Borough boss Mark Beard was full of praise for his side after watching them fight back twice to draw with National League side Barnet.

The Sports’ preparation for the new National League South campaign continued with a behind-closed-door game, and on another day would have come away winners against a team who will be fighting towards the top end of the division above.

Billy Vigar and Brad Barry goals saw the Sports draw 2-2, with Jay Beckford hitting the post late on as the visitors looked the more likely team to win at The Hive.

“It’s another great training exercise for us,” Beard said after the game in North London.

“I’ve just told the players they won’t get another test like this in pre-season, or much harder games throughout the league season.

“Barnet are a good team, and they’ve recruited even better players over the summer. For 25 minutes we really had to dig in, but what was really pleasing was that when we did have to dig in, we defended for our lives.

“As the game went on we got further up the pitch and had the better opportunities. We equalised with a great goal, and it was good to see a few players back from injury.

“It was great to see Billy (Vigar) score his first goal, good play from Decarrey (Sheriff) and Shiloh (Remy) to get the ball in the box and then Billy’s movement is outstanding to get on the end of it.

“Then second half, we had a lot of the better chances, could have scored more in the end. It shows the fitness levels are there, we’re creating chances late on, and overall it was a really good work out for us.”

The Sports were up against it in the early stages, and it took some great blocks by the defence and a fine stop from Harrison Foulkes to keep Barnet at bay early on.

The hosts were certainly on top in the first 20 minutes, and took the lead midway through the first half when a corner from the right was glanced in at the near post.

However, Borough fought back and grew into the game. Decarrey Sheriff pulled a couple of chances wide on his weaker left foot, before they drew level after 35 minutes.

Sheriff released Shiloh Remy down the right, and he fired the ball across to Vigar, who lost his marker before his first-time finish gave the keeper no chance.

Despite that, Barnet regained their lead early in the second half. It was another corner that the Sports conceded from – this time a home defender volleying home from ten yards out.

But again the Sports bounced back, and were level just three minutes later. A free-kick into the box fell to Sheriff, who was tackled before he could get the shot away. The loose ball fell to Barry, who fired into the bottom corner from inside the area.

As time wore on, Borough looked the more likely to find a winner. Fletcher Holman fired off target before Alfie Bridgman had an effort blocked.

Then with minutes left, Beckford won possession high up the pitch and drove towards goal, but under pressure after shifting the ball onto his left foot saw his effort come back off the near post.

Overall another good workout for the Sports, with twenty players getting further minutes as the new league campaign gets ever closer.