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Herts Senior Cup
By James Hall
Barnet progressed to the semi-final of the Herts Senior cup with a clinical display against a strong Cheshunt side, who were unlucky to find Bees shot-stopper, Ricky Millard in fine form.
Cheshunt started brightly as the Ryman Division One North leaders went in search of their first competitive victory over Barnet in 32 years. After forcing two early corners and a good save from Millard, Cheshunt were unlucky to concede in what was Barnets first attack of the game.
Debutant Luke Smith won a good tackle in the centre before pushing the ball wide to Tony Taggart. The former lifeguard then beat his man to turn in a low cross that was clinically finished by Lee Roach for his second goal in two starts.
Cheshunt, who have never won this competition despite being 7-times beaten finalists, soon came back at the visitors. Their deserved equaliser came after a quarter of an hour when Darrell Cox rose highest to power home Leon Archers cross for his 25th goal of the season.
Barnet regained the lead after 34 minutes when Mark Williams neatly laid a ball off to Soloman Henry. His first time shot from twenty-five yards gave former Leyton Orient star Russell Ling no chance in the Ambers goal.
Despite this further set back, Cheshunt continued to pressure the Bees defence. Part time Natwest bank clerk Leon Archer brought the best out of Millard when he collected Bees captain Mark Rooneys wayward pass and drove a low shot from 12 yards. Darrell Cox and Chris Watters both missed presentable chances before Barnet added to their lead.
Williams collected a short pass from David Bicknell before embarking on a mazy run to the Cheshunt by-line. He then exchanged passes with Ismail Yakubu before being upended by a careless tackle from Cox. Tony Taggart stepped to show club-captain Ian Hendon how a penalty should be taken with a cool finish.
Barnet then survived more home pressure before the halftime whistle and indeed in the opening minutes of the second half as Ambers looked to get back into the game.
Despite playing under a lot of pressure, Barnets extra quality always showed and they sealed victory with a goal that was quintessential of their performance. Roach beat two men in midfield after a slick breakout from defence. He then found 20 year-old Australian David Brickell who capped a superb individual performance with a fine first-time finish from the 10 yards.
With the win seemingly inevitable, Barnet took their foot off the pedal and had Millard to thank for preserving a largely un-equitable score line. Cheshunt hit the bar and wasted a cluster of chances with Cox, Archer and captain Ryan Harris all offending.
Barnet boss Martin Allen, who watched the game from the directors box, commented after that it was a solid team performance all round. He then went on to say that the victory pleased me greatly. Hopefully Chris (Plummer) will be able to serve one game of his impending three match ban in the next round.
Man of the match
Ricky Millard; showed an array of fine shot stopping to deny the hosts an upset.
Martin Hough sent me these. Thanks Martin. Is one of them you?!
Not sure if any bookings
Ricky Millard, Jamie Smith, Brett Freeman, Mark Rooney (Neil Thompson 66), Ismail Yakubu (Darryll Roache 66), David Brickell, Mark Williams, Luke Smith, Lee Roache, Tony Taggart, Solomon Henry
Unused substitutes: Ben Strevens, Shane Gore
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