WHILE a point at Bradford was one to be celebrated, there was no smiles around the Stanley dressing room after the Bees draw on Saturday
Manager John Coleman was fuming as his team failed to find their cutting edge against the ten-man Barnet and the Reds made it a bleak one win in nine league games.
Times are worrying at the FES as the crowd was poor - it barely topped 1000 and was the lowest in the Football League in around ten years - the Reds are unable to get rid of the “League Two strugglers” tag and Stanley have been too hit and miss.
Coleman kept his players shut in the dressing room for much longer than normal, and admitted there were a few home truths said after a disappointing clash.
“We had nowhere near enough quality, we squandered possession and we were poor,” he slammed. “Once we got to 1-1 we seemed to think that the goal was just going to come but you have to work for everything you get in this game.
“We snatched at chances and the missed opportunities have cost us points. Our shooting was disappointing and, at times, bordered on farcical.
“We were against 10 men for most of the game to a team who are below us in the league and we have got to win at home.
“We were wasteful and if we do not learn and learn soon then we will be in trouble.”
Barnet had taken the lead in the sixth minute through 40-year-old Paul Furlong but then were reduced to ten men on just 14 minutes when newly apppointed captain Kenny Gillet lunged at youngster Chris Turner. No one had any dispute about the dismissal with Barnet boss Ian Hendon calling it ‘reckless’.
It was then expected that the Reds would take charge of the game but instead the shooting was high or wide and the Reds never put enough pressure on the makeshift Barnet defence and couldn’t use the extra space.
They only had Paul Mullin’s goal after the break to count for their efforts and a point was certainly not good enough for Stanley. And while a lot has been made of the team spirit at the FES, the Reds boss says a bit of arguing wouldn’t go a miss.
“When I played and wasn’t getting the ball or the players were giving the ball away, then they would know about it from me. Then I would go and have a drink with them after the game.
“We need to get a bit more upset with each other. They are professional footballers and they get paid to do a job and the fans pay their hard-earned money to see us perform. We didn’t perform and we have got to take the stick for it.”
The Barnet game was earmarked as one the Reds should win despite Stanley being the only team the Bees have beaten at home this season.
Hendon’s men had just one win in 15 matches and had the worst defensive record in the league with 49 goals conceded.
But the Reds could not break them down. Instead they were chasing the game when a quick free kick from Tommy Black found Albert Adomah and his cross was whipped in for ex-Chelsea striker Furlong to finish.
“We had worked all week on stopping that,” said Coleman. “It was a terrible goal to concede. We switched off.”
Then referee David Foster showed Frenchman Gillet a straight red and there followed a list of half Stanley chances as Barnet went into defensive mode.
Procter headed over, loan man Kallum Higginbotham had a few efforts which were easy for keeper Ron Kadoch and some good deliveries into the box came to nothing as the Reds’ fans got increasingly frustrated.
A goal was needed and it finally came thanks to some tricky work from teenager Turner who weaved his way down the wing and played in the perfect ball for Mullin to slide home - his seventh goal of the season.
However, instead of going all out for the winner the Reds sat back and it was Barnet who could have sneaked another.
Arthur blocked John O’Flynn’s effort while defender Kieran Charnock had to make a late tackle on the free running Adomah to prevent what would have been a crisis.
But then, the ten Barnet men tired and Stanley once again got on top with enforcer Jimmy Ryan making a mazy run before his final shot was blocked and John Miles’ cross-come-shot was tipped away by Kadoch.
Higginbotham wasted a great chance eight minutes from time for a late winner as, unmarked, he headed wide.
The fact there was just three minutes of stoppage time was greeted with jeers as Barnet did take their time over goal kicks and free kicks but, in truth, Stanley looked like they could play all night and not get another.
“We had a great chance to win the game and we can’t keep passing up opportunities like this,” added Coleman.