The psychology of a draw is interesting, with neither a victory nor a defeat after 90 minutes of play. But when each team gets a share of the spoils, it can be very exciting but lead to mixed emotions, as Barnet’s games against Lincoln City and Aldershot Town show.
First to the game against the Imps. The first half was not the best 45 minutes of football, but I’d say Lincoln probably edged the half and started the game well. A bit of individual brilliance by Keanu Marsh-Brown gave Barnet the lead, as KMB waltzed round City’s defence (including the goalkeeper) before putting the ball into an empty net.
It looked like that bit of magic had won it for the Bees. Marsh-Brown deservedly exited the play to a standing ovation in the closing stages. But the Bees were undone with a late set piece, Lincoln cruelly scoring an equaliser in the 95th minute, when only 4 minutes of added time had been indicated by the fourth official.
Edgar Davids remonstrated with the referee at full time, and you can understand why. Why bother saying how many minutes of added time there will be if referees play a couple of extra minutes anyway? Fergie Time is obviously alive and well, even though the great master has now retired…
The Lincoln fans reacted like they had won the Champions League, clambering on the stanchion behind the goal and goading the home fans. A few enthusiastic away fans in the car park taunted remaining Bees with phrases that are unsuitable for a family blog before getting on their bus back to Lincolnshire.
But they had only got a point. It certainly felt like two points dropped as I was on the tube back from Canons Park.
Fast forward to the Aldershot game and a few unfortunate defensive errors had left the Bees 3-1 down in the second half.
Mengerink came on and went up front with Harry Crawford and the former scored his first competitive goal for the club, whilst the latter netted a late equaliser to make it 3-3. Certainly a point gained given the predicament the Bees found themselves in with half an hour to play. Aldershot will feel it was a point lost.
Is it that a point away from home is usually seen as a good result? That score draws can make you quids in on the Pools (if anyone plays any more?!). Or is it that score draws, with the balance of play continually ebbing and flowing, can be much more entertaining than grinding out a dull 1-0 win? Perhaps it is all of those things.
But the humble draw throws up lots of football entertainment and "what ifs." What if the referee had blown the whistle in the 94th minute when he should have done? What if Barnet’s defensive errors had not given Aldershot a 3-1 lead? Draws can be great entertainment. But let’s hope for a win for the Bees at Alfreton on Saturday…