Loach, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Dunne, Adams, Akinola (Sparkes 87), Vilhete, Walker (McCallum 62), Tutonda, Sweeney.
Subs not used: Azaze, Fonguck, McBurnie.
Booked: Alexander, Johnson, Dunne.
Pools: Beeney, Southam-Hales, Liddle, Odusina, Kitching, Featherstone (Molyneux 84), Holohan (s/o 48), Shelton (Hawkes 87), Toure, Keena (Harker 51).
Subs not used: Richardson, Mafuta, Hawkes, Molyneux, Harker.
Booked: Odusina, Featherstone.
Attendance: 1,321 (261 Pools).
Referee: Daniel Middleton