Barnet In The FA Cup 1979-1991
Feature by Jaybee
Updated Saturday, 3rd November 2012
From the Alliance Premier to the Football League
In this next article in our history of Barnet in the FA Cup, we are going to look at the period between 1979 and 1991, the years that Barnet spent as a senior non-league side up to their first time as a football league side.
In 1979, Barnet were admitted to the Alliance Premier League, which was the original name for what is now the Nationwide Conference and was the top tier of non league football. With this new status came automatic entry to the FA Cup at the Fourth Qualifying Round stage which, naturally, meant that the Bees were likely to make the 1st round proper on a more regular basis.
However, in that first season in the Alliance Premier, Barnet were knocked out at the first time of asking by Wycombe Wanderers, losing 2-0 at home. The following season, the Bees were taken to three matches before seeing off Aylesbury and then taken to a replay by Minehead in the 1st round proper, before being drawn to play Peterborough United at home. Barnet went down 1-0 in front of over 4,000 fans.
The next year, 1981-82, Barnet reached the third round for the first time since 1973, beating Corinthian casuals in the 4th Qualifying Round, before knocking out Harlow Town 1-0at home in a replayed1st round match and then Wycombe Wanderers 2-0 at home, getting revenge for the defeat in 1979. The Bees then put in a fine effort drawing 0-0 at home to Brighton & Hove Albion in the 3rd round, before going down 3-1 at the Goldstone Ground in the replay, Gary Sargent scoring the Bees' goal.
There then followed some indifferent seasons, the best effort being a 0-0 draw at home to Bristol Rovers in the 1st round in the 1983-84 season. Rovers were in the third division of the football league (League One nowadays) and were expected to win easily, but after a nervous start, Barnet had the best of the match with Barnet striker Stewart Atkins coming close twice, though at the end Bees' keeper, Gary Phillips had to save smartly when the Bristol rovers' striker, White raced through the Barnet defence. The Barnet side that day was, Phillips; Brown, Millett, Baldry, Pittaway; Stein, Margerrison, Docker; Mahoney, Ragan, Atkins.
In the replay, Barnet gave a determined display creating a number of chances but went down 3-1, substitute, Nicky Evans scoring the Bees' goal following a pass from John Margerrison.
The following season, Barnet lost 3-0 away at Plymouth Argyle, but in 1985, the Bees were humiliated losing 7-0 at home to arch rivals, Enfield. The final seasons before promotion to the league saw Barnet back having to qualify from the 1st Qualifying Round. In 1986, Barnet went out at that stage losing 2-0 at home to Dulwich Hamlet, though in the league Barnet were to finish 2nd at the end of the season. Indeed the club finished 2nd in 1988 and 1990 as well. In 1987-88, Barnet reached the 1st round before going down to league side, Hereford United 1-0 at home. The following season saw Barnet go out in the 3rd Qualifying Round rather surprisingly to Grays Athletic 1-0 at home.
In 1989-90, Barnet reached the 1st round by beating Burton Albion in the 4th Qualifying Round. The match at Burton was drawn 2-2 with Geoff Cooper and Gary Bull from the penalty spot on target for Barnet in front of a 1435 crowd. Gary Bull scored the only goal of the game as Barnet won the replay 1-0.
In the 1st round proper, Barnet were drawn away to 3rd division side, Bristol City and gave a quality performance in front of over 7,500 fans. Barnet nearly scored in the 8th minute when Gary Bull missed a good chance, heading wide, but despite dominating large periods of the game, the home side ran out 2-0 winners. The Barnet side that day were, Guthrie; Wilson, Stacey, Poole, Reilly, Payne (Clarke), Stein (Gridelet), Murphy, Bull, Cooper, Bodley.
In 1991, Barnet won promotion to the 4th division of the football league by winning the GM Vauxhall Conference. In what was to be their last season in the top tier of no-league football for 10 years, Barnet reached the 3rd round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1982. After beating Clapton, Braintree, Harlow and Heybridge in the qualifying rounds, the Bees beat Chelmsford City after a replay in the 1st round proper, Barnet were drawn at home to Northampton Town, who, at the time, were at the top of the 4th division. In front of over 5,000 fans, the home side outplayed their league opponents and were unlucky not to win, the game ending goalless. Many people thought that Barnet had lost their best chance of getting through to the 3rd round, but in front of nearly 6,000 fans, Barnet won the replay at Northampton 1-0 thanks to a Kevin Durham goal. The Barnet side was, Phillips; Wilson, Cooper, Bodley, Nugent, Richardson, Stein (Durham), Clarke, Bull (Murphy), Willis, Hayrettin. In the 3rd round, however, Portsmouth proved much too strong for the Bees winning 5-0 at Underhill.
In the next part of this series, we will look at how Barnet fared in the FA Cup during their first period as a Football League side, between 1991 and 2001.
Q4 H Wycombe Wanderers0-2 03/11/79
Q4 A Aylesbury United1-1 01/11/80
R H Aylesbury United0-0 05/11/80
2R H Aylesbury United1-0 10/11/80
R1 H Minehead United2-2 22/11/80
R A Minehead United2-1 25/11/80
R2 H Peterborough United0-1 13/12/80
Q4 H Corinthian Casuals2-0 31/10/81
R1 A Harlow Town0-0 21/11/81
R H Harlow Town1-0 24/11/81
R2 H Wycombe Wanderers2-0 15/12/81
R3 H Brighton0-0 02/01/82
R A Brighton 1-3 05/01/82
R1 A Carshalton Athletic0-4 20/11/82
Q4 A Harlow Town1-1 29/10/83
RH Harlow Town5-1 02/11/83
R1 H Bristol Rovers0-0 19/11/83
R A Bristol Rovers 1-3 22/11/83
Q4 H Boston United3-1 27/10/84
R1 A Plymouth Argyle0-3 17/11/84
Q4 H Enfield0-7 26/10/85
Q1 H Dulwich Hamlet0-2 13/09/86
Q1 A Witney Town3-0 12/09/87
Q2 A Irthlingborough Diamonds 4-0 26/09/87
Q3 A Berkhamsted Town3-0 10/10/87
Q4 A Wilenhall Town6-0 24/10/87
R1 H Hereford United0-1 14/11/87
Q1 H Epson & Ewell7-0 17/09/88
Q2 H Leatherhead4-3 01/10/88
Q3 H Grays Athletic0-1 15/10/88
Q1 A Bishops Stortford1-0 16/09/89
Q2 H Newmarket Town 4-2 30/09/89
Q3 A Cambridge City4-3 14/10/89
Q4 A Burton Albion2-2 28/10/89
R H Burton Albion1-0 01/11/89
R1 A Bristol City0-2 18/11/89
Q1 A Clapton2-0 15/09/90
Q2 A Braintree Town2-0 29/09/90
Q3 A Harlow Town3-1 13/10/90
Q4 H Heybridge Swifts3-1 27/10/90
R1 H Chelmsford City2-2 17/11/90
R A Chelmsford City2-0 21/11/90
R2 H Northampton Town0-0 08/12/90
R A Northampton Town1-0 12/12/90
R3 H Portsmouth0-5 05/01/91