Barnet-Mad feature on our loacal rivals Stevenage

Last updated : 24 December 2004 By Michael Riddle
So who have us Bees sought to “hate” now that we don’t buy tickets well in advance to watch the likes of Leyton Orient, Brighton & Hove Albion and Peterborough United grace the Underhill turf? It’s not Dagenham, the team who are geographically closest to us in the conference, or even Aldershot, an ex league club like ourselves. It is of course that team up the A1 known as Stevenage Borough. Stevenage is a “new” town built by the government with its soul purpose to house people cheap and effectively outside of London. The town’s habitants are mostly what some people like to call “chavs”. These cheap, grotesque and uneducated people give the town its bad name. The London Borough of Barnet on the other hand is full of history, culture and tradition, with more respectable people walking the streets. Surely, this is one of the reasons why Barnet fans on the whole look down on Stevenage Borough and sometimes, even go as far as to pity them. Bees fans, as well as almost every other fan in the Conference has a general dislike for Graham Westley. This chipmunk lookalike was awarded sports poisonality of the year 2003 for his antics while and after being at Farnborough.

As they say, “It takes 2 to tango” so this rivalry would not be effective if both sets of fans didn’t take part in the banter. Strangely, many Stevenage fans now admit to hating Barnet more than their longer historical rivals, Woking. A rivalry, which is seen as one of, if not, the most passionate in the conference for many years running. Could it be that they envy us for making it into the football league with the stadium we have, whilst they won the conference several times but where denied promotion by the powers that be, on the grounds of Broadhall Way being too small? Or maybe it is because Giuliano Grazioli and Paul Fairclough who were once at Stevenage have since gone to Barnet and succeeded just as well as they did at Stevenage.

Whatever happens over the Christmas period, chances are that this could be the last time us two teams meet. Paul Fairclough has picked up where Martin Allen left off and created a team who have proved their worth by going 13 points clear at the top of the conference, and breaking Runcorn’s record to the best ever start to a conference season. Stevenage on the other hand has, rather inconsistently; found themselves in a play off place this Christmas. A blind, deaf and dumb man wouldn’t bet on Stevenage making the play offs if it meant he got his senses back when he has nothing to lose. It’s the story of this sorry club, always underachieving. Making big claims, but never fulfilling them. So while the Bees are back up with the big boys next season, Stevenage shall be stuck in mid-table Conference mediocrity and another Barnet rivalry will be laid to rest.

Merry Christmas everyone, yes even to you Stevenage fans out there. To get us in the mood for the festive period, here are some Christmas terrace carols.

Jingle bells

Jingle bells

Jingle all the way

Oh what fun it is to see, Barnet win away.

I’m dreaming of a 9 point Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where goal posts glistened

And children listened

To the West Bank in full flow

Away in a manger no crib for a bed

The little lord Jesus lay down and he said