Over 20 years of writing about my club in Barnet matchday programmes, which sold to about 500 souls on a good day, now with this Blog Site everyone can read my ramblings, memories, interviews, experiences, features, guides to away grounds and pure love of everything Barnet Football Club. Enjoy and digest and tell your friends.
Reckless - Potters Bar March 2014.
Oh Yes, thank you to"Al" without whom.......that is all
inaugural season in the Football League in 1991-92 had been exhilarating and the
final finish position of 7th
frankly could have been improved on if only Barry Fry had perhaps
played one or sometimes even two more defenders in a game – but
that was his style, entertainment. It was however infectious.
had finished 4th
therefore the teams were drawn together in the two leg play off
system. Earlier in the season league points had been shared with
Barnet winning 3-0 at Underhill and Blackpool 4-2 at Bloomfield Road.
the first leg on Sunday 10th
May the majority of the 5,629 Underhill crowd were wandering home
wondering how on earth the tie was not all over and dusted. Barnet
even without midfield general Kenny Lowe, created chance after chance
and not just from the front pairing of Mark Carter and Gary Bull as
Duncan Horton, Carl Hoddle and Jonathan Hunt all had clear
opportunities. The deadlock was broken, and we hoped then that the
floodgates would open, after 29 minutes. Steve McIlhargey parried
Hoddle’s shot but the loose ball was gobbled up by Carter for 1-0.
Paul Showler had McIlhargey sprawling across his goal and even David
Howell had an effort cleared on the line – Owsy has always said he
didn't like running back up the hill after a foray forward!
second half was much the same one way traffic – Mark Carter could
have had a hat full if not for more good work by McIlhargey and the
positioning of cross bar. Unbelievably Carter's brilliant lob
rebounded from the bar and back into the grateful keepers hands.
Minutes later a Geoff Cooper cross was met with a downward header by
Carter but the ball agonisingly bounced inches over the bar.
rather tyrant-like Barnet Chairman of the time Stan Flashman, as
legend has it, stormed into the dressing room branded the whole team
as useless and sacked Fry on the spot! Barry of course was reinstated
just in time for the second leg. (I smile as I type).
days later backed by a very boisterous bunch of Bees supporters in
the 7,588 attendance, many who had spent a rather reckless time at
the seaside, the team bravely fended off the expected onslaught by
McIlhargey was a hero for the Seasiders again pulling of a wonderful
stop to deny Roger Willis before Groves levelled the tie with a free
header from a corner two minutes before the interval. Mick Bodley was
then very harshly adjudged to have handled in the area – the video
replay to this day confirms this as cruel. Striker Andy Garner, who
missed the first leg, made no mistake.
piled forward in the final minutes looking for the equaliser the best
chance coming from Gary Poole's 25 yard freekick which looked goal
bound before Carter, with back to goal attempted to deflect the ball
but it sailed just over the bar.
visit to Wembley after 20 years for the Bees but that team would have
graced the old Twin Towers turf. That is an argument I will defend
for both games: Andy Pape – Gary Poole – Geoff Cooper – Mick
Bodley – David Howell – Duncan Horton –Jonathan Hunt – Mark
Carter – Gary Bull –Carl Hoddle – Paul Showler. Subs Roger
Willis and Derek Payne