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By Callum Williams
A BATTLING performance by the Bees at Gravesend on Saturday was overshadowed by a serious injury to Frazer Toms.
Toms, who was playing as a striker, went down after a 28th minute challenge on the edge of the Gravesend penalty area and was carried off and taken to hospital with a suspected double fracture of his leg.
Things had started well for Barnet as they took the lead on 55 seconds when Neil Midgley netted after finding himself with the goal at his mercy as the home defence waited for an offside flag that never came.
Barnet looked good value for their lead, which they held until the 25th minute when Gravesend equalised. Bees defender Matt Langston was booked for a foul on Liam Hatch and, from the resulting free-kick, taken by Justin Skinner, Hatch took his revenge by putting the loose ball through the legs of keeper Danny Naisbitt.
Then came Toms injury and a spell that saw Barnet struggle in the very windy conditions.
The first half ended with four minutes of stoppage time during which Gravesend took the lead. A high ball into the Barnet penalty area was sent spinning around in the wind long enough for Francis Duku to apply the finishing touch from close range.
Things went from bad to worse for Barnet at the start of the second half when keeper Naisbitt became their second player to leave the field on a stretcher after being injured in a 51st minute collision with Kevin Budge.
Gravesend put the ball into the net in the resulting melee, but the effort was ruled out for offside and substitute goalkeeper Ricky Millards first task was to restart the game with the free kick.
With top goalscorer Junior Agogo on for Toms, Barnet gradually eased up a gear and took the game to Gravesend.
Their reward came on 69 minutes when Agogos intelligent cross was converted by Craig Pope, who cleverly turned a defender before tucking home a crisp shot just inside the post.
Most of the late pressure came from Barnet, but, in the end, they had to settle for one point, which mathematically made relegation this season impossible.
As for Gravesend, they were left to continue their battle to beat the dreaded drop. Was the rat that run across the terraces before the game really leaving a sinking ship?
26 - Matthew Langston booked for unsporting behaviour.
Gravesend & Northfleet
63 - Tostao Kwashi
booked for unsporting behaviour.
Naisbitt (Millard 52), Pope, Flynn, Yakabu, Langston (Pluck 45), Butters, Gower, Lopez, Rowland, Toms (Agogo 32), Midgley
Unused subs: Baimass, Oshitola
Gravesend & Northfleet
Wilkerson, Lovett, Duku, Burton, Skinner, Jackson, Strouts, Owen, Kwashi, Hatch, Budge
Unused subs: Sturgess, Pennock, Parker, Wilkins, Turner
Below are some pictures from the game, there are ten more here.
Midgley the lone striker, holds the ball up
Fraser and Lovett continue their dual
The half-time pep talk
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