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FA Cup joy for Barnet
Barnet 2 Gillingham 1 . . .
Two goals in three minutes midway through the second half turned this FA Cup clash on its head and sent Barnet into Sunday afternoon's second-round draw.
The Bees were trailing to a first-half David Graham strike, but hit back with goals from skipper Ismail Yakubu and Liam Hatch, two players who had to shrug off injury to make the starting line-up.
The only sour note was the late dismissal of Ashley Carew for a second yellow card, but it had no bearing on the eventual outcome.
Manager Paul Fairclough said: "When you come from a goal behind, it's always a fantastic win. I always believed we would do that today."
He added: "The players thoroughly deserved that victory. It was no fluke. We looked so determined and resolute. We had just too much energy and passion for the opposition."
League One Gillingham have a dreadful away record, and it showed. Their defence looked shaky to say the least, but it was only after the break that Barnet made the most of it, finally hitting them where it hurts.
The first half produced little, but the Gills stunned the hosts with a 27th-minute opener from their first foray into the Barnet box. Nicky Southall was allowed time to cross to the far post where Graham arrived unmarked to head home.
It was a soft goal to concede and totally out of the blue.
Not that the Bees had offered too much either. Adam Birchall had seen a shot from a tight angle blocked after ten minutes, but that was about all they could muster.
But Barnet, as so often this season, came out with much more purpose in the second half.
Even so, they still had to thank Lee Harrison for a fine point-blank save to deny Graham again on the hour, the Gills almost scoring from their second chance of the match.
And that saved turned out to be a defining moment. Within a minute, a Barnet free-kick was lofted into the box and Gillingham keeper Simon Royce, who looked vulnerable all afternoon, only punched the ball high and back towards his goal. Yakubu jumped the highest to nod it home from close range.
The Gills were now rocking and, within two minutes, a superb cross from Kenny Gillet was met at the far post by Hatch, who made no mistake with his close-range header.
Jason Puncheon almost sealed it with another typical run and shot, but this effort six minutes from time flew over the bar.
Gillingham were given hope in the 86th minute when Carew was sent off for a second bookable offence, but Barnet held on to claim another memorable FA Cup victory.
BARNET (4-4-2): Harrison; Devera, Yakubu, Burton, Gillet; Carew, Wright, Bishop, Puncheon; Birchall (Nicolau 90), Hatch. Subs not used: Beckwith, O'Cearuill, Grazioli.
* Don't miss Thursday's paper for all the action and analysis from Underhill.