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Club News

BLOOMFIELD'S PITCH

4 March 2013

David Bloomfield looks back on Saturday's defeat at Home Park

What are they putting in those pasties?

Two trips by the Bees to the West country in recent weeks has seen two defeats against teams that, at least according to the league table, should have seen Barnet have a fair chance of notching up a point or three.

First it was a very late winner for Bristol Rovers that denied the Bees a point and then on Saturday a slightly below-par Bees lost out to Plymouth Argyle, a team that before kick-off was propping up the league.

What else, apart from the geography, do these two fixtures have in common?

In Plymouth a week-long promotional campaign by the name of “Big For Barnet” had acted as a rallying call for all Pilgrims to congregate at Home Park to urge their team to overcome the Bees.

And when Barnet took on Bristol Rovers in early February a similar call to arms had been issued, with discounted ticket prices in both cases, acting to boost the attendances over the 8,000 mark.

The crowd at Home Park, having seen their team fail to hit the back of the net in their last three home matches, were both quick to condemn any ineptitude, and yet at the hint of any good play they became vocal and passionate in their support.

All this talk about the crowd being the 12th is usually tired old clichés. However  you couldn't deny that in the matches at the Memorial Stadium and at Home Park, everyone at those clubs had done what they could in terms of getting the numbers into the grounds and it all came together to create a positive sense of expectancy around the fixture which in both instances their players responded to.

In many ways it was as if both Bristol Rovers and Plymouth were playing their last game of the season, a relegation decider – several months early – and they pulled out all the stops for their games against Barnet, knowing that the result could have a vital significance.

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