Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Two minutes with… Torquay United

Last night saw another ‘entertaining’ evening of floodlight football at Underhill, as the Bees hosted Torquay. Gulls’ fan John, gives his thoughts in this instalment of ‘Two minutes with...’

Had you been to Underhill before?
Yes, I had, for the last two seasons running (a 3-0 and a 1-0 win for us). It’s a ground I’ve always really enjoyed visiting, especially under the floodlights, as there’s something very atmospheric about the place. I’ll be really sad to see Barnet move out at the end of the season.
How did you get to the game?
The same as most – a half hour trip on the delightful Northern Line! As always, very easy to find from the station.

The match
Whereabouts in the ground did you sit/stand?
I was in the away section, naturally, and in the terraced section along the side of the pitch. I’ve always thought the view was slightly better from there than in the seats, although there’s always a pillar right where you don’t need it! A fairly reasonable price to get in, though, and a decent programme.
What did you make of the game?
It was a tale of two halves from our perspective. I don’t think it’s unfair to suggest we deserved a goal in the first half. Some of our build-up and approach play was excellent, and our two wingers were giving the Barnet full-backs a torrid time. It was almost constant Torquay pressure for long spells, as we bombarded the box with crosses, but we just didn’t take our chances when they came, rarely managing even to hit the target. When we did manage to do so, Graham Stack was found to be in excellent form.
We started the second half brightly, but that only lasted for the first five or ten minutes. You could see the Bees were starting to grow in confidence a little, and, although they didn’t create a great deal, you could sense a Barnet goal coming the longer the match went on.
Of course it did and, as much as our players and manager have repeatedly said after the game on Twitter and in interviews about how we were robbed, you can’t complain if you don’t take your chances.
Who (from either side) do you think deserved to be man of the match?
This is a tough one, as nobody particularly stood out on either side for me. I think, for us, our man of the match would one of our two centre backs, Brian Saah or Aaron Downes, both of which had an excellent game. They dealt with everything that came their way, and looked as imperious as they have all season.
For Barnet, I think it’s got to be Graham Stack. The few times we actually managed to get a shot on target, he thwarted us with some excellent saves, which he made look routine and ordinary. Very impressive.

Was the score line a fair reflection on the game?
I don’t think so, and neither I think could any Barnet fan in their heart of hearts. A draw would probably have been fair as, although we dominated the game, no team deserves to win if they miss that many chances.
Who do you play next, and how do you think you’ll get on?
We have Oxford away on Saturday. I’ll be there and, to be frank, I’m not expecting much. It’s a tough place to go at the best of times – cold, windy, open and with a large and noisy crowd behind the home – and we’ll now be without injured keeper Michael Poke and Rene Howe, making it a tricky prospect indeed. Whilst they’re not having their greatest season, I think I’d take a draw if it was offered now.

Cost of match day ticket
Expensive but par for the course nowadays ––– 7/10
Purchases made at ground
Programme was good...never bother with football ground food anymore ––– 7/10
Not too bad, but the pillars do get in the way, especially when shooting towards the far end ––– 6/10
Quality of football
Decent. We were good, and great to watch Edgar Davids at work, too ––– 8/10
Overall experience
Nice evening despite the result. Be a shame not to visit Underhill again ––– 8/10

Total ––– 36/50

And you can follow John on Twitter @johncadigan


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