FA CUP RUN 2006-07

The FA Cup is not a competition frankly that Barnet have excelled in over the years and we have only reached the Fourth Round on two occasions. 
I am going to take you back to 2006/7 when we first reached the dizzy heights of Round 4.

On Saturday 11th November 2006 we visited Conference North Gainsborough Trinity in the 1st Round proper where Tresor Kandol came from the bench to spare the Bees blushes in a 3-1 win.
Tresor Kandol

Dean Sinclair flicked home a loose ball after an Ismail Yakubu header was blocked on the line after 14 minutes and that should have settled some nerves. However Lee Harrison in the Barnet goal, became far busier than his opposite number making three fine saves. It was no surprise when Trinity drew level on 75 minutes thanks to a bullet header from Nicky Ellis following a corner. Enter the super sub and four minutes later the Bees regained the lead. Jinking his way through the defence and the mud he blasted into the top corner. In the final minute Kandol broke free again and was upended in the box by Ellis. A red card and a penalty kick resulted. Kandol dusted himself off to make the game safe.
Barnet: Harrison, Devera, King, Yakubu, Nicolau, Bailey, Sinclair, Hessenthaller, Cogan, Warhurst (Kandol) and Puncheon. Unused subs: Flitney, Gross, Graham, Hatch.
Attendance 1,914

Three weeks later and a 2nd Round home tie with Northampton Town was the home debut of loanee Adam Birchall. Adam inspired a wonderful second half display by the Bees who ran out 4-1 winners although The Cobblers actually took the lead just before the break when former Barnet favourite Scott McGleish headed powerfully home.
Adam Birchall

Manager Paul Fairclough's half time team talk was obviously turbo charged as Barnet came out a totally different side. Jason Puncheon and Barry Cogan caused problems down both wings, Puncheon eventually setting up Birchall to equalise on 49 minutes. Moments later Barnet were ahead. Ian Hendon found Birchall whose cross was met perfectly by a late arriving Dean Sinclair glancing header which gave Cobblers Mark Bunn no chance. On 67 minutes it was 3-1 as Puncheon's trickery fooled Andy Holt into pulling him down inside the box. Capt. Hendo lashed the ball home – his characteristic defiant fist salute to his adoring disciples in the stands will always be an enduring image. Late substitute Magno Viera got in on the act to put some icing on the cake by adding a fourth in the dying minutes.
A top class performance from Barnet by the following team in front of 2,786
Barnet: Harrison, Hendon, Yakubu, King, Gross (Devera), Cogan, Birchall (Vieira), Bailey, Sinclair, Puncheon and Hatch. Unused subs: Flitney, Graham, Warhurst

The Underhill pitch, as pristine as ever, simply could not withstand the torrential rain that hit Hertfordshire two days before the scheduled Saturday 6th January date for the 3rd Round tie against then high flying Championship outfit Colchester United. The game finally went ahead on the following very chilly Tuesday evening which with hindsight was an exceptional victory by the Bees by 2 goals to 1 thanks to another professional second half display.
Colchester had a side full of talent including a strike partnership of Jamie Cureton and Chris Iwelumo who scored over 40 goals between them that season. Cureton gave the visitors the lead on 34 minutes – Nicky Nicolau slipped leaving the striker clear. Lee Harrison made a valiant effort but the finish was clinical. An impressive display of defending from Simon King, acrobatic shot stopping from Harrison and some timely interceptions from Ismail Yakubu kept Barnet in touch.
Fairclough again came up with some words of wisdom as the second half belonged to Barnet. Barry Cogan, Adam Birchall and Nicky Bailey tested U's goalkeeper Dean Gerken but it was Yakubu who levelled the match with an unlikely goal.
Liam Hatch
 After a brilliant forward run he found himself in the clear. After exchanging passes with Liam Hatch his shot ricocheted off a defender and looped over the despairing dive of Gerken.
The pulse rating started to rise as Dean Sinclair rounded the keeper only to see his shot blocked by Chris Barker. With 10 minutes left Puncheon received a pass from Sinclair and unleashed a superb 25 yard drive into the top corner sending most of the 3,075 fans home smiling.
Jason Puncheon
Barnet: Harrison, Hendon, King, Yakubu, Nicolau, Bailey, Sinclair, Coogan (Hatch), Graham, Birchall, Puncheon. Unused subs: Flitney, Grazioli, Warhurst and Hessenthaller.

Saturday 27th January and the first time that Barnet had reached the 4th Round of the competition. We were rewarded with a home tie with another Championship side, Plymouth Argyle.
After all the build up it turned into a tough day for the Bees although they battled enough to win the first half with regard to possession and chances. Missing some key players they finally succumbed in the second half to a dubious penalty decision and a quite breathtaking solo effort from a young man on loan from Premiership Chelsea, Scott Sinclair.
Paul Connelly appeared to elbow Jason Puncheon which was missed by Referee Peter Walton. This incensed so Paul Fairclough that he was warned by the Fourth official. To add to his frustration a series of frankly crude Argyle challenges also went unpunished. David Norris then broke free into the Barnet area and was challenged by Joe Devera. Walton pointed to the spot. Looking at evidence after the game the decision was rather harsh, especially as earlier similar clashes had been waved on. Perhaps as it was within those white lines in the shape of a box that made the difference!
Ross Flitney, deputising for the injured Lee Harrison, guessed correctly for the direction but couldn't stop Hasnet Aljofree's powerful drive. With seven minutes left on the clock, as Barnet pushed forward looking for an equaliser. Teenager Sinclair, on as a substitute, picked up the ball deep inside his own half, hurdled over three challenges before sweeping a clever finish past Flitney. It was a super goal and worthy of the applause it received from the whole of the ground.
I am consumed with pride the way my team played, we were magnificent and completely outplayed Plymouth in the first half, we just didn't take our chances” said Paul Fairclough after the game. “The winning goal was quite magnificent too” he added.
Paul Fairclough

Barnet: Flitney, Devera (Allen), King, Yakubu, Nicolau, Coogan (Hatch), Hessenthaler, Graham, Bailey, Puncheon and Birchall. Unused subs: Jaimez-Ruiz, Warhurst and Charles. Attendance 5,204

Barnet did in fact reach the 4th round the following season too– who knows hopefully I will get to to tell you all about that in the near future!

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