2011/12 Season Review: The Last Day
Feature by Jaybee
Updated Wednesday, 20th June 2012
The latest in Barnet Mad's exclusive new series
So the last day of the season arrived and Barnet fans knew that only a Bees’ win away at Burton Albion would guarantee league football at Underhill next season. As results had panned out, Macclesfield Town were already relegated while Barnet were two points ahead of Hereford but had an inferior goal difference. If Hereford won at home to promotion chasing, Torquay United then Barnet had to win or they were relegated. If Hereford failed to win then Barnet were safe regardless of how they got on in Staffordshire. As for Burton they were happily safe in mid table with nothing but pride at stake.
Leading scorer, Izale McLeod was not fit to make the starting line up but was named as a substitute. However, McLeod had gone off the boil somewhat having failed to score in six games for the Bees. He was replaced by on loan, Ben May who had scored 3 goals since arriving fromStevenagein March including a goal in the vital 2-1 win at Port Vale and the late equaliser at home to Dagenham & Redbridge. The starting line up was as follows: Brill; Kamdjo, Hector, Saville, Mustoe; Hughes, Byrne, Deering, Holmes; McGleish, May.
Barnet got off to just the start they wanted when after just 6 minutes they took the lead through Mark Byrne with his 5th goal of the season. The Bees were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area and Byrne’s shot got heavily deflected and went past theBurton keeper to put the Bees 1-0 up.
However, news filtered through that Hereford had taken the lead against Torquay on 11 minutes and Barnet’s performance was looking a bit jittery. Things got worse for the Bees when Burton equalised on 27 minutes and news arrived soon after from Edgar Street that Torquay had gone 3-0 up. The Bees now knew that, in all likelihood, they would need to win and the chances of that happening seemed to get slimmer when just before the break a dreadful defensive mistake by Clovis Kamdjo led to Mark Byrne bringing down Burton’s Calvin Zola for a clear penalty. However, this turned out to be the turning point of the afternoon as Zola blasted his penalty kick high and wide and at half time the score remained 1-1.
Martin Allen made a substitute at half time bringing on Izale McLeod for Scott McGleish and there was good news early on in the second half when fans heard that Torquay had pulled a goal back. And Barnet should have gone ahead themselves when a cross from Mark Hughes was headed back by Ben May to Sam Deering who had a golden chance to score but dragged his shot wide for what could have been a costly miss.
Soon after, Deering was bundled over in the penalty area for what looked like a very similar offence to the one that handedBurtontheir penalty in the first half but Barnet’s claims were waved away by the referee. However, on the hour Barnet got the goal they so desperately needed when a cross from Ricky Holmes found Mark Hughes on the edge of the penalty area and his precise shot found the corner of the Burton goal to put the Bees 2-1 up. If Barnet could hold on they were safe and even more good news arrived a few minutes later with the news that Torquay had pulled another goal back at Hereford and it was now 3-2 at Edgar Street.
Soon after it should have been all but over when Holmes laid on a golden chance for McLeod to make it 3-1 but the out of sorts, Bees’ striker missed when it seemed easier to score.
With Torquay still behind at Hereford it was vital that Barnet retained their lead in order to stay up but shortly before the end it looked as though the Bees would relinquish that precious lead when a Burton corner was met by former Bee, Patrick Ada, who sent a fine header towards the corner of the Bees’ goal only for Dean Brill to pull off a superb diving save, which, as it turned out, kept Barnet in the league for another season as the final whistle was blown shortly afterwards. Hereford won 3-2 at home to Torquay but in the end it didn’t matter; the arrival of Martin Allen, once again, did the trick as Barnet won their last two games to stay in the football league, despite Hereford also winning their last two as well. It was the Bees’ first back to back wins since January and came on the back of a dreadful run of just 1 win in 17 league matches, but in the end, it was just enough.
THE BEES WERE STAYING UP!!!