Football can be a cruel games sometimes. If I was an Orient fan I would have
had trouble believing that Orient had gone in at half time a goal down such had
been the extent of the their domination in the first, combined with a toothless
Barnet display which did not deserve the goal which must have suprised even the
most optimistic Barnet fan.
For the first thirty seven minutes Orient dominated the game based mainly on
hustling Barnet out of possesion in the middle of the park. Barnet's cause was
not aided by the poor quality of their passing which ensured that most moves
broke down before they had gained any momentum. You could almost see Sean
Divine's frustration as he chased lost causes.
Orient on the other hand threatened almost continually, but actually delivered
very little despite the fact that Colin West must have had the best part of a
foot on his marker Dave McDonald. West's strike partner Alex Inglethorpe is
familiar to Barnet players and fans after his loan spell at Underhill last
season. On this occasion he was totally marked out of the game by the excellent
Linvoy Primus which partly explains how Orient failed to turn their superiority
The Barnet defence never looked comfortable, particularly as even Linvoy Primus
went through a spell where he kept slicing the ball, be the critical tackles
and blocks were all made before Maik Taylor was forced into action.
Then after thirty seven minutes Barnet won a corner. Gale swung the ball into
the near post, Primus flicked it on and the ball was forced home at the far
post by Alex Dyer a scrappy and undeserved goal. This goal clearly rocked
Orient and Barnet immediately began to see more of the ball.
The second half was a totally different story as Orient totally fell apart
while Barnet were unrecognisable from the poor side in the first half. Passes
began to find their mark and balls forward started to be aimed at attackers
rather than hoofed into space.
Perhaps the beggist influence on Barnet's second half display was Phil Simpson
- the little midfielder was resolute in the tackle and his surging forward runs
were a feature of the second half. Over the last year Barnet have failed
miserably to threaten opposition from the midfield area, suddenly it all came
right. On fifty five minutes Cooper fed Hodges who passed inside to Simpson.
Simpson made twenty yards before sliding a superb ball between the Orient
defenders for Lee Hodges who had continued his run. Hodges collected the ball
and rounded Fearon before slotting the ball into an empty net - probably the
best team goal Barnet have scored all year.
Orient just shrunk further into their shell, now it was their midfield which
gave the ball away cheaply. Sean Divine was a constant menace just delaying one
shot too long and being tackled, Fearon coming out to smother the ball at his
feet as he attempted to round him on another occasion.
Barnet finished the game off with fif*** minutes left. Mark Cooper chipped a
delicate ball over the defence and Sean Divine burst through and drew the
keeper. Divine made attempted to clip the ball over Fearon but his effort was
going beyond the far post, fortunately for Barnet Lee Hodges had followed the
ball in and was able to slot the ball into the net from close range.
Barnet threatened on a number of occasions but the game was over as a contest
and their finishing was wayward. I don't think I have ever seen a Barnet team
play so differently in a half, nor have I ever seen a league team fold up so
completely as Orient did in the second half. In the first half Orient deserved
to lead, but in the second half Orient could quite easily have suffered a much
more embarrassing defeat.
Barnet : Taylor, Gale, Dyer, Pardew, Primus, McDonald, Hodges, Simpson, Cooper,
They say the king is watching his back again
They say the king is losing his grip again
Raging like a bull to an empty ring
D'you think they will forgive a hero anything ? Gazpacho, Afraid of Sunlight