Disappointing end to the season for the Bees !!

After three disappointing seasons in the Alliance Premier League, manager Barry Fry would have been hoping for a better season this time out. However, he lost his commanding centre half, Alan Campbell in the summer. Campbell moved to Dagenham in a straight swap for long term Barry Fry target, Edwin Stein who was to become a major figure for the Bees. Midfield player, Ronnie Howell also arrived from Dagenham as well as defenders Alan Garner, from Portsmouth and Pat Kruse from Torquay. Arsenal's reserve keeper, Gary Lewin also signed for the Bees. Steve Brinkman and Steve Ragan both rejoined the club from Aylesbury and Maidstone respectively.

 

After losing their opening game of the season at Bangor with 7 new signings in the side, the Bees went on to win their next five matches in a row, starting with a 1-0 win at home to Nuneaton, followed by another 1-0 home win, this time against Stafford Rangers. Colin Barnes scored the goals in both games. Trowbridge Town were defeated 3-0 and 2-0 in the two legged Bob Lord Trophy 1st round, either side of a 3-1 win at Weymouth in the APL, Stewart Atkins scoring twice and Steve Ragan scoring his first league goal since his return to the club. In the match at Weymouth, Steve Brinkman suffered a near fatal heart attack. Brinkman's heart actually stopped beating at one point but he was quickly revived by the doctors and rushed into intensive care where he suffered another heart stoppage, but he was revived again in less than a minute.

 

After this shock, perhaps it was not surprising that Barnet's form slumped. Barnet went down 3-1 at home to Maidstone, Colin Barnes scoring again and then 1-0 in the return match at Nuneaton. A 2-0 win at Trowbridge Town followed, with goals from Barnes and Atkins and Barnet progressed to the 3rd round of the Bob Lord trophy with 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Weymouth. Barnet's form began to yoyo after this with a 4-1 home hammering at the hands of Boston United with former Bees' keeper, Kevin Blackwell, now boss at Sheffield United, in goal for the Pilgrims. A 1-0 defeat at Northwich was followed by home and away wins over Bath City interspersed with a 4-4 home draw with Yeovil Town. Stewart Atkins scored twice in the 2-0 win at Bath, at the end of September,giving him 10 goals. Colin Barnes had 6 goals at this stage, Steve Ragan 5.

 

Barnet then slumped to four league defeats on the trot after this, going down 4-2 at Yeovil, 1-0 at Boston, 3-1 at home to deadly rivals, Enfield and then getting thrashed 5-0 in the return at Enfield. Wins at home over Frickley (4-1) and Runcorn (2-0) in November improved things but then Barnet crashed out of the Bob Lord trophy losing 5-3 on aggregate to Worcester before being thrashed 4-0at Isthmian League, Carshaltonin the 1st round of the FA Cup. Pat Kruse, Gary Phillips, Alan Garner, Colin Barnes and Edwin Stein were all transfer listed after the Cup debacle. Player coach, Ronnie Howell had already been sacked by Fry.

 

Barnes scored twice in the away league match at Worcester following the cup exit but Worcester won 4-2. Barnes and Atkins scored in a 2-1 home win over Altrincham and Barnet followed this up with a 2-1 win at Dagenham. Atkins and Barnes were again the scorers in a 2-1 home win over the Met Police in the 3rd qualifying round of the FA Trophy. However the year finished with a 6-0 mauling at Wealdstone in the league.

 

1983 didn't start much better. After a 2-2 home draw with Dagenham, Barnet lost 3-1 at Kettering and 2-0 at Maidstone. A 2-0 win at Woking took the Bees through to the 2nd round of the FA Trophy and they won their first APL match for more than a month with a 4-2 win at Northwich, Colin Barnes scoring twice. Barnes had 13 senior goals at this stage, Stewart Atkins had 16.

 

On the 5th of February, Barnet were at home to Ilkeston Town in the 3rd round of the FA Trophy and this match came to be known for the behaviour of the Ilkeston Town fans who were reported to have caused £1000 worth of damage at the ground, having, allegedly, already damaged local pubs before the match. They held up play during the game, intimidating players and home fans alike. It seemed to have the desired effect as Barnet went down 2-1 and went out of the tournament.

 

However, Barnet's league form, in the main, improved. The Bees won at Scarborough 2-0 with goals from Brown and Atkins and then won 2-1 at home to Barrow, Eddie Stein and Colin Barnes scoring. Defeats away at Runcorn and in the return match against Scarborough at Underhill were quickly followed by a completion of a quick double over Barrow with Eddie Stein gaining the only goal in a 1-0 away win and a 3-1 home win over Worcester City with Colin Barnes scoring twice and Stewart Atkins getting the other goal for the Bees.

 

However, Barnet's season somewhat collapsed after this with the Bees gaining just one victory, a 1-0 away win at Frickley Athletic, in the last nine games. Seven of these games were lost. Barnet finished 15th, well clear of any relegation problems, but this was mainly due to their good early season form. Their terrible end to the season with just 3 points from their last nine games showed that Barry Fry had still not quite got things right but at least it could be said that it was the Bees best season so far in the APL.

 

One aspect about the team that had improved was the amount of goals that were scored. The strike partnership of Stewart Atkins and Colin Barnes had been pretty successful all in all with Atkins scoring 18 senior goals and Colin Barnes top scorer with 19. But the Bees were still losing two many games and the 6-0 defeats at Wealdstone and Enfield and the embarrassing 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Carshalton were the low spots of what, after a bright start, was a disappointing season.

Barnet goal scorers for 1982-83:

 

 

 

 

Players

Alliance Premier League (APL)

Bob Lord Trophy (BLT)

FA Trophy

Total

Colin Barnes

16

1

2

19

Stewart Atkins

12

5

1

18

Steve Ragan

5

3

1

9

Eddie Stein

8

   

8

Peter Brown

4

 

1

5

Danny Westwood

3

1

 

4

Steve Mahoney

3

   

3

Ronnie Howell

 

1

 

1

Kevin Millett

1

   

1

Pat Kruse

1

   

1

Gary Armstrong

1

   

1

Bob Pittaway

1

   

1

 

 

1

Enfield

42

25

9

8

95

48

84

2

Maidstone

42

25

8

9

83

34

83

3

Wealdstone

42

22

13

7

80

41

79

4

Runcorn

42

22

8

12

73

53

74

5

Boston

42

20

12

10

77

57

72

6

Telford

42

20

11

11

69

48

71

7

Weymouth

42

20

10

12

63

48

70

8

Northwich

42

18

10

14

68

63

64

9

Scarborough

42

17

12

13

71

58

63

10

Bath City

42

17

9

16

58

55

60

11

Nuneaton

42

15

13

14

57

60

58

12

Altrincham

42

15

10

17

62

56

55

13

Bangor

42

14

13

15

71

77

55

14

Dagenham

42

12

15

15

60

65

51

15

Barnet

42

16

3

23

55

78

51

16

Frickley

42

12

13

17

66

77

49

17

Worcester

42

12

10

20

58

87

46

18

Trowbridge

42

12

7

23

56

88

43

19

Kettering

42

11

7

24

69

99

40

20

Yeovil

42

11

7

24

63

99

40

21

Barrow (R)

42

8

12

22

46

74

36

22

Stafford (R)

42

5

14

23

40

75

29