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  • By Nicholas Harling

No let-up in woes for struggling Barnet, as need for new boss and stability becomes ever-more urgent

Barnet 0 Chesterfield 2

The sooner Barnet appoint a new permanent manager, the better, as far as Paul Fairclough is concerned.

Fairclough is the club's interim manager following the departure of Tim Flowers, but with problems piling up at The Hive following his team's 20th defeat of the season, he won't be too upset if Flowers' successor is named within a few days.

The dismissal of central defender, Ben Richards-Everton in the last seconds of Barnet's latest eclipse was the culmination of a disappointing day at the office for Fairclough who expected his team to show a further improvement following last week's surprise draw at Bromley and narrow defeat at Stockport. "It was a classic, wasn't it? he said. "We had taken two steps forward and now we've taken a step back but it was a big step back."

Fairclough acknowledged that his team could have been three or four goals down instead of just one goal adrift by the tenth minute. Indeed, his side could have fallen behind after just 17 seconds when Jack Clarke sent Chesterfield's new loan signing Adi Yussuf through to blast high and wide.

Within five more minutes, Clarke's corner had rattled the far post and Alex Whittle had pulled a shot just wide. Tom Whelan's goal, a low angled drive following a move involving Akwasi Asante and Clarke, was the least Chesterfield deserved for their bright start.

Barnet, a hotch potch of a side compared to the ease with which Chesterfield gelled, did not threaten until the 18th minute when Muhammadu Faal had Grant Smith diving at his feet to save.

"We came up against a very good team," said Fairclough. "They were slick, kept possession of the ball and they were that much better than us although I'm not saying our lads were useless or anything like that."

Fairclough's hopes of a Barnet recovery in the second half were dashed in the 48th minute when the excellent Whelan tapped a short free kick to Asante whose piledriver was parried by Aymen Azaze, standing in for dislocated shoulder victim Scott Loach.

Yussuf was first to the rebound for Chesterfield, who could have scored a third goal but for an upright keeping out another fierce shot from Asante.

Barnet would have had an undeserved consolation goal had Ephron Mason-Clark kept his overhead kick a bit lower. There was still time for Richards-Everton to get sent off for a tackle from behind on Curtis Weston.

He booted the physiotherapist's bag as he departed to risk a longer suspension, which will be just one more selection poser for Barnet's new incumbent, whoever he may be.


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