As an avid reader of Four Four Two, I was pleasantly surprised when one of their team tweeted me asking if they could speak to me about our final game (and survival in the Football League) away at Burton at the end of last season. Of course, my answer was “yes”. Apparently, they had been following my tweets from the day and had staff at the Hereford/Torquay match – and were looking to speak with a Barnet fan to get their side of events. I jumped at the chance and after a number of emails were exchanged, I was told to look out for the July edition. For those of you that haven’t seen it:
“I was worried about the game all week. The more I thought about it, the worse I pictured the outcome. I felt sick first thing, but on the journey up to Burton, everyone seemed pretty upbeat. Most of them believed we’d stay up. We’ve done it on the last day of the last two seasons – we’re survival specialists!
When we scored early, I thought: “this is our day”. But we were in shock when we heard that Hereford were three up. Then Burton got one back and a draw wasn’t enough for us. As Zola stepped up to that penalty, I thought we were doomed. My heart was in my mouth. But he skied it. That shot saved our season.
At half time, someone said to me “Hereford could win 27-0 – but we could get a late winner and stay up”. Everyone was still strangely confident. It got a bit mental: at one point, a rumour spread that it was 3-3 at Edgar Street. But then we scored the second. The celebrations were crazy. Everyone was chanting Mark Hughes’ name and bundling.
We held on well and Dean Brill made a blinding save in the final seconds. Our 992 fans – a huge following by our standards – went mad at the end. Who’d have predicted both teams winning their game? We chanted ‘we are Barnet, we’ll never go down’ for about 20 minutes. The players came to celebrate with us, and everyone was elated. I didn’t celebrate that much afterwards – just a couple of drinks. I felt relief more than anything. Every year, so many people write us off, and every year we somehow manage to survive.
I just hope it doesn’t happen for a fourth season running. I don’t think we could go through it all again.”