National League: Barnet 2 Woking 0 – match report


Dean Brennan’s side were looking to bounce back from the disappointing 3-3 draw in midweek, after blowing a three-goal lead in Hampshire.

But with both sides looking to stamp their authority on the match from the outset, it was the home side who dominated the early proceedings. 

Summer signing Reece Hall-Johnson caused the Woking defence all kinds of problems on the right flank and the Bees faithful didn’t have to wait long as winger Idris Kanu broke in the 16th minute, holding off Woking left-back Sam Habergham before sliding an excellent ball across the box for Zak Brunt to fire home from close range.

Buoyed by the goal, the Bees looked to capitalise on their momentum and nearly doubled their lead as captain Harry Pritchard got in behind the Woking back line just a few moments after but couldn’t find striker Nicke Kabamba, whose stretched leg failed to make any kind of connection with the ball. 

Brennan’s side continued to huff and puff, but couldn’t find a way through a rigid Woking defence, as visiting winger Dennon Lewis began to find some space on the right behind Ben Coker who went down with a knock around the half-hour mark. 

The tricky Woking forward then managed to somehow get beyond his full-back, despite looking second favourite in a footrace, only to slide a poor ball straight into the gloves of Bees keeper Laurie Walker. 

As Brennan’s side continued to find pockets of space in and around the penalty area, Woking grew into the game and saw their first clear-cut chance go to waste as forward Rhys Browne turned away from Bees defender Adebola Oluwo and rattled the crossbar with a superb effort just inside the 18-yard box. 

The second half began in similar fashion to the first with the home side exerting their control in the middle of the park. 

Just minutes after the restart, Barnet doubled their lead as Brunt latched on to a loose ball just outside the Woking penalty area and curled a terrific effort beyond the helpless Joe Day. 

Looking by far the better side on the day, the hosts continued to dominate the ball in midfield and seemingly had the away side there for the taking. 
Despite making two half-time changes, Darren Sarll’s side were still being overrun and could have been a third goal down on the hour mark. 

The impressive Hall-Johnson managed to break away from his marker down the right and cut the ball back only for Day to parry it back into the path of man-of-the-match Brunt whose close-range effort was blocked on the edge of the six-yard box. 

Woking managed a late surge, but failed to take anything from the match as Browne rose highest at an inswinging corner and powered a bullet header onto the crossbar 10 minutes from time. 

Bees visit struggling Dagenham & Redbridge in a week’s time as they hope to continue their excellent start to their National League campaign.

Attendance: 1596 (including 358 Woking fans).

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