24/07/19, Reg Bartley Oval 7.40pm KO
The last game of the regular season (before the league splits into top and bottom half a la Scottish Premier League) took Barney to Dunbar B with hopes of shortening the gap to rivals Dunbar A in third spot of the AA1 Sunday Division.
Team: Andy, Gary Alves, Tinhead, Joe, Dyldo, Alec, Shelvey, Magic Man, Aguero, Maradona, Brrrrdyyy
Subs: Ash, Joe, Rowan.
It was a perfect night for football. The ground was misty, with a bit of moisture on the surface and a treacherous slippery square in the middle. A bit like Randy Wixx on a Friday night.
Barney started the game the stronger and could have been one up through a number of chances, notably Danny’s free kick which produced a good save from the keeper.
It wasn’t long however before Alec made it 1-0 with a great touch and finish in off the post following good work down the right hand side by Steve and Dylan. With Dan, Birdy, Merv and Alec all creating chances that couldn’t be converted, and looking solid at the back, it looked like 1-0 would flatter the home side at half time. That was until Birdy popped up in the box right on the whistle and poked home from 2 yards out, he’s lethal from that range, following a looping corner knocked down by Lynchy at the back post. This seemed to calm him down after having to have words with Dan for not passing him the ball earlier in the half. Football friends once again.
The next goal was always going to be important and it came from a piece of individual brilliance. The Magic Man, Merv, went in for a 50-50 in the Barney half with Dunbar midfielder no.1, won it and the ball popped out for a challenge with midfielder no.2, won it, before gliding past no.3 in the middle of the dance floor and driving straight at the Dunbar defence, once again not fancying the finish from close range, he slid a pass to Danny who slotted home with his left foot under the keeper. This one was definitely over the line. Great goal. 0-3.
This was followed by Joe Peters taking the ball from the back and sauntering through the whole Dunbar team playing a one two with Danny and coolly slotting the ball home. This would normally be the highlight of the game apart from the fact the fans were all still talking about Merv’s exploits. Close call as to which was better. 0-4.
Special mention to Joe Newman making a 1st team appearance for the first time in around 18 months following injury. Getting to the byline within the first 5 minutes from right back. Great to have him back.
There was then the goal line controversy of the decade as Danny had two great chances to make it 5. First hitting both bar and post with a header from 5 yards out before the keeper allegedly kept out the follow up. As Danny ran away in celebration the ref was having none of it and allowed the game to carry on. I believe him that it went in, millions wouldn’t, I guess we will never know for sure. This was the second goal of the game that Danny was denied after a dubious offside call went against him only moments earlier.
The Ref apparently apologised after the game, I think at 4-0 he was protecting Dunbar from what was turning into a drubbing. The fact that Dan was claiming a hat-trick after the game having only scored one has drawn scepticism from the Barney faithful. JD commented “My Danny is the most honest striker in the game, I believe him”. So there you have it.
Despite the refs best effort to keep the score down Barney kept on attacking and had a chance to make it 5-0 when Alec was felled in the box. This gave Barney only their second Penalty of the season – having conceded about 15 – luck has not been on our side.
Lynchy stepped up confidently and missed. But the Ref ordered a retake after a Dunbar defender put his big toe inside the area before it was taken. Harsh at 0-4 for the home team. The same thing happened to Barney v Eagles at 5-0 down. These refs are ruthless. After the game Lynchy thought it was the right call though, stating “That c**t that ran inside the box heavy put me off”. JD wasn’t too impressed though and will be the last time Jonjo takes a penalty for a while.
Lynchy didn’t fancy it a second time round so Gary Alves stepped up and also missed in front of Barney’s next opponents Dunbar A, who were training beside the pitch. But the rebound fell kindly and he slotted it home and celebrated wildly before he heads off on his annual pilgrimage to Ibrox. 0-5.
Barney finish 4th in the table after the first round of games and head into the final 3 games of the season with a chance at finishing in the top 3, it is looking like a strong end to the season after a patchy start.