Thursday, 1 March 2012

Match Report: Barnet 0–4 Bradford City (Barnet Fan’s Perspective)

Bradford went out resounding winners at Underhill last night, in what was being described as a “six-pointer”. Unfortunately for Barnet, more energy was displayed in the away team’s choice of kit as the Bantams looked pretty in pink.
The scoreline, which for those that didn’t know, read Barnet 0–4 Bradford gives a real honest reflection on the match. I heard people saying in the 15/20/30/40 years of watching Barnet, they’ve never seen a display like that. I’ve honestly run out of words to describe how pathetic, abject and frankly embarrassing the performance was. Instead, I’ll just sum-up the action.
Bradford came straight out of the traps and settled quickly into the game, testing Liam O’Brien (replacing Dean Brill) in the Barnet goal from the off. Desperate last-ditch tackles from centre back, Darren Dennehy, prevented City going ahead on two occasions in the opening 10 minutes. Unfortunately it wasn’t third time lucky as on 16 minutes he was sent off for fouling Craig Fagan. I couldn’t see an awful lot from where I was sat, but apparently he was the last man, and by the letter of the law, had to go. So the Bees were to play the final 75 minutes with 10 men and Fagan duly stepped up to take the spot kick.
Barnet 0–1 Bradford (Fagan, ’17)
Clovis Kamdjo, yet again got forward at every set-piece opportunity and a long throw from Mark Byrne, into the box, could have resulted in an equalising goal on another day. As it was, Clov’s header went wide. Instead, the Bantams went straight down the other end of the pitch and scored their second – an excellent cross from Kyel Reid for Jamie Atkinson to steer home, whilst the Bees’ defenders stood out of position and watched each other, rather than the flight of the ball or the opponent.
Barnet 0–2 Bradford (Atkinson, ’37)
I’m not sure what Sanchez said to the team at halftime, but whatever it was, it had no real impact. Bradford were easily in control for the whole of the second period: keeping possession, attacking at will and really making the extra man count.
Kyel Reid then netted his first, and Bradford’s third with a marvellous solo effort – picking the ball up on the wing before driving past two Barnet defenders and slotting it past O’Brien into the bottom corner. The keeper had no chance.
Barnet 0–3 Bradford (Reid, ’58)
With 15 minutes of time remaining, the home side finally had two attempts on target in quick succession – both were met with sarcastic applause and cheers from the crowd. The first by Izale McLeod was a lazy toe punt, hit with no real strength or effort, and the second by the usually quick and creative Sam Deering was a low attempt, again a tame shot, not even testing the Bradford keeper.
But the goals continued for the away side with only two minutes of the 90 left: a long ball from Rob Kozluk was met by Nahki Wells, who managed to stay on-side before rounding O’Brien and having the easiest of finishes into an empty net.
Barnet 0–4 Bradford (Wells, ’88)
The drama didn’t end there though, as before kick-off could commence, words were exchanged between McLeod and on-loan Reading defender, Michael Hector. With arms raised and team-mates trying to separate them, both received a yellow for their ‘handbags’. A bit of much needed entertainment for the Bees’ faithful, but added embarrassment, as if the performance hadn’t been enough. No real strategy, motivation or leadership.
Play-off hopefuls, Rotherham, come to Underhill on Saturday – can anyone else hardly wait..?
Attendance: 1,309
Starting line-ups:
Barnet – O’Brien; Hector, Downing, Dennehy, Saville; Deering, Hughes, Kamdjo, Byrne; Holmes, McLeod
Bradford – McLaughlin; Oliver, Kozluk, Seip, Davies; Flynn, Jones, Ravenhill, Reid; Smalley, Fagan

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