After a battling 0-0 draw against Randwick City Reserves in the first game of the afternoon, the stage was set for another tough game against ESFA's newest Saturday Premier Division team.
We started with a 4-5-1 formation with a number of last seasons regulars lining up together for the first time this season. The three new faces were in the back 5, including James in goal, Fraser and Ian Boot at CB and LB along side regulars Joe Peters and Andy Porteous. The rest of the team had a familiar feel to it with Walshy and Chris Moore on the wings and Dave Shannon returning to CM with Martin Hornby. Just in front of them was Danny Owen playing off Alec the lone striker.
The game started at a fast pace with Barnstoneworth dealing with the windy conditions much better than their opponents. After a couple of early attacks came to nothing Barnstoneworth finally made their early pressure count. A good cross from Marty on the left hand side found its way to Chris Moore in the 6 yard box, Chris had a few bites at it before getting the better of the defender and sticking it into the top right hand corner, 1-0 BUFC. The lead was doubled shortly after when Chris broke away down the right hand side with Marty in support through the middle. With Marty screaming 'Square it' for what seemed like 5 minutes in the middle of the box, Chris finally looked up to put it on a plate for Marty who made it 2-0 to BUFC with only 15 minutes played. It could have been 3-0 moments later after a good corner by Chris was met by Joe 6 yards out but he was unable to keep his header down.
Randwick City started to come into the game a bit more after conceding the second and a shot from distance was well saved by James. The resulting corner was dealt with easily but this started a 10 minute spell of pressure from Randwick and a number of corners in quick succession tested the Barney defence. Barnstoneworth weathered the mini storm and capitilised on some more poor defending by Randwick City to kill the game off before half time. A poor pass from the centre half was intercepted by Chris who found himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper, not trusting the aging legs Chris decided to try his luck from distance and a great chip from outside the box found its way into the far corner, 3-0 BUFC. Gerry and Junior replaced Chris and Andy on the right hand side for the last 10 minutes and Gerry made his presence known straight away. On the pitch for only a matter of minutes Gerry hacked down former BUFC striker Nick Heather on the edge of the box and received a yellow card for his effort. Like everything else Randwick City tried in the first half the free kick came to nothing and Barnstoneworth went into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Randwick City started the second half better than they did the first and put Barney under some early pressure. A few dangerous crosses into the box were easily dealt with by James and it seemed as if Randwick would never really have the quality to find the net. However, despite being on a yellow card Gerry found himself making another slide tackle in the Barney box, this time the victim was his own team mate and the mix up between the 2 defenders gifted Randwick with a corner. The corner was taken short and Barnstoneworth didn't react quickly enough to close down the cross, James did his best to keep it out but Randwick got one back with still half hour left to play, 3-1.
The game turned into a bit of a battle from there on in, with both teams not shying away from challenges. Randwick pushed forward to try and grab a second but in doing so left huge gaps at the back for Barney to exploit. A number of quick breaks resulted in half chances with Barney perhaps over playing at times instead of taking the early shot. A couple of late tackles from both sides saw a few more yellow cards produced and the game became a bit scrappy towards the end as Randwick realised that they were never going to get back into it. Barnstoneworth did have time for one last break down the left with Marty 'pass it inside' Hornby supporting through the middle. Having been ignored for 90% of the game Marty finally got the pass inside he was looking for and looked set to grab his second. It wasn't to be though as his shot from 20 yards out went about 20 yards over the bar into the car park. Barnstoneworth saw the rest of the game out comfortably with the score remaining 3-1.