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Tuesday 17th December 2019 ko 19.45

Middlesex Senior Cup 2nd Round

BARNET 1 (Chime 9)


No extra time, Staines won 4-3 on penalties.

Att 63 at Pitch ATP1, The Hive, London

Free Entry

Online Programme

Team Sheet 50p

“I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
Gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
Can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in.” Gene Autry

I’ll admit I was rather scraping the barrel with this one, but my defence is that I didn’t quite know what I was letting myself it for. What I did know is that The Hive has no end of side pitches, some grass, some 3G and at least one with a stand.

The game was due to take place on the Hive’s main pitch but with wet weather, and the fact that Barnet, London Bees and Tottenham Hotspur Women, all use the pitch the damaged and waterlogged surface couldn’t take another game. Barnet refunded everyone who’d bought a ticket for the original fixture.

If ever there was a case for the online programme though this was it. Even if this had been played on the main pitch the print run for a paper programme would have been far below what would be economic. Did I tell you a few hoppers have found a print firm that will produce hard copies of online programmes? They’re only £3.50 a copy so I’m told; each to their own I suppose…..

The game was switched to a caged 3G pitch near the entrance to the facility with Barnet commenting there would be only two viewing points, behind one goal and along one touchline. My problem was that I assumed that those viewing areas would be inside the cage… how wrong I was!

So there I was stood on cold, windy night watching a game of dubious quality through a fence with a set of stewards in place to prevent anyone going anywhere they shouldn’t. Now I’m old enough to remember the fences at 1980’s era football grounds, and I do remember training my eyes to filter out the bars. Do prisoners have the same skill?

At least it was free, unless you count the quid or so it cost to exit the car park but it was a thoroughly miserable evening watching a scratch Barnet side exit a county cup on penalties. At least the tie didn’t include extra time. That would have taken things too far…

I genuinely don’t know why Barnet chose to play this game on a pitch so unsuitable for spectators. Surely in North London there are no lack of 3G pitches that could have coped with spectators better than this. One that springs to mind is the Barnet Lane 3G facilty. That would have had the distinct advantage of both being back home in Barnet and close to the side of the site of the club’s spiritual home Underhill!