Barnet survive Braintree comeback to book place in Emirates FA Cup first round

Tuesday 23 Oct 2018
Barnet will face Bristol Rovers in round one
Samuel-Ogunleye-FA-Young-Reporters-Club By Samuel Ogunleye, a member of The FA Young Reporters' Club.

"I believe that I am a passionate journalist with a huge love for football. I am working every day to improve my skills and take on any bit of advice or criticism. The chance to work with The FA is something I will always keep close to me and I want to show other young journalists that they can also work with huge organisations and receive the opportunities I have. My dream is to one day cover a game at the FIFA World Cup and play a massive part in running the Nigerian Football Federation."

Barnet doused a Braintree Town fightback on Saturday to set up an Emirates FA Cup first round tie against Bristol Rovers.

Despite losing just two of their last 10 games, the Bees entered this match in 12th place in the National League Premier Division and John Still - their third manager already this year - knew that getting through to the first round would show the fans that his side still have the desire to compete.

After a draw against Salford last week, Braintree Town caretaker-boss Hakan Hayrettin was hoping his side could build on that positive result and match their best FA Cup performance when they reached the second round in 2017.

Barnet 4-2 Braintree Town
  • Emirates FA Cup
  • Fourth Round Qualifying
  • Saturday 20 October
  • at The Hive
  • Winning club to receive £25,000
His optimism was tested almost immediately, with Braintree conceding in just the sixth minute. After the ball ricocheted off the Braintree keeper Ben Killip, Barnet’s David Tutanda was on hand for an easy tap in to put the hosts ahead.

Jack Taylor grabbed Barnet’s second with a similar finish to the first; Killip saved the initial attempt but was unable to reach the second.

Braintree were without their star man Mohammed Bettamer who scored a brace in their previous fixture. However, in his absence Reece Grant stepped up to score his sixth goal of the season and make it 2-1 just before half-time after a miscommunication in the Barnet backline.

‘The Iron’ levelled early in the second half, Muleba crossing in after a powerful run to set up a superb volley from Lyle Della-Verde. You could see the shock on the faces of the away fans because they must have been sure the game was running away from them.

The joy was short-lived, however, as Barnet went ahead once again with 11 minutes left through substitute Elliot Johnson.

Cheye Alexander then compounded the agony for the visitors with a low free-kick that edged just past the reach of the keeper six minutes before the end to seal the victory.

He said: “If I’m honest it is just silly mistakes, switching off at vital times.

“They scored their first a minute before half time and that can’t happen because that gave them the upper hand in the second half and they started better than us.”

By Sam Ogun FA Young Reporters' Club at The Hive