Saturday, 24 December 2011

2011 round-up (part one)

So 2011 was an interesting calendar year for the Bees, so I thought I’d do a month-by-month round-up of events at Underhill. Here is part one, of four.

The year began on a high when on the first day of the month, of the year even, Mark Stimson was finally given his marching orders. It was a long time coming, with a complete lack of ineptitude shown during the first half of the 10/11 season. Paul Fairclough was the man to take temporary charge and his tenure as Bees’ boss didn’t begin well – a 4–2 away loss to rivals, Stevenage – with Grant Basey scoring a spectacularly bad own goal!
Local boy, Danny Hart left the club after not featuring for six months. He had loan spells at a number of Non-League outfits in order to play first team football, including Hemel Hempstead and Thurrock. Further departures quickly followed in the form of loanees Craig Dobson, Kevin Gallen and George Francomb – with the latter, really, having any kind of impact on the first team. Glenn Poole was the final player to leave in January – again, for lack of first team football – after being told he didn’t fit into the manager’s plans. Since the start of the campaign, Stimson brought in around 19 players, after pretty much the entire squad was released at the end of the previous campaign. So it was with no real surprise all the deadwood was removed with a new man at the helm.
Further news this month was that Ricky Holmes would be out for the rest of the season. His injury: a broken metatarsal in his right foot. He’d previously hit some decent form, since his arrival from Chelmsford City, so was a loss for us.
01/01              Barnet v Aldershot              (L)        1–2
03/01              Stevenage v Barnet            (L)        2–4
08/01              Bradford v Barnet              (W)       3–1
15/01              Barnet v Shrewsbury          (D)       1–1
22/01              Macclesfield v Barnet         (D)       1–1
25/01              Port Vale v Barnet              (D)       0–0
29/01              Barnet v Southend              (L)       0–2
6 points from 21
Goals For: 8              Goals Against: 11
Fog called off our game with Aldershot

Our away game at Aldershot which was supposed to take place on February 1st was called off at half time due to fog. The score was 1–1 with Mark Marshall scoring a wonder goal. Another Tuesday night game…
Despite our woeful League campaign thus for, crashing out of every Cup competition, the Herts Senior Cup was where it was really at. Two games in February, and two victories – a 4–1 against Hadley was matched by a 6–2 against Broxbourne, meaning a place in the semi-finals of the competition, all for the illustrious title ‘Pride of Hertfordshire’.
Yet more loan signings were added to the mix. Firstly, Sam Deering from Oxford and Anthony Pulis (yes, Tony Pulis’ son) from Southampton. Both joining until the end of the season. The former was soon set to become an Underhill favourite! They were soon followed by American, Kwame JJ Adyeman-Pamboe. Who? Exactly!
John Dunleavy the Wolves defender on-loan also extended his spell with the club, albeit only playing once during the month of January.
05/02              Northampton v Barnet         (D)      0–0
12/02              Barnet v Torquay               (L)       0–3
19/02              Cheltenham v Barnet          (D)      1–1
22/02              Southend v Barnet             (L)       1–2
26/02              Barnet v Lincoln                (W)      4–2
            5 points from 15
Goals For: 6              Goals Against: 8
Back when everyone got excited about football

The Herts Senior Cup looked ever more likely to be heading our way with a semi-final victory against Cheshunt, even though it took extra time. Mauro Vilhete who had a busy March – signing a long-term contract, and joining the young Portuguese camp in training – got the solitary goal. Stevenage would be our opponents in the final, and would be hoping to make it a hat-trick of victories in League and Cup for the season.
With the end of the season fast approaching and our League status looking more and more precarious, loan signings were brought in thick and fast. Mark Byrne was the first, returning after a previous spell. He scored four goals in 15 appearances before heading back to parent club, Notts Forest following injury. Another player who had proved to be a hit and a great future prospect. He was followed by young left back, Matty Parsons (Crystal Palace) who quickly cemented his place in the side, and extended his initial one-month loan until the end of the season. Injuries pretty much plagued our season, and third loan signing, Sam Walker, from Chelsea, was no exception to that. The goalkeeper was rushed in following injuries to both keepers Jake Cole and Liam O’Brien (although rumour had it the former had a bust-up with a member of staff and would be likely to leave at the end of the season!). Towards the end of the month, two more faces joined the Bees in Jude Stirling (MK Dons) and Jack Midson (Oxford).
Injuries again, were the talking point, and given our previous bad luck were to be expected. Jude Stirling was the first, after making his debut for the club; Anthony Pulis was the second – an injury in the warm-up prior to our game with Chesterfield!
But the main talking point from March was that of the return of former Bees’ boss, Martin Allen; brought in by the Chairman as a “final throw of the dice” for us to preserve our League status. Reappointed ‘mad dog’ signed a contract until the end of the season – a mere eight games! Giuliano Grazioli was immediately made assistant manager.
05/03              Rotherham v Barnet            (D)       0–0
08/03              Barnet v Wycombe             (L)       0–1
12/03              Hereford v Barnet               (W)      2–1
19/03              Barnet v Morecambe           (L)       1–2
22/03              Aldershot v Barnet              (L)        0–1
26/03              Barnet v Chesterfield          (D)        2–2
            5 points from 18
Goals For: 5              Goals Against: 7

Part two of the round-up will include months April–June and should feature in a couple of days time.

Southend Away in February

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