Barnet Through to Quarter Final of JPT!
As I sat in what was ‘my part’ of the changing room I couldn’t help but feel almost vindicated by the non-reaction I got after my outburst to the Chairman. I won that round, but there would be many more to follow.
I looked around the changing room and there was a buzz about the place, everyone was laughing and joking, the atmosphere was great but we had a job at hand. I took the centre of the room and commanded the attention of everyone.
“Lads, we have a tough task tonight. In 30 minutes we go out against them [Gillingham], they’re not gonna roll over for us! If we are going through to the next round we have to play like we deserve to be here, like we have been already! You are all capable of it, no-one thinks we can do it, the media, the other teams… But we do! Better yet, we know! I know! The fans know! And each and everyone one of you know we can win tonight! I have faith in each and every one of you…”
With that I left for the touchline, my watch read 19:37
when the lads emerged from the tunnel. Each and every face looked focused; they knew what they had to do.
19:45 – Kick-Off (1st Half)
The first half was ours, we controlled most of the possession and had a few opportunities, none of them clear-cut but we were all over them. They had one or two chances but nothing to complain or shout about.
Just like that the first half was over.
20:33 – Half-Time
“Brilliant, that was a great half, for us! Keep believing and playing as you are and the result will come!”
And with that I was on the touchline again and left them to collect their thoughts.
20:45 – Kick-Off (2nd Half)
I felt slightly tense, not much was happening. The best chance was McLeod running at the ‘keeper but took a heavy touch and their ‘keeper collected easily. Then it happened, Gillinghams Jack Payne was injured, he’d been their rock in the centre of the pitch, and in unfortunate circumstances he was gone.
Holmes held the ball in midfield, played it to Byrne then in a second played a defence splitting past, McLeod was one on one, he jinked left and GOAL!
“YES! GET IN!”
I screamed, McLeod put us in the lead, we deserved it!
My heart sank, they just levelled thanks to a volley by Ford, when I saw the saving grace, the red & yellow chequered flag waved high by the linesman
, we were safe, for now…
I checked my watch, 21:32, the final whistle blew, we proved all the pundits wrong!
My boys deserved it!