Sunday, 18 December 2011

Two minutes with… Cheltenham Town

Barnet’s final home game of 2011 saw promotion hopefuls, Cheltenham Town arrive at Underhill, in another Friday night encounter. Mark Halliwell, Rubies' fan and web commentator shares his thoughts in this instalment. Mark can be found on Twitter @MarkHalliwell1 and his blog can also be accessed here.
Barnet 2–2 Cheltenham Town
(McLeod ’41 ’60 (p) – Mohamed ’32, Duffy ’44 (p))
Attendance 1.775 (away 220)
How did you get to the game?
I went on the supporters' coach. We took a double decker and it left Cheltenham at 3pm. I had spent the morning selling coach tickets for our upcoming FA Cup tie at Spurs and we have already filled more than 20 coaches. We got to Barnet at around 6pm, so plenty of time to kill.
What did you do pre-match?
I met some fellow Rubies in the Red Lion at the top of the hill. Some other fans had gone to the other Red Lion, just down the road. We had a couple of pints before making our way to the game.
Where did you sit/stand in the ground?
I was in the Main Stand, in the press box, as I was doing the Cheltenham web commentary. I like Underhill even though we have never won there and I hope Barnet sort their problems out. It will be a great shame if this was my last trip to Underhill.
What did you make of the game?
It was very scrappy with no real pattern to it. We didn't play as well as we have done in recent games and we missed the suspended Russ Penn in our midfield. But credit to Barnet as they put us under pressure and certainly know how to make use of the slope, which we failed to do. I am as confused as anyone as to why our penalty was given, and thought Sido Jombati should have been red-carded after giving away the Barnet penalty, so those decisions went our way. Having led twice, I suppose it is a bit disappointing not to win, but we could easily have lost, so we will take that.
Was the scoreline a fair reflection?
I think so. It would have been harsh on Barnet had we won the game as we didn't deserve it over the 90 minutes. Barnet have some decent players and I expect them to stay up comfortably. They are not the worst side we have played by a long, long way.
Who, in your opinion was man of the match?
For Barnet, a toss-up between Izale McLeod and Sam Deering. McLeod gave our centre-halves a torrid time and as big a test as they have had all season. His goals will be massive for Barnet. I have always been a fan of Deering and rate him one of the best midfielders in League Two. Mark Marshall had his moments as well.
For Cheltenham, no one really stood out for us. Steve Elliott stuck to his task well at the back and Luke Summerfield did okay in midfield.
Who have you got next and how do you think you’ll get on?
We have a big game on Boxing Day with Shrewsbury, who are a place and two points behind us, in fourth place. Having already beaten Southend, Crawley and Swindon at home this season, we have to be confident that we can add Shrewsbury to that list. If we can, it will open up a bit of a gap between the top three and the rest and give us a boost going into the second half of the season.

Thanks Mark

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