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Club News

More minutes at Barnet

25 July 2015

The majority of the Dons’ first-team gained match minutes during a pre-season friendly at Barnet.

Newly-recruited striker Simon Church bagged his fourth goal of the summer from the penalty spot in the clash at The Hive but a first-half hat-trick from John Akinde earned the Bees a 3-1 victory.

Robinson made four changes to the XI which started the 1-1 draw at Mansfield earlier in the week, with Lee Hodson, Joe Walsh, Giorgio Rasulo and Dean Bowditch all included from the off.

Pre-season friendlies aren’t normally known for their fast starts but inside the first three minutes the fans inside The Hive got to see two goals - the first of which came courtesy of Barnet striker John Akinde, who won the ball straight from kick-off and beat David Martin with a curling shot. 0-1.

The hosts’ lead, however, last just a few moments as, almost immediately, Robinson’s men were awarded a spot kick when Dean Bowditch was pulled back as he made his way into the Bees box. Simon Church was the man who stepped up take the penalty and he made no mistake from 12-yards. 1-1.

Church almost doubled his tally before the 10-minute mark but, after forcing his way past the sliding keeper, he failed to locate the loose ball which was trickling towards goal and a Barnet defender rushed back to clear.

The men from MK1 were really growing into the match and they went close to taking the lead on a number of occasions.

First, Bowditch had a shot from the corner of the box deflected into the arms of keeper Ashlee Jones before both Church and Rasulo saw their respective right-footed efforts saved and held.

Then, against the run of play, Barnet retook control of the contest courtesy of Akinde, who beat Martin to a through-pass and lifted a shot over him, into the net. 1-2.

Church went near to another instant response but his one-on-one shot was saved by the body of Jones. Bowditch then managed to find a way past the Bees stopper, after some excellent build-up play, but was denied by the linesman’s offside flag.

Despite the scoreline, the Dons were by far the more dominant side but they fell even further behind when Akinde completed a first-half hat-trick by racing clean through on goal and squeezing a shot under Martin. 1-3.

Robinson made a pair of changes at half-time, swapping Carruthers and Church for Daniel Powell and Ben Reeves, but it was Barnet who started the second period brighter and Akinde went close to a fourth goal five minutes in.

An opportunity then appeared for Bowditch to reduce the deficit in the 53rd minute but he dragged his shot wide from the edge of the area.  Baker, later, sent a drilled effort from 30-yards narrowly past the left post.

The best chance of the second period, however, came when substitute Powell burst into the Bees box on 79 minutes. The winger struck a fierce right-footed shot past Jones but the effort bounced off the inside of both posts before being cleared.

Starting XI: Martin; Hodson, McFadzean, Walsh (Kay 20), Lewington; Potter, Carruthers (Reeves 46); Baker, Rasulo (Jennings 61), Bowditch; Church (Powell 46).

Subs not used: Cropper, Spence.

Goal: Church (pen 3)

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