Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links

Maybe a little bit better? By: Eric Hitchmo 08/10/2012
Southend United
2 2
League 06/10/2012
2012-2013 Attendance: 5025 (175)
More On Southend United

This article has been viewed 1862 times.

"Well for the first time in some time, I'm able to say something positive. On the face of it, losing a two goal lead in the last quarter of a match may not set the fires of positivity ablaze, however the manner in which we got there demonstrated that at least we have some degree of capability.

It was a pretty entertaining game all in all that either side could have won. Both had efforts striking the woodwork, both had one cleared off the line to go along with the four goals that were shared evenly. We may have counted ourselves a tad fortunate to go in level, but the manner in which we took the game to the hosts in the second half has been something largely lacking in the opening weeks.

However, we roll further into October winless, and with almost a quarter of the campaign gone and three points on the board, I can forgive anyone for not quite being turned by one good performance (though it complimented the efforts of Rotherham and Fleetwood). Still, these performances can only count for so much if we can't turn them into desperately needed wins.

For us it was something of an odd occasion on Saturday. By some coincidence we were in a box at Southend's Roots Hall, a little room in the Main Stand with our own fridge to help ourselves too. Arriving in Prittlewell at midday and via the nearest match day pub available to away supporters, things were flowing very nicely by the time kick off arrived. We had already been warned for singing across an empty ground towards Clovis Kamdjo.

It transpired that there were also other Barnet fans in the vicinity, which detracted slightly from an unsurprisingly pisspoor turnout in the away section. Less than 200 to Southend on a Saturday is pretty embarrassing, but after our start to the season, you can't blame anyone for staying away, let's be honest.

They missed an enjoyable afternoon's work which on another day could have seen many more goals flying in at either end. I think it's fair to say that Southend had the large chunk of the first half but we were by no means out of it, and a counter attack was very nearly converted by Jake Hyde. It was cleared off the line after Southend had seen a superb effort cannon down off the crossbar and away from danger. They were to hit it again when a looping, deflected shot had Stack back-pedalling and beaten.

It speaks volumes that I'm able to give you a fairly detailed account of the game. Regular readers (both of you) will have noted that I spend most of my time ranting about the current cycle of hell that Barnet find themselves in, rather than giving you an account of the game itself. Usually it's because I find that if you want that sort of thing, you can go and read it on the Official Site or BBC Sport and we aim to be a bit of an alternative. Perhaps it shows that when the game has an element of interest to it.

The way we had lined up suggested that this was a bit of a ""shit or bust"" mentality, i.e. that if we lost, that may be it for Mark Robson. We started the second half in an attacking manner and when Ricky Holmes picked the ball up midway inside his own half, I doubt many would have wagered that he would weave away from a couple of Southend men before unleashing a 30+ yard drive into the roof of the net. It was an outrageous goal, and it'll take some beating when the goal of the season awards come flying round again. We celebrated in our little box to the amusement of the lads next to us, who appeared to be there with a passing interest as opposed to being die-hard Southend fans. It was probably a relief more than anything!

Things got a bit silly when Jake Hyde snuck his way in front of the goalkeeper to make it 2-0 after some excellent work again from Holmes on the left-hand side. The celebrations in the box were again superb and they attracted some attention from the locals down below which was pretty amusing. Hyde's third in as many games made things awfully confusing. It seems like an eternity since we were two goals to the good in any game, let alone away from home!

It wasn't long before that feeling died down into fear as the realisation set in that we'd actually need to defend this lead. It didn't take long for that to be tested as a ball into the box was handled by Barry Fuller. Pretty soft but hard to argue with. Freddy Eastwood made no mistake and buried it. Over twenty minutes to hold on.

Rather than go backs to the wall, we were still fairly positive. Youngster Jamal Lowe, who had put in a decent shift up front was allowed to shoot from outside the box but saw his shot rebound off the post. He'd had a good afternoon, though more on him later... Unfortunately the pressure told with not long to go. The ball bobbled around in the box and Kevan Hurst, who had earlier hit the bar, finished well into the corner. How annoying, though on the balance of play, deserved.

There was still time for a near-certain goal for the home side to be denied as Barry Fuller atoned for his earlier crime by clearing off the line however the most golden opportunity of them all was to fall to the visitors. On a breakaway, Jon Nurse found himself in acres and simply squared the ball to Lowe. With the goal at his mercy, he managed to fluff the shot and watch it bounce wide. Hideous! Harsh on the lad, but you've really got to finish those. An amazing chance to win it, and what that would have done to the teams' confidence we will never know. I'm quite sure that this won't be the last we see of young Jamal but it was a massive chance for him to make his mark at professional level.

And there it finished, 2-2. It felt a little deflating having been so near and yet so far, but the general consensus was that if we'd been offered that at the start of the day we'd have bitten your hand off. In fact, probably both of them. Southend weren't great, they weren't bad, but they'll certainly be looking at this as two points dropped. They certainly weren't as impressive as they were last season.

We have once again given ourselves a huge mountain to climb, however if we can show a bit more like this, then we'll have given ourselves a better chance. The fact remains though that we are already miles off the pace, and one game will not change many views that we are simply not good enough. Whether this squad can be galvanised remains to be seen, and though we did well on Saturday, I certainly won't be holding my breath just yet."

Back To Article List

Got something to say? Agree or disagree? Maybe you can write your own? Head to The Mailbox post haste!

All Articles By This Author:

Other Articles By Category

13/06/2024 How It All Began
07/06/2024 A Barnet Story
13/05/2024 Togetherness
29/04/2024 Outfought, Outthought, Out Of Ideas
21/04/2024 The Best Of The Rest
10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
17/03/2024 Card Bored
09/03/2024 Tepid

  All materials on this site copyright Downhill Second Half and its individual authors. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Special thanks to Chris Holland for use of photography and John Snow, John Erroll and Tony Hammond for statistical compilation.

A huge thank you also to Rob Cavallini whose Barnet history books set the basis for our journey to complete all statistics back to the start of Barnet FC.

Club crests, player images, and company logos are the property of their respective owners. They are included in this website for reference purposes only./span>