GREAT MATCHES - TORQUAY UNITED 1992-93
BARNET 5-4 TORQUAY UNITED
League Division 4 - Saturday 28th December 1992 - Att 3,891
Christmas entertainment on a grand scale - a great time to be a Barnet fan!
When Barnet fans mention Torquay United invariably one recalls that awful day in 2001 and the head to head relegation decider. I try and recall the wonderful 5-4 victory at Christmas nine seasons earlier.
Sitting second in the table and soon to go top with a squad full to the brim of classy players, attendances hitting the 4,000 mark, goals flying in left right and centre, times should have been good. However Barry Fry had recently been ‘sacked’ and then reinstated by the unpredictable Stan Flashman and the club had just been fined £50,000 by the Football League for what was termed as ‘financial irregularities’. Plus a transfer embargo had been slapped on the club. How on earth we maintained our challenge in the league and still managed to produce the scintillating football on display every week I am sure will never be conclusively explained to me.
Torquay United arrived complete with cold turkey sandwiches for the return journey to Devon and both teams were give generous late Christmas presents to each other in the form of goals.
In a quiet first half the normally calm and collected Richard Huxford completely mistimed a clearance and sliced the ball past a flat-footed Gary Phillips to give the Gulls the lead.
Fry had obviously thrown a few tea cups around the dressing room as had Gulls boss World Cup winner Alan Ball as it appeared as if two entirely different teams had come out for the second period. Within ten minutes four goals were scored three by Barnet.
Brian Stein cleverly steered in a Gary Bull cross and moments later Huxford was upended after a cavalier like run into the box – Bull converted the resulting spot kick.
Torquay’s Foster levelled the scores at 2-2 before Bull was carelessly bought down in the box by American goalkeeper Juergen Sommer. Bully rarely missed from 12 yards.
Torquay were soon level again thanks to acres of space and a stunning Paul Trollope drive that gave Phillips no chance. Failing to clear a Huxford cross the Gull’s defence allowed ace marksman Mark Carter who had replaced Geoff Cooper to pounce. Nicky Evans, on as sub for Paul Showler, as would be expected got in on the act too and looped a header perfectly over Sommer’s head for 5-3. Duane Darby pulled a goal back to set up a panic-stricken finish – Phillips came to the rescue smothering the loose ball in the 6-yard box deep into injury time.
The win returned Barnet to the top of the table where they stayed for nearly three months but ultimately had to settle for third place but nonetheless promotion to Division 2.
Barnet: Gary Phillips – Richard Huxford – Geoff Cooper – Mick Bodley – Dave Barnett – Duncan Horton – Derek Payne – Brian Stein – Gary Bull – Kenny Lowe – Paul Showler. Subs Nicky Evans and Mark Carter.