Tie of the round sees Sparkes fly as Bees sting Bees

29 Jan

We are all, presumably, bang up to date with events for last night. If you weren’t at the game, the TV option presented a warmer alternative whilst there was also Mark Burridge and co on the iFollow commentary. Yet it was one of those where a final score of Barnet 3 Brentford 3 doesn’t even begin to do justice to what was as pulsating an FA Cup tie as one could hope to see. Albeit with the winners now facing a tough trip to Swansea City in the fifth round, having to go the extra mile of a replay on Tuesday night was probably the last thing anybody wanted. Given the way this one ebbed and flowed (BBC Sport describing it at full time as ‘simply brilliant’) from some perspectives one could almost argue that for either team to still be in with a chance of winning should be cause for relief.

Barnet will be disappointed. Brentford frustrated. The hosts fought back from a 1-0 half time deficit (Ollie Watkins guiding it home from distance late on) to take the lead with a quick fire brace from Shaq Coulthirst. Game on and then some. It was pulsating stuff. Neal Maupay restored parity from the spot after Watkins was adjudged to have been tripped out wide. It was about as innocuous a connection as has been seen, with the player quoted as apologising afterwards for what looked like minimal contact. At best. Certainly we’d have been as incensed as the Barnet fans seemed to be on social media afterwards had it gone the other way. Yet how many times have we been victims of refereeing inconsistency? Far too many to count and whilst it looked shonky in hindsight, Maupay made no mistake as he added another million or so to his valuation. It was as cool and precise a penalty as you’ll see.

With that Brentford pushed on. A quite wonderful ball from Henrik Dalsgaard into the feet of Sergi Canos freed the Spaniard for 3-2 up. It was a wonderful pass and a calm finish under pressure. Surely that would be it? Or not. Just moments later Dan Sparkes stepped up to curl as magnificent a free kick as the Barnet fans could have dreamed of around the wall and past Luke Daniels. It was an incredible a strike and what a tie to get it. The crowd erupted. And rightly so. Full credit to the hosts who showed no signs of giving up despite Brentford’s domination.


Brentford official capture the moment that Sergi restores our lead

So it ended 3-3. Brentford will point to also hitting the post three times – a header from Yoann Barbet and two from Moses Odubajo. The first of these, had it gone in, would have been a curling left footer to perhaps surpass even the brilliance of Sparkes’ free kick. Barnet will understandably point to the penalty spot and question, again, how referee Andy Madley was able to, ermmm, point to the penalty spot. Given the inconsistent use of VAR throughout the tournament – surely that in itself was a call for an all or nothing approach? See also: Everton at Millwall.    

Brentford should have won. Could have won. The defence seemed off the pace and out of sync. The midfield minus Kamo and Sawyers (although the later did appear from the bench in the second half) were out of touch with the game. On a slick looking surface there should have been more than enough to put this game to bed and lock out the non-leaguers. Instead, Barnet were fully deserving of their draw. They won’t make it any easier in a replay where Thomas Frank will be hoping that the old adage about lower ranked teams taking their chance when it presents itself proves true. On last night’s showing, I wouldn’t be so sure.

So what else happened? Well, kudos to Chris Wickham. I saw a great quote from Mark Burridge on Twitter prior to kick-off, noting how none other than John Motson himself described Chris’s run through of the Brentford line up saying: ‘Thank you, that’s the best explained team formation I’ve ever been given” . What wonderful words from one of THE most respected voices in football. 

It was a moment which also captured our good friend and favourite pantomime villain / ongoing critic Ian Moose in the background of the shot. In typical pose. And I don’t mean the one about taking selfies with footballers before wishing them happy birthday. Hey, at least he’s consistent. Although please chew – it doesn’t need to go in whole.


Motty and Chris do their thing as Ian Moose does his

Then there was the fifth round draw. An away game at Championship rivals Swansea City has about as much romance, of the cup or otherwise, as a Valentines card and bunch of flowers from petrol station forecourt. I’ve no doubt they are thinking the same. Ironically, a game against the same opposition as we were due to play that weekend. The same opposition that we allowed to race into a 3-0 first half lead in early December before almost rescuing a game that ended 3-2. As I can’t imagine it’ll be one that is selected for TV, if we actually win the replay, at least it should be a traditional 3pm kick off. 

