PNE 6 Barnet 0
North End cruised into the second round of the FA Cup with Budweiser, as Paul Gallagher scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 romp.
However, both sides ended the game with ten men to take the gloss off a stunning win for the Lilywhites.
The Bees were always in for a difficult afternoon after top scorer Keanu Marsh-Brown was given a straight red card just 13 minutes in for a dangerous tackle on Scott Laird.
The Lilywhites took advantage and were three up by the break, Tom Clarke, Joe Garner and loanee Paul Gallagher firing the home side into a comfortable advantage at the interval.
Stuart Beavon was sent off before the hour mark, but Gallagher completed his hat-trick and Joe Garner added his second to put North End firmly into the draw for the second round.
Simon Grayson left out Bailey Wright and Chris Humphrey from his 18 and opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Josh Brownhill back from injury; Lee Holmes on the right and Joe Garner partnering Stuart Beavon in attack. The visitors had Edgar Davids playing himself in an advanced position on his return to the Bees side.
The Conference side started the game looking comfortable, playing their Dutch leader’s total football style, but their plans were in disarray 13 minutes in when Marsh Brown slid in dangerously on Laird, with rookie referee Ross Joyce no hesitation in issuing the red card within seconds of the tackle.
North End took full advantage and went one ahead four minutes after the sending off. A flurry of PNE corners were won and Barnet couldn’t clear, the ball eventually coming out to Lee Holmes on the left hand side, who swung over a deep ball to combine with Tom Clarke, who headed back past the keeper. Against a side playing in orange, it was the same combination that famously combined on August to defeat Blackpool at Deepdale.
The amber-clad opposition still threatened and it took a quality last ditch tackle from Paul Huntington at the mid-point of the half to deny Curtis Weston a chance to test Declan Rudd after the Bees No.4 had broken from the midfield and seemed clean through on goal until he was denied by the North End centre half.
Just after the half hour mark Lee Holmes was again involved in a good chance for North End to double the lead, the winger exchanging a 1-2 with Brownhill from a quick corner and then whipping the ball into the visitors six yard box that Stuart Beavon met, but could not keep down, heading into the Town End crowd.
The lead was doubled nine minutes before the interval. Brilliant play from the back eventually found Scott Laird driving in from the left hand side before dinking a cross into Joe Garner who had drifted off his man and who headed comfortably past former Arsenal keeper Graham Stack, for his second goal in front of the Town End in as many weeks.
It was three on the stroke of half-time and saw more quality football from PNE; Lee Holmes – yet again - picked up the ball and beat his man. He was on the edge of the ‘D’ with a lot of open space and the opportunity to shoot, but unselfishly he found an unmarked Paul Gallagher in a left hand channel, who took a touch into the edge of the box and fired left-footed into the bottom right hand corner from 15 yards.
Two minutes after the break Stuart Beavon was brought down by Weston 25 yards from goal and Lee Holmes this time took responsibility and fired a brilliant curling effort that came back off the left hand corner of post and bar and the Bees were eventually able to clear.
The pressure continued for the Lilywhites and Keane raced down the right before corssing deepo to the back post. The ball fell to Scott Laird, but his shot went into the side-netting. Then Paul Gallagher and Stuart Beavon combined brilliantly, the loanee delivering a shot that was heading into the top corner until the back of the head of his former Blackburn team-mate Joe Garner directed it up and over the bar!
Then a controversial moment as Stuart Beavon was adjudged to have done the same as Marsh-Brown and was given a straight red for a challenge on the edge of the Barnet penalty area , Ross Joyce, officiating his first game above Conference level, quick to go for the card.
The visitors won their first corner just after the hour mark, but it was still North End who asked the majority of the questions, despite parity being restored in terms of numbers on the pitch.
Barnet substitute Crawford introduced himself by giving Declan Rudd his first action of the game on 62 minutes, the on loan stopper making a fine diving save to deny the newly introduced front man in a one-on-one situation in a right hand channel.
Paul Huntington’s perfect record of playing every minute of every game ended on 65 minutes, when Jack King returned to replace the PNE No.4 at centre half, alongside Tom Clarke.
North End made it four at the mid-point of the second half. Superb build up play saw John Welsh send Lee Holmes down the right and he delivered his third assist of the afternoon with a brilliant pull back for Paul Gallagher to double his total for the afternoon with a left footed drive into the bottom left hand corner.
Paul Gallagher almost had a hat-trick with an audacious chip on 75 minutes as another Holmes ball was cleared only as far as the No.12 who collected and in one movement moved to lob Stack, going to the top left hand corner from 25 yards out in a right hand channel, but his effort dragged just wide of the left hand post.
However, Gallagher wasn’t to be denied and he completed his treble, with North End’s fifth goal and it was the best of the afternoon as Keith Keane picked up the ball in his own half and drive into the heart of the Barnet defence before dinking a brilliant ball send Gallagher through; the keeper came out, but the Scotland international superbly dinked it over the advancing custodian and into the empty net.
Joe Garner grabbed his second of the afternoon with nine minutes to go, sliding through the legs of Stack after more excellent play as a quick free from John Welsh found Joel Byrom, who played in his former Blackburn Rovers youth team-mate to convert.
Gallagher almost made it four with a wonderful piece of control and shot from 20 yards out, finding the side netting just past the foot of the left hand post in the final minute, but it ended with six and a place in the pot for the second round draw.
: Rudd, Keane, Buchanan, Welsh, Huntington (King, 65), Clarke, Holmes (Hayhurst, 78), Brownhill (Byrom, 66), Beavon, Garner, Gallagher. Subs not used: Stuckmann, Laird, K Davies, Hayhurst, Hume.PNE line-up
: Stack, Davids (Mengerink, 76), Yiadom, Weston (Crawford, 61), Saville, Marsh-Brown, Byrne, Abdulla (Fletcher, 70), Cadogan, Vilhete, Stephens. Subs not used: Jupp, Johnson, Achemapong, Nurse.Barnet line-up
: 5,217 (161 away fans)Attendance
: Mr R JoyceReferee