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Wem-ber-ley?
Dream Remains Alive By: Eric Hitchmo 11/01/2012
Swindon Town H
10/01/2012   (Click date for match details)
FL Trophy 2011-2012
D  1- 1
HUGHES '72
Attendance: 3915  (1414 Away)
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In the cold light of day, last night's game was no better or no worse than most of the turgid nonsense that has been churned out in recent weeks. However, the nature of it being a final made the whole thing terribly exciting. I have not anticipated a Barnet game quite like that for a long time, nor have I known the East Terrace to be so busy in years. A good atmosphere, a good crowd, we had a bit of an evening on the cards.

Make no mistake, it was an awful game. It feels like I've been saying this repeatedly for weeks, but it really was. Swindon were pressured into a recluse by efficient defensive work, while our hoof and hope tactic was utilised to its maximum once again, with little coming of it. Indeed, many old faces who I spoke to after the game commented on how bad our style was. Again, we did not particularly look like scoring, we were being restricted to little more than half chances. At the other end, there was a little more action of note, a one-on-one in particular being squandered.

It was encouraging that our defence showed infinitely more backbone than in the fixture at The County Ground earlier this season. Hector was again outstanding. He, alongside Downing, won everything in the air and showed a calmness on the ball unbecoming of a League Two defender. Reading have a little gem on their hands here and he is sure to go far in the game. On a sour note, Danny Senda went down heavily after a saving tackle late in the first half. He was clearly in discomfort, though the severity of the injury was not apparent. A dislocated knee-cap for Senda, he is likely to miss the remainder of the season which is something of a blow to a player who was having a largely solid season.

Swindon did take the lead with a minute of the half remaining, arguably owing to the shift in shape following Senda's departure. We went with two up front, Charlie Taylor on for Senda, whilst Clovis Kamdjo, who was again playing well in midfield, slotted back into right back. As confusion reigned, a delicate cross to the back post was just begging to be nodded in and so it was. This would usually be the point where I give in to negativity and proclaim doom, but in this instance I was not ready to give up just yet. Swindon's right back and captain Caddis had been winding up the East Terrace all evening, and decided he would go well out of his way to celebrate in front of us. I'm not the sort of person who gets overly concerned by such behaviour anymore, but this was a little bit needless. Kind of like Adebayor v. Arsenal, though on an ever so slightly lesser scale. Then again, with the sort of abuse that gets dished out, can we really be surprised? When did football supporters become so precious? Swindon's noisy and numerous fans partied like it was 1999.

The second half saw little change in the system. Aimless punt after aimless punt were aimed in the air. All well and good when you have a team full of brutes, but Sam Deering? Ricky Holmes? These are not players suited to long ball. With Izale McLeod again asked to chase after lost causes, and Charlie Taylor not being able to hold anything up, we were going approximately nowhere. On the subject of Taylor, who was subbed before the end, I hope it is now seen that unfortunately, he is out of his depth. I feel sorry for the lad, it's not his fault. However Sanchez is stubborn and continues to pick him, even putting him on for Senda in place of a recognised full back on the bench. How that makes Jordan Parkes feel I do not know, but it is clear to see that Taylor is not the answer as a support to McLeod.

Mark Marshall continues to slide into the Albert Jarrett school of frustration. The particular highlight last night being a skied shot into the North Terrace fence when there were at least three better options nearby. He actually put a couple of decent balls into the box, including the one that led to our equaliser, but far too often his end product was severely lacking. Perhaps transfer talk is becoming distracting, but it would be a brave club who took him on after this showing.

Talking of our equaliser, it came more or less out of the blue. Marshall, let's give him some credit, dinked a cheeky ball into the near post where Mark Hughes was on hand to head home. The 'keeper got a palm to it, but it dropped in and send the East Terrace into a fit of frenzy. In that moment it felt like I was back in 2004, where a packed terrace would celebrate a goal in similar bedlam to last night. Just like the old days, I loved it!

We finished the game strongly, and might have nicked a lead going into the second leg, though such an advantage would probably have been generous given the balance of play. It leaves us with an uphill task, needing to get a result at Swindon, but it is doable. While you would have Swindon as firm favourites still, there is always that little chance and the dream is most certainly still alive. Hopefully we can get a good crowd down there, and if it's like the last cup tie we played at Swindon, it will most certainly go down in memory.

90 minutes now stands between us and Wembley. The thought of it is almost too exciting to comprehend.




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All Articles By This Author:

Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...


Other Articles By Category


Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...

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