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Posted on 27 February 2006  - 12:00

Our reserves completed a crucial and deserved 2-1 win against title rivals Arsenal at Barnet on Monday night.

Our reserves completed a crucial and deserved 2-1 win against title rivals Arsenal at Barnet on Monday night.

Goals from Andy Barcham and Simon Dawkins in the first half secured a win that leaves Clive Allen's men seven points clear of the Gunners having played a game more and 12 clear of Charlton in third. We have seven matches remaining.

A two-goal lead was the least we deserved after completely dominating the first half.

The impressive Jamie Davis had already angled a shot just wide when Barcham opened the scoring in the 13th minute, pouncing on Calum Davenport's header down from Johnnie Jackson's corner and finishing from close range.

Dawkins doubled the lead after 22 minutes when he latched onto Charlie Daniels' pass and poked the ball home under the advancing Manuel Almunia.

It was one-way traffic as Almunia saved well from Daniels after Davis and Barcham cut open the home defence, Stuart Lewis fired a yard wide and Daniels stung the keeper's hands again. We got into numerous other promising positions without testing Almunia further.

Arsenal were restricted to one notable effort and a warning just before the break as Nicklas Bendtner tried to catch Rob Burch off guard with a quickly-taken free-kick only to curl a yard wide.

The second half followed the same pattern as Almunia somehow kept out substitute Jacques Maghoma's close-range effort, Barcham flashed a drive a yard the wrong side of the post and Davis diverted Bunjevcevic's cross just wide having nipped in front of his marker.

Lupoli had forced a low save from Burch in-between those chances and Burch was alert to keep out Sean Kelly's header from a corner as the home side finally began to apply some pressure.

Lupoli reduced the deficit with a smart finish after we lost possession in midfield after 68 minutes but it was Almunia forced into action again next, arguably his save of the match to tip aside Daniels' flick after Davenport again headed a Jackson corner into the danger zone.

Arsenal's best spell of pressure followed and with it a couple of heart-in-mouth moments - Lupoli dragged a one-on-one opportunity wide, Davenport produced a flying block to deny Randall and then the best chance with five minutes left as Muamba slid in Kelly who poked wide of Burch and, thankfully, the wrong side of the upright.


2mins: Burch out smartly to save at feet of Stokes.

5mins: Daniels released Davis, beat Connolly, drove across Almunia but inches wide.

7mins: Arsenal forced into early change as Cole limped off injured.

13mins: GOAL. Jackson's corner met by Davenport, Barcham and Daniels onto loose ball and Barcham slotted home from close range. 1-0.

22mins: GOAL. Daniels broke down left and released Dawkins left side of area, he controlled it well, took the ball on a few yards and planted under advancing Almunia. 2-0.

27mins: Davis beat Kelly down right, squared to Barcham, he in turn flicked the ball left to Daniels - Almunia out to make fine save.

33mins: Good work from Dawkins down the left before cutting back to Lewis who shot a yard wide from just inside box.

35mins: Daniels ran from half-way and struck decent effort taken easily by Almunia.

39mins: Bendtner took quick free-kick from 20 yards that curled just wide.

Half-time: Arsenal 0, Spurs 2

48mins: Almunia kept Arsenal in it as Barcham broke into box down the left and crossed for Maghoma, six yards out, keeper out to smother it.

51mins: Burch diving save to his left to keep out Lupoli shot.

56mins: Bunjevcevic pass into Barcham 40 yards out, ran at Connolly, twisted left and right before lashing just wide from 20 yards.

60mins: Another great chance went begging as Bunjevcevic crossed from the left and Davis got across Kelly only to divert the ball wide from six yards.

65mins: Burch alert to keep out Kelly's header at near post from Lupoli's corner.

68mins: GOAL. Punished for losing possession in midfield as Song laid ball into Lupoli and he lifted over Burch into far corner. 2-1.

75mins: Another great save from Almunia as Davenport nodded Jackson's corner back into the danger area, Daniels flicked goalwards from six yards but the keeper tipped wide.

77mins: Muamba released Lupoli on goal, right side of box, only Burch to beat but slid shot wide.

84mins: Randall shot blocked by Davenport, Lewis crucially first to the loose ball with Burch committed to Randall's effort.

85mins: Muamba slide rule pass for Kelly between defenders, through on Burch, poked ball inches wide.

Added time: Barcham onto Daniels pass, into box, drew Almunia but the keeper managed to get a hand on the ball and push him wide.

Full-time: Arsenal 1, Spurs 2

Line-ups: Arsenal: Almunia, Rodgers, Cole (Efrem, 7), Song, Kelly, Connolly, Simpson (Randall, 57), Muamba, Bendtner, Lupoli, Stokes. Unused subs: Mannone, Elston, Tracy.

Spurs: Burch, Lee (Martin, 70), Bunjevcevic, Lewis, Davenport, Gardner, Davis (Hamed, 72), Jackson, Barcham, Dawkins (Maghoma, 46), Daniels. Unused subs: Smith, Forecast.