HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bees almost took the lead through JJ Hooper inside eight minutes as our number 11 rounded the goalkeeper before his shot was dramtically hooked off the line by a sliding Blues defender.
However, it was the Southern League Premier side who opened the scoring on the ninth minute as Will Davies turned home a good low cross to give the hosts the lead.
We responded on 15 minutes as Michael Petrasso scored on debut after he turned in the rebound following a good save from a Hooper strike from the edge of the box. But the hosts then restored their advantage immediately as a corner was unfortunately turned into his own net by defender Jack Connors.
The Bees huffed and puffed for the remainder of the half and got their reward just a minute before the break as Hooper slotted home from the spot after a handball in the penalty area.
Right at the start of the second half, debutant goalkeeper Aymen Azaze had to be brave to rush out at the feet of Leiston attacker before getting to his feet to parry away the rebound. The 18-year-old ‘keeper but in an assured first appearance in between the sticks and on this afternoon’s showing he has a very bright future.
After the break, the youthful Bees side continued to ramp up the pressure on Leiston. The Blues ‘keeper was forced into three good stops from Eliot Richards, Connors and Xander McBurnie, as the side led by Steve Jenkins looked to gain the lead for the first time.
Up the other end, the hosts had chances of their own, as a Leiston free-kick was almost turned in, only for the powerful header to fly over Azaze’s crossbar. It was a warning that sparked the Bees into life as they retook the initiative in difficult conditions in Suffolk.
As time ticked on and penalties loomed the Bees scored a dramatic winner just six minutes from time, as Petrasso doubled his tally as he scrambled home after a dangerous corner into the Leiston six-yard box.
In what was a highly commendable display from the boys after an extremely disrupted week, they held on to rightly book their place in Monday night’s First Round draw.
Barnet: Azaze, Pascal, Connors, Richards, Petrasso, Hooper, Taylor, McBurnie, Walker, Vasiliou, Hernandez.
Unused subs: Callan, Tompkins, Granville.
Absolutely delighted with the result today. So proud of all the players and staff that travelled… What a shift they put in, at the end of a very difficult week. Just got off the phone with Steve and he said everyone has earnt their day off tomorrow…. #chuffed
— Peter Beadle (@Peterbeads) October 24, 2020
“They have done themselves proud. It’s a great effort and a great win.”
— Barnet FC (@BarnetFC) October 24, 2020
The Bees travel to Wrexham in their next Vanarama National League fixture on Tuesday night. They’ll look to take confidence from this afternoon’s display into a tough clash in North Wales.