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Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Barnet suffer relegation heartache
Torquay's Kevin Hill
Hill scores Torquay's second to send Barnet crashing
Barnet 2-3 Torquay

Barnet's 10-year reign as a Football League club came to an end at Underhill.

Torquay, who would have been sent into the Conference themselves had they lost, produced a clinical first-half display.

Goals from Jason Rees, Kevin Hill and David Graham left the Bees with a mountain to climb.

Barnet produced a spirited second-half revival with a Ryan Green own goal and a Greg Heald strike, but were left ruing Darren Currie's first-half penalty miss when they were 2-0 down.

Just a day after they celebrated the 10th anniversary of their promotion from the Conference, Barnet were forced to swallow the bitter pill of relegation.

Unlucky start

Barnet lost goalkeeper Lee Harrison within the first minute and their afternoon went from bad to worse.

Harrison was forced off with a leg injury and was replaced by Danny Naisbitt, who had been dropped by Bees director of football John Still.

Rees, who also departed early through injury, opened the scoring after 10 minutes when he latched onto a loose ball and lashed a low, half-volley into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Fifteen minutes later a Paul Holmes' corner was met with a firm header by Kevin Hill and the ball flew into the top right-hand corner despite the best efforts of Bees defender Sam Stockley to clear the ball off the line.

Tony Bedeau and Kevin Hill
Bedeau congratulates Hill

Four minutes before the interval, the home side were thrown a lifeline when Gulls' centre-back Jimmy Aggrey handled the ball in the penalty area.

But Darren Currie's weakly-struck spot-kick was easily saved by Stuart Jones in the Torquay goal.

To make matters worse for the home side, the visitors promptly extended their lead when Richard Kell sent a teasing ball into the box and David Graham was left the simple task of firing in a close-range volley at the far post.

Playing with the slope, Barnet predictably improved in the second period and Stockley brought a fine save out of Jones before Green's own goal gave the home fans hope.

Currie's 60th-minute cross from the right seemed to be going nowhere until Green headed the ball over his goalkeeper and into the corner of the net.

Heald then further reduced the arrears when he bundled the ball in from close range after Gulls' keeper Jones appeared to have been fouled when he came to collect Stockley's 76th-minute cross.

Substitute John Gayle then missed a golden chance to extend's Torquay's lead when he was put clean through by Tony Bedeau.

Both sets of supporters spilled onto the pitch after the final whistle and there were scenes of heartwarming sportsmanship as visiting fans comforted the distraught home fans.

Barnet: Harrison, Stockley, Flynn, Heald, Arber, Currie, Doolan, Brown, Goodhind, Purser, Richards. Subs: Naisbitt, Gower, Strevens, Toms, Bell.

Torquay: Jones, Green, Holmes, Aggrey, Russell, Rees, Kell, Hill, Bedeau, Williams, Graham. Subs: Northmore, Watson, Gayle, O'Brien, Ashington.

Referee: R Beeby (Northampton)

See also:

29 Apr 01 |  Barnet
Barnet staying positive
29 Apr 01 |  Torquay United
Torquay determined to attack
03 May 01 |  Football
Football's ups and downs
Links to more Eng Div 3 stories are at the foot of the page.


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