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Friday Night Lights
A decent crowd watches us scramble a late point. By: Max Bygraves 30/10/2022
Scunthorpe United H
28/10/2022   (Click date for match details)
League 2022-2023
D  1- 1
PRITCHARD '81
Attendance: 1745  (210 Away)




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On the back of an incredible away win at Bromley, the stage was set for Barnet to jump back into the top 7 following a very positive few weeks. I had planned to go to South London on Tuesday night for a first away match of the season. However, it wasn’t to be. A flat tyre and subsequent near five hour wait for the RAC scuppered my plans. It was bittersweet seeing how those last five minutes unfolded! Punctured.

But not to be deterred, another itch to scratch presented itself in the form of Scunthorpe United at home. The last time we played them at Underhill was December 16th 2000. We won 4-2, Tony Cottee scoring a hat trick.

I remember this distinctly for my choice of actions that day. I was just shy of 12 years old and for the first time ever, was planning to attend a game completely alone (funnily enough, I couldn’t persuade any mates that Barnet v Scunthorpe was a good idea). I walked up to Muswell Hill Broadway to catch the 234 bus, only to bump into a group of school mates who were en route to the Odeon to watch Meet the Parents. I am ashamed to say that peer pressure and Ben Stiller won. I sat there with my popcorn wearing my Loaded Barnet shirt over a jumper and Barnet scarf, and have regretted missing what sounded like a cracking game for almost 22 years ever since.

I was joined for the game by a mate whose last Barnet game was the last one at Underhill in April 2013. You can’t say I’m not doing my bit for the club this season in trying to engage other lost souls. His take on the whole thing was interesting. Despite some of the obvious, he was fairly positive and upbeat about it. His unprompted questioning about the scoreboard (or lack of it) was amusing. A lack of character but not completely dead was his summary.

Arriving a little in advance of kick off, we decided to treat ourselves to a pint. We did manage to squeeze one in but the extent of queueing meant finishing it in time for kick off was an impossible task. I will say it again - why do they not pre-pour?! Even just a small amount to speed things up slightly. It’s absolutely bonkers.

The first half would arguably have been better watched without being able to see anything from the bar. Minimal interesting activity and the ball largely in the air.

In spite of the poor showing, it’s fair to say there was a reasonably good buzz in the ground. 1745 was an incredibly healthy crowd, especially compared to recent evening games. It would be a bit much to call it an atmosphere, but it felt quite busy and less passive than it often is.

There were a number of visitors from overseas in the ground. Apparently there were 12 Silkeborg fans who had been at West Ham the previous day, although it looked to be more than that. There were also two Scottish chaps who were disappointed with my answer in the bar that sadly you can’t take pints up to the stand during the game. It felt like the presence of one off supporters swelled the crowd. It was a pleasant surprise for it to feel so full.

Sean Shields being introduced early in the second half injected a bit of creativity. He will continue to be mentioned for his lack of inclusion from the off until this becomes a regular thing again.

We were on top but didn’t look like finding a goal. A lack of clinical edge and no real service to Kabamba. It was, however, a bit of a shock when Scunthorpe went ahead on 78 minutes.

It was a good finish but poor defending and a sloppy mistake which gifted them the opportunity. Their 210 supporters behind the goal absolutely had it; fair play.

The results of the last week and nature of the goal timings have certainly shown this team has some character. It was fitting that it was Harry Pritchard (who had been culpable for their goal) who lashed home a brilliant late equaliser. Following his late heroics at Bromley, some week for him. Another player you have to say is proving to be an excellent recruit.

He almost made it an incredible few days with a speculative effort from near the half way line at the death. The Scunthorpe keeper had to tip it onto the bar and over. Quite an ending that would have been, but that was the closest we came to a winner.

There were some interesting scenes at the end in the away end. It was unclear what exactly sparked it but a heated debate between fans and players went on for some time. Even once the players had gone, members of the back room team continued to remonstrate with lots of finger pointing from the crowd. I’d be curious to know what it was all about.

It really did paint a picture of where they are as a club. Given their decline over the last few years, they’ve got to be a strong contender for the most miserable team to be a fan of. It’s been very bleak for a side who were in The Championship as recently as 2011. Hopefully their chairman will sell up soon and some stability will return there. Credit to those who made that journey on a Friday night.

In the grand scheme of things, 7 points from the last possible 9 would have been seen as a big success just over a week ago. We are in a good place at this stage of the season and have some favourable fixtures coming.

First up, however, Southend United on Tuesday. Given their extensive ex-Barnet connections and the likelihood of a big away following, it’s actually shaping up to be quite an occasion. Take a point?




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