This evening, Barnet and Crawley Town meet in a football league fixture for the first time following Crawley’s promotion from the Blue Square Premier last season. However, the two clubs have met a number of times before.
The first time was way back in 1965/66 in the 1st division of the Southern League, the first in Barnet’s history after moving from the Athenian League. The two clubs drew 2-2 at Broadfield Stadium (Davidson scoring both Bees’ goals), while the Bees hammered the Red Devils 6-1 in the return at Underhill, Tony Harding grabbing a hat trick, Les Eason scoring twice with an own goal completing Barnet’s scoring.
Barnet ended the season as Division One champions and were promoted to the Premier Division and the two clubs next met in the 1st leg of the Southern League Cup two seasons later, Barnet winning 5-3 over two legs, having trounced Crawley 5-0 at Underhill in the 1st leg, Eason and Keith Smith scoring twice and Roger Figg once. Crawley won the 2nd leg 3-0.
In 1969/70, the two clubs met for league points in the Premier Division with Barnet again winning at Underhill; 2-1 with goals from Eason and Thorne. The game at the Broadfield ended in a 1-1 draw, Ricky George scoring for Barnet.
By 1976 both sides had slipped down to the 1st division. Barnet again won the Underhill fixture with goals from Price and Tucker in a 2-1 win.Crawley won the return 3-2 despite two goals from John Fairbrother but it was the Bees who won the Division One title at the end of the season and were promoted back to the Premier Division.
In 1979, Barnet joined the newly formed Alliance Premier League and the two clubs did not meet again until December 1993 in the 2nd round of the FA Cup with Carl Hoddle and Zeke Rowe scoring as the Bees progressed on to a 3rd round glamour meeting with Chelsea by winning 2-1 at the Broadfield Stadium.
The last time the two clubs met was in Barnet’s Conference championship winning season of 2004/05. The match at the Broadfield saw one of the finest Barnet displays in recent years with the Bees’ winning 3-1 with two goals from leading scorer, Guiliano Grazioli and a third, match clinching, wonder strike from Dean Sinclair.
The Bees completed their first ever double over the Red Devils with a comprehensive 3-0 win with goals from Sinclair, Dwane Lee and Liam Hatch as the Bees closed in on the title and promotion to League Two.