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Please note, as Barnet fielded an ineligble player - A Campion - who was already cup-tied, we were expelled from this competition on 19 January 2004.
By Jack Foord
Barnet move into the last 32 of the FA Trophy. Goals from Geoff Pitcher (twice) and Lee Roache secured a 3-2 win over an impressive Dover Athletic.
Martin Allen didn't put his strongest side, but it was reasonably good side with Hendon, Plummer and Grazioli rested, Adam Campion, McNamee and Pitcher started the game with Ben Strevens captaining the side against a very convincing Dover side, who had won the last 9 out of 10 games in the league.
In the first half of the Bees didn't really show why they were 4th in the league with sloppy play throughout, with Pitcher one of the players working to create an opening for Barnet, but didn't occur as the half was getting from worse to worse.
In the 10th minute of the first half the Bees did have one of their best chances throughout the game, by winning a free kick outside their area and Taggart laid it off to Stevens who hit the ball which hit the inside of the post, rolled across the goal before Dover got the ball to safety.
Throughout the half the passing was not good and it was just sloppy between both teams, with hardly any attacks going to either side, just bad play throughout the midfielder area mostly. The Bees did keep on trying but just couldn't find a break through the Dover defence, with Pitcher really trying his hardest to get a crucial breakthrough in this cup tie.
Moments later Dover didn't give up and pressured forward to try and get something before half time. Caruthers came close but went wide and then Day's shot was blocked by Millard after a Caruthers through ball.
There was something really going wrong for Barnet and it needed changing very soon as they needed to get through this cup tie. Martin Allen and Adrian Whitbread then decided for all of the team to go running for their very bad performance in the first half of this FA Trophy 3rd round.
When the Bees came out in the second half Roache and Williams came on for Taggart and Campion to see if they could change something in this cup tie. As soon as the second half kicked off the bees got stuck in trying to win every ball to create something in this match.
Then Stevens won the ball on the left hand side, got past the defender, crossed the ball, which took a deflection and rolled towards Geoff Pitcher, who found the space to unleash a fantastic shot into the left hand corner and the fans went wild.
Dover's defence then began to split when the captain once again won the ball, but his shot couldn't find the back of the net. More gaps started to appear in the Dover defence with more attacks coming Barnet's way with Williams and Pitcher trying their luck.
It didn't take very long before the second bees goal came when McNamee got to the by-line and crossed the ball low and Pitcher beautifully dived low to get his second goal of the game.
Geoff Picher soon made way for Lopez to take the midfield role and got into the thick of things, but didn't look good in front of goal, as he missed two clear cut chances to secure the game once and for all, but it wasn't to be.
Dover then began to pressure Barnet and found them with a penalty after Lopez brought down Caruthers and Jamie Day converted it. They didn't stop there when Tyne and Caruthers both had half chances to get back into the game.
Barnet's Ben Stevens was then the main feature of another goal when he won a corner, from which Roache neatly headed the ball and made the score line 3-1.
Even though Barnet were 3-1 up, Dover did not give up and got a goal in the 93rd minute from Tyne which put even more pressure on Barnet, but it wasn't enough to beat the Bees as the score line stayed 3-2 to Barnet and secure their place in the 4th round.
Twenty three photos of the game by Chris Holland.
Quotes from the Manager
"We never actually started the game. Our team were out on the pitch but they did not play to the standards we have set ourselves.
"We were very poor in the first half. But thankfully our players improved in the second."
The stats normally supplied on the Nationwide Conference website are not as exhaustive as usual (see link below). If the Non-League Paper has the details then these will get added at a later date.
There was at least one yellow shown to a Dover player...
Referee: Melin, P
R.Millard, T.Taggart (L.Roache), S.King, M.Rooney, D.Maddix, A.Campion (M.Williams), I.Yakabu, A.McNamee, J.Gamble, B.Strevens, G.Pitcher (G.Lopez)
Unused substitutes: S.Henry, S.Gore,
Spiller, Wilkins, Humphrey, P.Hyde, Crofts, S.Day, T.Browne, A.Arnott, Davies, Carruthers, Tyne
Unused substitutes: Skelton, Ball, Rogers, Wietecha, Amadi
Dover had subs, but not sure who.
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