A day that will live long in the memory of Bees fans, players and staff alike as Shaq Coulthirst’s early penalty slays Championship Sheffield United in the Emirates FA Cup 3rd round.
84 league places separated the two teams before kick off however it was Barnet who were by far better the team. Darren Currie named an unchanged squad to tackle the formidable task of high flying Sheffield United and boy, did it pay off! The signs were there from kick off. A swift counter attacking style caught Sheffield United cold on a lovely day in South Yorkshire.
Shaq Coulthirst, Medy Elito and Ephron Mason–Clark caused the Blades backline all sorts of problems. Coulthirst and Mason–Clark had chances to break the deadlock earlier as they burst into the opposition box on multiple occasions. But another characteristic counter attack left Mason–Clark one on one with experienced defender Richard Stearman, the veteran brought down the young man who’s pace proved too much for him.
Up stepped Shaq Coulthirst to cooly if not all together convincingly slot the penalty away. It was completely deserved. 1-0 to the delight of the 966 travelling Bees fans who were in magnificent voice for the full 90 minutes.
Mark Cousins had precious little to deal with in the goal and it’s credit to the exemplary performance from a very organised Barnet team. Dan Sweeney and Callum Reynolds bettered their Sheffield counterparts in all aspects, allowing only two shots on target the whole game. However, without Cousins between the sticks the Bees would be heading for a replay. Right at the death with Barnet sitting deep. Leon Clarke’s flicked header off a scuffed Mark Duffy shot looked for all the world to be heading in but for Cousins to stick a hand out and tip the ball onto the bar. A truly sensational stop.
Chris Wilder after the game said that “tactically, mentally and physically” the Bees were better. And he’s not wrong! A completely deserved victory where there were more goals in the Barnet side then just the one.
The draw for the FA Cup is on Monday 7th January. Don’t forget to tune in Bees fans.
Barnet – Cousins, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Robson, Adams, Coulthirst (Harrison 80), Taylor, Elito (Tutonda 80), Sweeney, Mason-Clark (Fonguck 58)
Unused – Matrevics, Akinola, Walker, Bettamer
Attendance – 9,906 (966 Barnet)