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The Conference Years: Barnet

14 May 2014

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Remembering where we once were.

Over the course of the next five weeks, is taking a look back at our five year spell in the Football Conference between 1998-2003 and the teams we crossed swords with in that period.

Yesterday we looked at ALTRINCHAM, today is the turn of Barnet.

The 2935 that were in attendance at Belle Vue for the Tuesday night game in October 2001 against Barnet was significantly greater than the previous meeting between the two sides when a paltry 739 turned up to the Division 3 fixture (also on a Tuesday night in 1998).

The newly relegated Bees fought hard when they came to Belle Vue and were two goals to the good within the opening 7 minutes. Tris Whitman responded for Steve Wignall’s side before the break, however Lee Flynn’s second of the night – and Barnet’s third – proved to be enough despite Gareth Owen’s consolation.

By the time the reverse fixture came around at Underhill in the penultimate game of the season, Dave Penney was in charge, but the Bees completed the double with a 2-0 win.

Rovers took the sting out of the Bees the next season however, with a couple of 2-1 wins; the first of which came on the opening day of the 02/03 season at Belle Vue in front of over 3,000 spectators.

Penney’s men secured promotion at the end of that season and were followed by the North Londoners just two years later under the stewardship of Paul Fairclough and the firepower of Giuliano Grazioli.

Barnet spent eight years battling in League 2 before eventually departing the fourth tier, and their old home. They currently play at a brand new community stadium called, The Hive, and are managed (for the fourth time) by Martin Allen, who saw them finish a few places off the play-offs in the Conference National last term. 

*Andy Watson holds off the attentions of Barnet defender Lee Gledhill in front of Belle Vue's Popular Stand on the opening day of the 2002/03 season. Rovers won 2-1 through Paul Green and Dave Morley's second half goals on 17th August 2002.


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