CLASSIC ENCOUNTER: Barnet v Northampton 2006/07
Article by Jaybee
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2013
Barnet Mad looks at a previous meeting between the Bees & the Cobblers
One of the finest games played at Underhill in recent years was when Barnet met Northampton in the 2006/07 season in the FA Cup 2nd round. Northampton had won promotion to League One the previous season, while Barnet had been struggling in League Two but had recently seen an improvement in their league form with three wins in a row.
Barnet had won through to the 2nd round of the FA cup with a 3-1 away win at non-league side, Gainsborough Trinity. Leading scorer, Tresor Kandol had scored two of the goals, but he had since moved to Leeds United on loan, with a view to a permanent move to the Championship side. Barnet manager, Paul Fairclough had brought in Mansfield striker, Adam Birchall on loan and he had made his debut for the Bees the previous week as a substitute at Bristol Rovers. In the Northampton side was former darling of the East Terrace, Scott McGleish who received a warm welcome from the Barnet fans.
The early stages of the match were fairly tight with few chances for either side. The first chance of the match went to Barnet in the 21st minute when Simon King sent over a deep cross from the left and found Liam Hatch whose header found Adam Birchall. The Barnet loan man was about to shoot when Northampton’s Chris Doig intercepted and cleared the danger.
However, the Cobblers soon began to get the upper hand and on 25 minutes, a long throw by David Hunt eventually found Joe Burnell who shot from the edge of the area. His shot was flicked on by Scott McGleish but Barnet keeper, Lee Harrison made the save from his former Barnet team mate. Almost immediately, McGleish almost scored when he rounded Harrison only to put his shot into the side netting.
McGleish was not to be thwarted though and on the stroke of half time he rose to head a Hunt cross past Harrison to put the Cobblers 1-0 up.
Half Time: Bees 0 Cobblers 1
Barnet came out looking sharp at the beginning of the second half and on 50 minutes they drew level. A long free kick by Harrison was headed on by Liam Hatch and found Adam Birchall who shrugged off a challenge from a defender to shoot into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Just three minutes later, Barnet took the lead when Birchall, looking impressive, played the ball out onto the left to Bees winger, Jason Puncheon who crossed first time for Dean Sinclair to head home from close range.
The Bees were now rampant and could have had a penalty shortly after when Hatch appeared to have been pushed over after another Puncheon cross. Puncheon was having a superb game, causing Northampton all sorts of problems on the left hand side of the pitch.
Adam Birchall almost scored again when his snap shot from the edge of the penalty area was well saved by Cobblers’ keeper, Bunn. Puncheon and Hatch then had chances before Barnet further ahead on 67 minutes. Following a short corner, Puncheon dribbled into the box before being brought down by McGleish. Skipper, Ian Hendon blasted the penalty high into the net to make the score 3-1.
Northampton fought back and Hendon had to clear of the line from Andy Kirk, who also saw a fine effort well saved by Lee Harrison. Northampton’s Watt, then hit the top of the crossbar. Barnet brought on Magno Vieira for Adam Birchall. It had been an excellent home debut for the loanee from Mansfield.
Three minutes from time, Puncheon crossed from the left for Vieira to flick home Barnet’s fourth to completely seal the match for the Bees. Bunn made a fine double save from Hatch and Puncheon to deny the home side a fifth goal before the final whistle went.
It had been a marvellous win for Barnet, probably the best performance at Underhill since they were promoted back to the league in 2005. Their second half showing had completely blown away their higher league opponents who had no answer to Jason Puncheon’s skills in particular. Punch had made all the last three goals and was deservedly named man of the match.
In the next round, Barnet had another wonderful night beating Championship side, Colchester United 2-1 at Underhill with Puncheon again the star, scoring a wonderful winning goal as Barnet reached the 4th round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Their run came to an end at the hands of another Championship side, Plymouth Argyle who won 2-0 at Underhill.
Full Time: Bees 4 Cobblers 1
Barnet: Harrison; Hendon, Yakubu, King, Gross (Devera); Cogan, Bailey, Sinclair, Puncheon; Birchall (Vieira), Hatch.