On the plus side, we were spared another trip to Chelsea. Assuming we make it through on Tuesday night. See you there.

Nick Bruzon    


5 Responses to “Tie of the round sees Sparkes fly as Bees sting Bees”

  1. Martin west January 29, 2019 at 8:25 am #

    That was nerve wracking,so tense at the end, thought they were going to nick it, Watkins is being vilified on other sites,he didn’t get fouled but neither did he go down with flailing arms as if shot, didn’t even appeal so cheating is too strong,ref and limo made a mistake, simple as that. Good summary by you,as for Mr savage he contradics himself so much, perennial flip flopped with his comments

  2. Max January 29, 2019 at 9:23 am #

    Nobody wish to speak of barnet first goal Proberbly off side (replay cut on t.v mid play ) or the fact that it was never a free kick for their third goal .sour grapes or killing the romance of the cup .ollie did not dive he tripped himself up avoiding the challenge and does not deserve being accused of cheating .it is clear on t.v that he knocks his knees together .over all even though the dreaded stats show we were well on top barnet did enough to deserve their replay .

  3. Paul Fletcher January 29, 2019 at 10:28 am #

    Great viewing for the neutral that’s for sure , Not being neutral it played havoc with my blood pressure !!
    Seeing Mc Eachran and Da Silva paired together in midfield sent shivers down my spine and so it proved as both contributed very little.
    All this controversy about Ollie Watkins when an offside decision was missed for Barnet’s first goal and a free kick albeit wonderfully struck that should never have been awarded resulted in what was probably a fair result.
    Finally any chance Barnet would swop their young right winger for Josh Mc Eachran ?
    Thought not !!

  4. Rob January 29, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

    Cracking game of football. Kudos to Barnet. Worrying to see our defensive frailties rear their head again…like a throw back to 10 games ago. It just goes to prove how important Sawyers and Kamo are to our overall game. Ridiculous how much attention our players seem to attract with their little misdemeanors. It’s rife in other teams yet Brentford seem to get unduly close attention (particularly Maupay) when something happens our end. If I were Ollie I don’t think I would have said anything. As mentioned, he didn’t claim and his legs were all off balance. Savage saying Barbet kicked out at their attacker and should have gone down…I think Barbs actually pulled out of it. I didn’t see any type of injury there.
    Anyway, let’s take Barnet seriously and up our game at Griffin Park. If we play to our potential we’ll have too much….just need to sort that defence out again!

  5. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 29, 2019 at 5:13 pm #

    It was a bit edge on the seat night and i was in a pub with other Bees in Bournemouth, I cant think how it was for those in The Hive.Lets face it, it was a cracking cup tie and Barnet fully deserved a replay. Sweeney for the fake Bees was outstanding.

    As many have already mentioned, no mention seems to get made that two of Barnet’s goals were particularly dodgy, yet the focus was on Watkins, who lets face it, did dive. Yet i see comments on Twitter of karma will get you in the end. For a start karma is pure bullshit but we are currently reaping the rewards of 4 years of awful refereering against us in the Championship by enjoying one or two favourable decisions now.

    I just dont get why the kids at the back of ER have this love in for McEachran and were equally negative against Judge. McEachran does pull off a great pass, but its so rare, i see more outstanding passes from Barbet in one game than Josh in a season. He has had so many chances to impress but has never fulfilled his promise. For me, he needs to move on. Dasilva did not play well either, but id like to see him alongside a different CM to see how he plays before judging. Romaine has to start next Tuesday.

    Im already looking forward to the replay (when was the last one at GP?), in particular. finally getting the opportunity to choose a track for #BeeTheDJ which can only be picked for a replay! Yet, it still wont get played!

    By the way great pic of Chris Wickham & Motty (& what a great compliment from Motty) with that Moose fella stuffing his gob. Its almost Coldwar Steve like

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