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Derby Day
Here it comes By: Eric Hitchmo 02/11/2010
Barnet
Stevenage
0 3
League 02/11/2010
2010-2011 Attendance: 2722 (1108)
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"Good morning everyone. It's derby day. Currently the only game that Barnet can realistically call a derby, unless Enfailed somehow force their way back into our lives. As that is going to be some time away, attention turns to this rabble of wallies. Whilst the feeling of rivalry is not entirely universal, many supporters of both sides will be viewing this one as the big one of the season. I will be, but at the moment my enthusiasm is so low that I'm struggling to get myself excited, even for this.

For years we've been waiting for just one game to get excited about. We've not had a proper rivalry and battle on the field since we played these in 2005. We went and got promoted and left them behind, just when things were hotting up pretty nicely. The first few games were pretty non-descript, but once we got into 03/04, there was needle, there was passion, there was a bit more of a feeling that this rivalry could develop. It wasn't allowed to, and we've spent five years waiting. Leyton Orient were promoted as soon as we got there, Dagenham & Redbridge simply does not cut it as a derby, for me playing The Chavs is as close as we're going to get to a derby match.

04/05 was when it as hitting its crescendo. Such was the norm at the time, we played eachother twice over the Christmas period. The Boxing Day away game was memorable as we packed out the away end at Broadhall Way and created one hell of a noise. The game however was to end in defeat, despite a Giuliano Grazioli equaliser which sent over 1,300 Barnet into a state of Health & Safety defying bedlam behind that goal. Full grown men toppled over rows over seats, the stairways were piled down by many more. Quite mad really. We won't talk about their goals.

In the return game, live on Sky, a lot of hype had been whipped up in the week leading up to it by constant comedy figure Graham Westley, the The Chavs boss. Apparently a win for his side would really put the heat on us, cutting our lead to just 13 points. Graz notched again in front of a decent New Year's Crowd but The Chavs equalised in the second half. Cue Andy Woodman and his superb flapping skills to set up a deeply satisfying victory. He came for a cross which was going approximately nowhere, and parried it out of play for a corner. The cross came in, Ismail Yakubu rose like an absolute monster and crashed a header home in the 87th minute to crush the chavs and have the East Terrace bouncing again.

As we strode off the field with a 16 point margin over our friends, a banner was unfurled in Westley's direction quoting his infamous (in Non-League circles) opening gambit as The Chavs manager, ""Destiny Will Always Take Over"". Not his boldest statement by any means, remember him telling everyone that Farnborough would be in the Premiership in ten years? What did happen there? Still, his words were crammed back down his throat once again. Westley's words were a constant source of comedy and wind-up, and served to leave him quite unpopular both throughout Non-League and at Underhill. Let's hope for some more of that.

Despite this fond reminiscence, I still can't bring myself to be overly excited just yet. Perhaps my lack of enthusiasm is out of fear that they could well turn us over. Their start to life in the Football League this season has been pretty strong and as well we know, we have been pretty terrible. The fear is well and truly there that we'll get beaten, but on the flip side this would make a win all the more satisfying, not to mention lifting us off the bottom of the table and ridding ourselves of an unwanted burden. It depends on which Barnet turns up. More often than not we've been shaky at the back and toothless up front, but we have shown signs on occasion that we can play a bit of football.

Let's hope tonight is one of those nights in front of a decent crowd. Personally I can't see it being too high. Champions League is on and our gates are notoriously low in midweek. Though I am aware that people who have lost interest in Barnet are coming out especially for this one I'm not convinced that the floaters are going to buy into it. Still, the East Terrace will be busier than usual and it will be a decent atmosphere regardless.

I will be spending much of my day around various pubs in Barnet ahead of this. Will it be pre-match numbing of pain or getting ready for a celebration. I'm not convinced now, but come kick off I know I'll be giddy like a little kid again. Come On Barnet."




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