Barnet 1-1 Notts County: Notts promotion charge stung by Kanu header for the Bees
Harry Pritchard of Barnet Football Club celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Vanarama National League match between Oldham Athletic and Barnet at Boundary Park, Oldham on Saturday 12th November 2022. (Photo by Eddie Garvey/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Macaulay Langstaff's 37th goal of the season was cancelled out by Idris Kanu's header moments away from the half-time interval. 

The prolific striker added once again to his account, but they were unable to secure the crucial three points that were required of them as the race for the title is starting to reach its conclusion. 

Notts County dominated the first half, with a flurry of chances going astray. However, it was an open game in the second half, with the Bees increasing the tempo and providing an enthralling end-to-end battle. 

A win for the Pies would've seen them stay one point behind Wrexham, but they now lie three points behind having played one game more than their title competitors. 

As for Dean Brennan's side, the Bees are now five points behind 3rd-placed Woking with a game in hand on both them and Chesterfield, who beat the Cardinals by one goal today. 

Story of the game:

Barnet were boosted by the return of captain Dale Gorman into the central midfield role. The Irishman had been out with an injury since the start of the month after the win against Southend United

There was also a surprise start for Daniel Powell, who was thrown into the right-wing back position, last featuring for the Bees against Gateshead in early January. 

The Bees also welcomed back Dominic Revan and Harry Smith, who were fit enough to make it to the bench. 

Meanwhile, Luke Williams made two changes to the side that won against Eastleigh. Sam Austin and Kyle Cameron were preferred to Connor Lemonheigh-Evans and Jodi Jones who both dropped down to the bench. 

Barnet started the game lively with Harry Pritchard's cross into Nicke Kabmaba flashing just past the number nine to divert it goalwards. 

But Brennan's side was alerted to the dangers of Macaulay Langstaff early, who is the Vanarama National League top scorer.

County piled on the pressure as they gained momentum. Ruben Rodrigues' effort was cleared off the line by Pritchard, and Laurie Walker was forced into a brilliant save after Cameron's cross found Langstaff roaming in the area. 

Powell caught the Pies out on a swift counter-attack but academy product Tiernan Brooks was dominant between the sticks. Aaron Nemane then instantly burst down the wing and struck the woodwork as both sides got stuck into the match. 

Walker had to deny Chicksen and Nemane again as Notts County inserted their stamp of authority at the Hive. The former Stevenage number one has the most saves out of any goalkeeper in the National League this season, and has been key to the new and reformed Barnet side. 

The deadlock was broken by none other than Macaulay Langstaff with only three minutes remaining of the half. A pass played through to Nemane split apart the out-of-position Daniel Powell, and the 25-year-old set it back into the feet of Langstaff to strike cleanly into the back of the net. 

The lead wasn't held long. In the dying embers of the first half, Barnet won a throw-on in a threatening position. Grimsby Town loanee Jordan Cropper's long throw was bundled in by a sea of orange, with Idris Kanu adjudicated to get the final touch as he wheeled away to celebrate in front of the East Stand. 

Barnet started the second as they did the first, maintaining a high press and putting the title competitors into uncomfortable positions. 

Luke Williams made a double substitution 15 minutes into the half as the game started to creep away from the visitors. Jones and Evans were hurled on as County changed formation.

As the home side started to get on the attacking end, they were reminded of Notts' attacking abilities. Rodrigues' cross almost landed in the path of Langstaff, but Walker was present to fend off the striker. 

With 15 minutes left, the game stepped up a notch. Chances for Smith, Senior, Nemane and Rodrigues to find a winner. 

Dean Brennan could've felt that his side would come away with the three points as Kabamba, Senior and Pritchard all missed one-on-one opportunities as the Pies went attacking. 

Five minutes of injury time was not enough for either side to take the win. Notts County will feel disappointed that they couldn't keep the chase up on Wrexham, who were victors at Hayes Lane this afternoon.

The Bees have a short trip to rivals Wealdstone on Saturday at Grosvenor Vale, who hope to claim the final playoff spot by May. 

Player of the Match: 

Jordan Cropper - Barnet

Jordan Cropper of Grimsby takes a long throw in during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Grimsby Town and Nottingham Forest at Blundell Park on August 23, 2022 in Grimsby, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Jordan Cropper of Grimsby takes a long throw in during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Grimsby Town and Nottingham Forest at Blundell Park on August 23, 2022 in Grimsby, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

I could say Macaulay Langstaff and be boring, but Cropper was a rock at the back for the Bees

Having signed from Grimsby Town on a short-term loan deal, the defender has slotted into the starting lineup immediately, as Barnet deal with injuries to Daniel Collinge and Ben Wynter

But his biggest asset is his long throw, which came into good use today. The 22-year-old's assist to Kanu was crucial in switching the momentum of the match, and he will be a huge character as the Bees gun for FA Trophy success and potentially a second trip to Wembley in the Vanarama National League playoff final.