National Football Conference- Saturday 13th September 2003
Attendance 3,019

This season saw Barnet reach the Conference play-offs where they narrowly lost out to Shrewsbury Town in a penalty shoot out. That afternoon of misery seemed a million miles away one sunny Saturday in September 2003 as the Bees travelled to Broadhall Way and neighbours Stevenage Borough for the Battle of Hertfordshire Part One.

Martin Allen 2003

David Forde

Enigmatic Manager Martin Allen then in his first spell at the club had that week procured the services of goalkeeper David Forde on loan from West Ham and the much travelled Peter Beadle, a striker in the old ‘target man’ mode to play alongside goal machine Giuliano Grazioli who had already notched eight goals.

Peter Beadle

Rocky Baptist opened the scoring after 14 minutes latching on to a parry from Forde. Forde then redeemed himself making a spectacular right handed hand save minutes later from Anthony Elding. Baptise then rattled the Bees cross bar with a powerful header on the stroke of half time when it seemed easier to score – that could have proved to be the slice of luck that Barnet needed but Martin Allen had another ingredient.

Injured Captain Ian Hendon was substituted at half time being replaced by Mark Rooney. However, instead of taking his place on the bench next to his Manager he hobbled around to the stand behind the goal where the Barnet fans were massed and took his seat amongst hordes of his disciples even joining in with the chanting. Allen had dispatched his and our own Captain Fantastic. The decibel level increased ten fold, as did the belief.
Giuliano Grazioli

On 57 minutes 'The Beadle' entered. Graz fired against the bar only for the ball to all perfectly for Beadle to smash the ball home, game on.
After 65 minutes the second and winning Bees goal came as Barnet again piled on the pressure. Winger Mark Williams skipped passed ex Bee Lee Flynn and his cross found Centre Back Christ Plummer. Eccentric goalkeeper Lionel Perez could only block Plum’s downward header but beware Giuliano Grazioli in the six-yard box! 2-1 Barnet and cue euphoria in the visitors enclosure. Capt. Hendon eventually surfaced from below a pile of admirers beaming from ear to ear.

Peter Beadle’s debut will be remembered for many a year, The legend that is Grazioli will be remembered forever. Ian Hendon is also a cult hero at Underhill and will also be remembered for evermore.
Ian Hendon

Barnet: David Forde – Ian Hendon (Mark Rooney) – Chris Plummer – Danny Maddix – Tony Taggart (Ben Strevens) – Ismail Yakubu – Mark Williams – Joe Gamble – Lewis Hogg – Giuliano Grazioli – Peter Beadle. Subs not used: Norman Sylla, Ricky Millard and Bai Mass Letta Jellow.

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