The Barnet FC Youth Team qualified for the second round of the FA Youth Cup last night for the first time in the club’s history by beating Metropolitan Police 2-0 on the first team pitch at The Hive.
A first half stunner by full-back Brendan Ocran after eight minutes and another goal for striker Mathew Stevens – his 26th of the season – ten minutes from time were enough to see off a stubborn Met Police side who were always in the game.
Barnet’s reward is a game against the winners of Southend United and Leverstock Green, who play on Monday, in the second round – the furthest that the Bees have ever been in the competition. The U18s also currently find themselves one point clear at the top of their Football League Youth Alliance division in what is shaping up to be a hugely successful season, with many players already being involved with first team duties.
Reacting to their success this morning, first team manager Martin Allen said:
“I’m delighted for the staff who, since I have been here, have worked the players both individually and collectively to help the lads get better as players and generate a good system which has seen several boys coming up to train with the first team each week.
“The players’ conduct and attitude has been spot-on. The team play good football and it has been an absolute pleasure and very exciting to have these lads not only train with us, but also seeing them get onto the bench for the first team. There is no doubt that in this group there will be some good players to come through into the first team.
“Ross Eames is an excellent coach who I often have up with the first team. Henry Newman has been a pleasure to work with and is well-respected by everyone and also helps us with the first team performance analysis. Kostas Lofitis worked with the first team last season and I have no doubt that in the future he will step back up to senior level. Simon Pullen, who I have known for many years and only joined this summer, has brought in some excellent young players to Barnet who have got through the net of bigger clubs.
“All of these men are doing a great job and there is no doubt that together ‘We Are On Our Way!’”