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John Coleman grateful to edge past Barnet as Accrington leave it late

Manager John Coleman breathed a sigh of relief after Accrington secured a 1-0 win over Barnet in the second round of the FA Cup (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Manager John Coleman breathed a sigh of relief after Accrington secured a 1-0 win over Barnet in the second round of the FA Cup (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Manager John Coleman breathed a sigh of relief after League One Accrington secured a 1-0 win over battling National League side Barnet in the second round of the FA Cup.

There wasn’t a lot in the clash at the Wham Stadium and it looked to be heading for a replay when, on 84 minutes, Rosaire Longelo’s cross was parried out by keeper Laurie Walker and Ethan Hamilton pounced to fire home the winner.

Coleman admitted: “It was a tough game, Barnet had a big part of the game in the first half.

“They made it difficult for us. They had the ball in the box a lot, we hit the post early on but we didn’t really get going in the first half.

“We seemed to want to help them on the way. The weather was difficult for both teams with the wind, it was swirling, so didn’t know where the ball would travel to but we had the wind in the second half which helped us.

“It was always going to be a scrappy goal which settled a scrappy game and thankfully we were the ones who got it. You need that little bit of luck and we got it with the goal.

“They are a good side but we should be better, we are two leagues above them but you wouldn’t know that today and that’s testament to how well they played.

“With 15 minutes to go, I would have taken 0-0 as we would be in the draw. It’s a big boost for us getting the prize money never mind the prospect of another tie.

“We are often the underdogs but this time we were expected to win and win in style and that’s not always the case and that’s why the FA Cup is fantastic.”

Barnet are sixth in the National League and while boss Dean Brennan was proud of his side, he was disappointed they didn’t at least force a replay.

He said: “I am proud of the players and their efforts and we did not deserve to lose, we were just a bit short at the top end.

“We need another centre-forward at the club, we only have one, and I think anyone could see that today. We just need more quality at the top end of the pitch and if we had that, it might have gone our way.

“We were solid and they made it difficult, especially in the first 10 minutes which they dominated.

“We changed it around and got a foothold in the game but you have to take your chances when you are on top, to take it to the next level.

“It was little things and we needed a break and it didn’t go for us. We wish them well and we will debrief and keep the same professionalism and mentality going into every game.”