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Bees Freeze As Wembley Fades Away
Not to be. By: Eric Hitchmo 08/02/2012
Swindon Town A
07/02/2012   (Click date for match details)
FL Trophy 2011-2012
L  0- 1
Attendance: 10406  (548 Away)
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Well it just wasn't to be.

Bitterly disappointing as it is that the dream of a trip to Wembley has been dashed, in the (very) cold light of day, we cannot have any realistic qualms that Swindon are going to Wembley and unfortunately, we are not. Unless that qualm is with our own performance, but the general consensus has been that Swindon are a much better team than we are, and it's very hard to deny that.

The lesser status of the competition had meant nothing to me since the possibility of Wembley had become a reality. The chance to see your team run out under the arch is not one that should be passed up lightly. It had been 40 years since such an occasion happened, when of course Wembley housed its iconic twin towers, so for the vast majority of Barnet fans, they will have never seen such a thing, and rarely have we come so close, save for a trio of Football League playoff appearances that were ended at the Semi-Final stage by Blackpool, Colchester United and Peterborough United respectively.

My day therefore was largely spent being very excited and muttering "Wembley" to myself and all of those around me. They may have been getting annoyed, but that wasn't going to stop me. We set off for Swindon at around 4 o'clock and arrived pretty swiftly, enjoying a blinding gammon roll in The County Hotel next to the ground. Lovely it was. We moved on to the away bar which resides under the stand, which I have never managed to spot in my previous three visits, and that confused me. However, they had Peroni on tap so that kept me happy, as if I needed more encouragement when my team was 90 minutes from Wembley.

As for the game though, the truth is that Barnet froze and did not show any of the vigour and ability that bought four league wins in a row in January. Whether that was just because we were off our game, or whether the standard of footballer against them was far higher than what we have faced in the last few weeks is up for debate. Swindon had done their homework, knew that we didn't really have a plan past knocking the ball long towards Izale McLeod, and were able to look dangerous going forward. The assignment for the defenders was simple, head away all the long balls that Barnet play, and that they did with ease. When we tried to play on the ground, the fluidity wasn't there as it has been. Too many balls were going astray and going 1-0 down relatively early always felt like it might be enough for the home team to be victorious.

We had our spells, though they were rare and they were short. At the start of the second half we looked like we might be in business. We were starting to make inroads where Swindon had in the first half, but could not capitalise as they did. In fact, it was my belief that such was the home sides' dominance in the opening period that we were doing well to only be one goal behind. Still, it did much to keep the belief going in the away section of a very chilly County Ground. It was a good turnout, guesstimate 500 or so until an official figure is found, and there was a decent noise emerging also. Everyone stood up and got behind the team, which is rare, perhaps we should consider doing it more often! From our point of view, it drowned out any noise from the home crowd, but it always does. I'm sure their vocal support on their feet behind the goal would say exactly the same.

When the exciting Jordan Obita came on, I thought it may be a catalyst for change. Of course though, Swindon had done their homework and revised pretty hard as well, because he was closed down by two men in red every time he got near the ball. Unfortunately, he wasn't even allowed the ball very much. Though we always get carried away at the time, and hope is a feeling that overrides all logic, in our heart of hearts we would have to admit that really, we never looked like scoring.

Those hopes were well and truly dashed when Charlie Taylor got himself sent off for a moment of hesitancy and/or stupidity. Some might argue that the hopes were dashed when he came on, and one would not be surprised if this was the last straw for Taylor's career at Barnet. Much anger was vented at him, and though surely nobody is blaming him for our demise, it was clear that once we were down to ten men, we weren't going to stand a chance.

Swindon saw out injury time with the minimum of fuss and 10,000 west country men and women rejoiced in their teams' success. Some even entered the field of play to celebrate. Good luck to them. There were a handful who tried to antagonise us to no reaction, however there were more who offered applause in our direction, which was quite a nice touch. There is no doubt that they deserved to be at Wembley on the strength of the two ties, and there is little doubt for me that they are one of the best sides in League Two. It will take a big effort from anyone else to finish above them, and they will surely be a League One club next season. We play them in the league on Saturday, and I'm sure they won't hesitate to remind us that they are going to Wembley, and we are not. That will be fun to listen to, but then we would be the same, right?

And so, we must wait that bit longer for a trip to Wembley. Instead, it will be Macclesfield on a Friday night. Hmmm.




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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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