Sat 24th Feb 1996
This was a pretty good game of football, although I guess most
Plymouth fans will be diappointed with only gaining one point from
a game which they dominated possession, although both sides had
several good chances.
The first five minutes was certainly incident packed as Barnet had
two excellent chances in the first two minutes. First a goal kick
bounced over the Plymouth defence and Sean Divine raced into the
space and shot just wide, then another case of Plymouth defenders
totally disappearing led to SSteve Cherry being force to come out
and block Lee Hodges shot with his feet.
Play immediately switched to the other end and Martin Barlow
escaped past Alex Dyer and scrossed low for for Adrian Littlejohn
to touch past Taylor only to find the goal ruled out by the
linesmans flag a very marginal decision. Barnet failed to take
note and Dyer was hopelessly out of position as Barlow crossed a
minute later for Partridge to flick home - this time the flag
stayed down and Plymouth were ahead after five minutes.
Almost immediately Barlow escaped Dyer again only for Pardew to
cut out his cross. The resulting cross was headed just over by
Baird with Taylor looing beaten. At this point I was very worrid
as Plymouth were looking very dangerous on every attack. Their
tactics seemed to mainly involve knocking the ball out to the
right wing were Alex Dyer was supposed to be left back, actually
he spent most of the game either wandering aimlessly around the
midfield or being totally outplayed by Barlow. Fortunately for
Barnet Plymouth's crossing detiorated as the game went on, right
back Mark Patterson sending several crosses behind the goal
Alex Dyer was finally booked whenm he decided giving Barlow a
friendly cuddle was preferable to letting the Plymouth winger skin
him for the ump***th time.
Maik Taylor was also in good form and had to make several stops
from Plymouth attacks. Despite conceding the early goal the centre
of the Barnet defence was looking pretty solid with Primus as
usual in *** form.
At the other end serious threats from Barnet were mainly provided
by the willing running of Devine who once again ploughed a lonely
furrow up front, yet still managed to give the Plymouth defence
and uncomfortable afternoon.
The best chance of the game fell to Barnet's Mickey Tomlinson just
after half time. Devine ran half the length of the pitch down the
left before corossing beyond the far post. Paul Wilson attempted
to volley at goal but end up slicing a perfect cross over the
keeper to Mickey Tomlinson two yards out with an open goal,
unfortunately Tomlinson panicked and hit a defender with a wild
shot which deflected over the bar - a terrible miss.
From that point the game picked up where the first half left off -
Plymouth pressure broken by sporadic raids from Barnet. Littlejohn
was twiced denied when well placed by Maik Taylor saves. Taylor
saved his best effort for a firce Partridge volley which Taylor
had absolutely no right to save, but he somehow managed to claw
the ball from under the bar.
When Barnet finally equalised with fif*** minutes left the goal
came from a suprising source, right back Sean Gale. A sweeping
attack went from left to right, Tomlinson crossing towards the
near post. Cherry punched the ball clear under challenged from
Hodges and Sean Gale lobbed him on the volley from just outside
the box. Shortly afterwards Sean Dvine had the ball in the
PLymouth net again but this time he was ruled offside.
Plymouth made every attempt to win the game in the last quarter of
an hour, their constant pressure being rebuffed by some rather
paniced defending and another couple of fine saves by Taylor.
Another late break saw a last ditch tackle deny Devine a goal for
Overall I thought Barnet were lucky to get a point, yet they could
have had all three. I was quite impressed with Plymouth,
particularly with winger Barlow who ensured that Alex Dyer (not a
very convincing left back at the best of times) a real nightmare.
They were less of a long ball than I expected and at times moved
the ball around quite nicely. Admittedly their finishing was a bit
crooked. My man of the match was undoubtedly Maik Taylor in the
Barnet goal who was brilliant. Linvoy Primus and Sean Divine also
get a mention for good performances.
Barnet : Taylor, Gale, Dyer, Pardew, Primus, Howarth, Hodges
(Robbins), Simpson, Tomlinson (Cooper), Divine, Wilson
This is the story so far.....