James Castle was one of many Barnet fans who had a smile brought back to their face by Edgar Davids
Dutch superstar provides much-needed cheer
Never has a total of six points from a possible thirty-nine been as exuberantly celebrated as it was on a dank and dismal Friday evening at Underhill when Barnet's first victory in any competition this season arrived just in time to be celebrated with pumpkins and fireworks.
The Bees' first three-point haul of the season came at the expense of a Northampton Town side that had done enough in the first half to suggest they could snatch at least a point against the basement boys but who were ultimately undone by a rampant home midfield marshalled by an imperious emperor from the Low Countries who spent the ninety minutes pulling the strings whilst wearing Muttley's flying goggles.
How fitting that it should be Northampton to come unstitched courtesy of a display built on the foundations of a decorated international who won his caps playing for a country renowned for its own mode of wooden footwear.
'Cobblers Clogged' I expected The Sun to lead with - why I should expect them to mention the game at all was purely down to the presence of new coach Edgar Davids in midfield, making his debut in the black and amber after joining the club the week before.
The former Tottenham and Milan star belied his years, proving that the 'pitbull' has not lost his teeth with a succession of snapping challenges that ultimately earned him an early booking. A somewhat subdued opening half followed with neither side making a profound impact although the visitors had the better chances to go in ahead at the break.
Barnet attacked down the hill in the second half but the lack of assurance was evident whenever they broke away towards the Town goal; left-winger Anthony Edgar in particular looking backwards instead of forwards too often when receiving the ball.
It was Davids who was to prove to be the catalyst for the victory and it was a sublime pass behind the Northampton back-line that earned the breakthrough. Although Edgar's cross was blocked, a Pearce header from the resulting corner was powered home for what seemed to be our first goal direct from a set-piece since the Bay City Rollers topped the charts.
What has been clearly obvious from week one of this season is that Robson wants his side to play the ball on the floor - finding the right pass has proved the problem. What a difference a goal and a bit of confidence does make. As Boothroyd's men began to flag the Bees nailed the Cobblers into their own half and capitalised on their mistakes. The second goal came when Town failed to clear their lines, Andy Yiadom profiting via a fortunate deflection.
Further polish was applied in the closing minutes; John Oster thumping home a superb long-range strike to cap a fine performance with a finish that closely resembled Brazil's fourth in the 1970 World Cup final (albeit at a different angle), and Edgar capitalising on another sublime through ball from his captain before holding off a couple of defenders and finding the top corner.
The 'Man of the Match' award decision was inevitable, even if other players had arguable better performances than Davids. Both Edgar and Yiadom on the wings were superb and striker Jake Hyde played his part of lone target man with both enthusiasm and skill.
Whether this will spur Barnet on to a prolonged spell of decent form and a possible escape from a relegation battle remains to be seen. But it has at least given the club a little time in the spotlight, and the fans an evening to remember.