Martin Allen said that he was pleased with certain aspects of Barnet’s first round replay against Concord Rangers on Tuesday night, although he did admit that a young Barnet side would learn a lot lessons after being beaten 6-2 by the Conference South outfit.
Speaking after the game, the manager said:
“Obviously the result is particularly disappointing, but for an hour I thought that we did OK. There were some very good bits in the game and some very good individual performances. But after the hour mark we tired and the difference between the men and the boys – and it was men against boys for the last half an hour – it really did tell.
“We could have perhaps had a couple more goals early on which would have put us ahead but we didn’t take those opportunities which was disappointing. After 66 minutes the score was 3-2 and we still tried to push for an equaliser and as the game went on our boys tired, and that is fully understandable.
“With so many Youth Team players playing tonight it was always going to be a very, very difficult game because they are only from the division below. Don’t be fooled because they have got a name like Concord Rangers that nobody has really heard of. They are only just below Chelmsford who gave us a real run for our money over the two games and tonight was always going to be difficult.”
Barnet fielded a mixture of first team squad members and Youth Team players on the night, with four U18 players making their senior debuts alongside the three who featured for the first time on Saturday, with Martin commenting:
“Over the few days we have had a lot of people make their full debut for Barnet Football Club which I am pleased about. There were some highlights and some good bits about the game, and some of the players will remember this night for the rest of their lives – their full senior debut is very special.
“Henry and Ross have prepared the team yesterday and prepared them before the game and it was nice tonight for me to be able to sit back and watch and enjoy their performance and see Henry and Ross working because they have done a fantastic job with the Youth Team throughout the season, and for me personally apart from the goals going in near the end I have actually enjoyed watching the game.
“It is good for me to be able to watch them play. It has also given us all a reminder that there is a big gap between youth football and men’s football and tonight for the last half an hour of the game that was obvious to everybody.
“It is a big step up. There is a lot of work to be done with these players. They have done really well to get to where they are. It is a disappointing night but it is also a very special night.”
Martin finished by highlighting the importance of the next few weeks as his team face a busy festive period, and said that having given the rest of his first team squad a few days off they were fit and raring to go for this weekend’s game against Chester:
“I don’t think anybody can deny that the next three weeks are very important for our football club. We need all of our players fit and available and ready.
"We are all now fully fit apart from Jon Nurse who has got a strained medial ligament so he’ll be out probably for another six or seven weeks which after his performance at Torquay is disappointing.
“We trained this morning with a blue sky. It was the first time that I have seen those players for a week because they have all had a break.
“They were all together, all well, all bright and sharp, and you can see that they are all well aware of the importance of the next month in this ten-month competition that we are in.”