Southend 2 Barnet 2
Southend United fought back to secure a 2-2 draw against Barnet at Roots Hall this afternoon in a pulsating affair.
With the scores level at half time the game came into life in the second half with Barnet taking a two goal lead through a superb Ricky Holmes strike and Jake Hyde’s smart finish.
Blues scored instantly after the away side’s second goal through a Freddy Eastwood penalty before Kevan Hurst made sure Southend had a share of the spoils in the 84th minute.
Blues had the first real chance of the game in the 10th minute after Gavin Tomlin bamboozled the Barnet defence leaving Dave Stephens in a heap on the floor before seeing his curling left footed effort clawed away by Graham Stack as the ball looked destined for the top corner.
Britt Assombalonga nearly scored his seventh goal of the season as the striker flicked on Ryan Cresswell’s back post header towards goal with Stack claiming well.
Stephens had a golden chance for the Bees in the 27th minute as the centre back skied the ball over the bar from 12 yards following a corner.
It was Barnet on the attack again with Jamal Lowe striking a low drive at goal which Paul Smith parried away at his near post keeping the scores level.
The game came into life after the half hour mark with Chris Byrne’s 25 yard free kick saved excellently by Smith as it came through a crowd of players.
Minutes later Southend were denied by the wood work after Hurst’s thunderous left footed strike on the edge of the area cannoned off the bar with Stack stranded in the Bees goal.
Barnet nearly scored on the counter attack in the 33rd minute following the home side’s chance with Hyde seeing his shot cleared off the line by Cresswell as the ball looked to nestle in the corner of the goal.
It was the crossbar once again keeping the scores level as Tomlin’s hugely deflected shot looped Stack and rebounded off the top of the goal with both teams having good chances to take the lead.
With the game all square at half time, Barnet took the lead in the 54th minute through an excellent goal from Holmes.
The left winger picked up the ball just inside the Southend half before charging though and firing a superb right footed strike into the top corner of the goal from 30 yards out.
The Bees doubled their lead in the 65th minute through Hyde after excellent play once again from Holmes down the left.
The winger got through down the left before squaring the ball to Hyde who beat Smith to the ball poking it into the net from close range.
Blues instantly had a chance to pull a goal back as captain Barry Fuller was penalised for hand ball inside his own box with the ball ricocheting off his knee onto his arm.
Eastwood confidently stepped up for Southend firing the ball into the rood of the net from 12 yards out sending Stack the wrong way.
The foot of the post stopped Barnet from restoring their two goal advantage in the 78th with Lowe’s shot cannoning back off it from 20 yards out with Smith beaten in the Blues goal.
Blues found an equaliser in the 84th minute through Hurst as Southend fought back from two goals down in this pulsating second half.
After a scramble in the Barnet box the ball fell to the midfielder 18 yards out who volleyed his strike into the ground before it found the corner of the net.
Luke Prosser thought he had snatched all three points for Southend in the 90th minute only to be denied by Fuller on the goal line with the captain superbly clearing the ball away.
With four minutes added on by the referee the game opened up with both sides looking for the win and somehow Lowe didn’t find it for the Bees completely missing the ball six yards out with the goal at his mercy after being teed up by substitute John Nurse.
The scores stayed the same in the closing minutes with Southend’s comeback securing a point for the home side.