Over 20 years of writing about my club in Barnet matchday programmes, which sold to about 500 souls on a good day, now with this Blog Site everyone can read my ramblings, memories, interviews, experiences, features, guides to away grounds and pure love of everything Barnet Football Club. Enjoy and digest and tell your friends.
Reckless - Potters Bar March 2014.
Oh Yes, thank you to"Al" without whom.......that is all
50 years ago this month Barnet were involved in the Third Round of the FA Cup against the might of then 1st Division Preston North End
This article was written by Jonathan Lang a Bees fan of long standing.
Jonathan lives in Sheffield where he is a church warden and aid
worker but still manages to get to a few games, circumstances allowing. He
was a noted sports journalist from 1964-1996 and at one time sports
editor of the Finchley Press. His first game at Underhill as a
spectator was in September 1962, a 5-2 drubbing of Borehamwood in a
friendly match. He recalls the momentous
FA Cup tie with Preston North End at Underhill in 1965 in a style reminiscent of
1960’s reporting. Thank you Jonathan.
BARNET 2-3 PRESTON NORTH END
9th January 1965
Round at Underhill
Three options await all fans; their favourites
will win, lose or draw.
Even though we might indulge in a spot of fantasy
football and believe – in our case – that Barnet will walk off
every field of battle as victors, the reality is that leaving
Underhill having witnessed defeat is not always a cause for sorrow.
Such was the occasion on January 9th 1965.
I had bunked off from professional duty at Summers
Lane as sports editor of the Finchley Press to be a Barnet fan among
a crowd of over 10,000 to watch unfold an epic drama – our 3-2
defeat by Preston North End in our then first appearance in the FA
Cup, 3rd round (proper).
I stood, as you could then, in my familiar spot
what was the East Terrace (or as we knew it then the Popular Side) the Athenian
League champions looked like being blown away before putting the wind
up their rivals and then falling to the ultimate own goal hammer blow
I have seen in five decades of watching our national game.
Preston, their place in the annals of soccer
history assured as they were first league champions (unbeaten) in
1888/9 (and FA Cup winners too) arrived in town with their fans still
basking in the glory of their previous FA Cup match – at Wembley
when West Ham United beat them by 3 goals to 2. But the Lancashire
club’s players knew they needed to be at the top of their game. If
not, they could be on the slippery slope – our notorious drop (then
8 feet or 2.43 metres) had featured in the pre match newspaper Bally
Hoo and I still have the special edition of the Evening Standard
produced that morning with our game the front page feature.
My brother, Jeremy, took my place at Finchley FC
while my professional rivals John Motson and Roger Jones joined their
boss, the late Barnet Press sports editor Bill White, to ensure
‘Argus and his team provided the best coverage of all for the local
club’s biggest FA Cup day.
Underhill was heaving with expectation, which soon
turned to fear of an awful drubbing as North End went 2 goals up
inside the first five minutes, through Howard Kendall and Brian
Godfrey. However when it was Barnet’s turn to kick uphill they were
the ones in the ascent with Roger Figg netting within a minute of the
restart. When Don Whyte cashed in on a Terry Casey pass to level the
scores at 2 each after 52 minutes Preston were the ones rocking as
the black and amber braves responded to the exhortations of their
jubilant hoards and took the fight to them. Could the impossible
happen? We all believed it would until fate intervened.
Figg received a leg injury and was no more than a
passenger as the tumultuous tie drew to a close, making it
effectively 10 v 11. So great was the throng that Barnet manager
Dexter Adams, now in his late 80's but still sharp as a tack, recalled
he could not make it from his customary place in the main stand in
time to orchestrate from pitch side the late rearguard action. He had
perceived, so rightly, the danger as thrusts down the right flank and
got Reg Finch to give extra protection to left back Jeff Voyce. But
with Figg just making up the numbers by now the plan came unstuck as
Finch, rather than Whyte went up the middle and the door to defeat
was ajar for the gut-busting hosts. With five minutes left on the
watch Preston poured down the slope, got clear on the right and the
telling cross was met not by a man in white but Terry Casey, and the
Welsh international’s attempted clearance arrowed into his own net
past a helpless Johnny Barr.
TERRY CASEY OWN GOAL
It was the mortal thrust to our hearts – the
field of dreams had become a nightmare and Messrs Jones, Lang and
Motson, along with those who had seen “Proud” Preston so nearly
undone by the pride of Underhill had to wait until last season
(2006-7) for Barnet to make club history by reaching the fourth round
on the worlds greatest cup competition for the first time.
Barnet line up: Johnny Barr – Bob Warman, Jeff
Voyce - Les Picking, Dennis Roach, Terry Casey – Don Whyte, Tony
Brimacombe, Roger Figg, Tony Harding, Reg Finch.