Shaquile Coulthirst fires Barnet to shock FA Cup win over Sheffield United

first_imgSheffield United Barnet Read more match reports Topics Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn FA Cup third round serves up shocks as Barnet, Oldham and Newport strike Share on Facebook Minutes after the final whistle had been blown Barnet’s players slid on their knees in unison towards 966 delirious visiting supporters, looking down on their heroes from the top tier of the Bramall Lane end. It was a real wrench for Darren Currie, the caretaker manager taking charge of Barnet for the third time and the nephew of the Sheffield United director, Tony, to leave the pitch, and the scenes of jubilation behind. When he and his players, after wildly swinging amber scarves thrown from above in celebration, eventually did, hundreds of home supporters yet to funnel out of the stadium joined Barnet fans in applauding an assured performance by the non-league side.Inside the dressing room, the party had started. Barnet players chucked a bucket of water over their manager, who arrived for his press conference with his shirt saturated. “This is all new, I was only coaching last week,” Currie muttered as he sat down, before later tracking down his uncle in a nearby suite. It was Shaquile Coulthirst, the former Tottenham youngster, who slammed home the only goal of the game from the penalty spot as Barnet, 15th in the fifth tier, pulled off an upset to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2008.So composed and courageous was Barnet’s display it was difficult to know which team are in the National League and which are third in the Championship and fighting for promotion to the Premier League. United, booed off at the final whistle, were unconvincing at best. Even the second-half introduction of the captain Billy Sharp, one of 10 players rested here by the manager, Chris Wilder, could not force a replay.This was always going to be a family affair. Currie was put in caretaker charge of Barnet following the sudden departure of John Still, who walked away from football management after 42 years last month. Currie’s father, Paul, is the brother of the former England midfielder, Tony, who grew up in Hendon, a few miles from Underhill, Barnet’s previous home. The latter is considered a legend in this half of the city and here the rookie manager found himself pacing the technical area in front of the packed Tony Currie Stand, renamed after his uncle – voted the Blades’ best ever player five years ago and still a director at the club – in the summer. Share via Email FA Cup Share on Pinterest If things had worked out differently during a trial as a teenager, Currie could have counted United among his former clubs but, instead, he played for Barnet and Wycombe, among others.Currie told his players to play with no fear and they certainly followed his orders, flying out of the blocks with Coulthirst having a strike ruled out for offside inside six minutes after a slick interchange. Jack Taylor, playing as a No 10, was influential for Barnet and it was his cute one-two with Coulthirst that provided another chance for the visitors, only for Richard Stearman to intervene with a superb sliding challenge.Stearman’s timing was not so clever second time around, with Ephron Mason-Clark hauled down by the defender in the box following brilliant hold-up play by Coulthirst after collecting a ball in the left channel. Coulthirst immediately ran to scoop up the ball and hammered his penalty beyond Simon Moore, the United goalkeeper, who could get only a weak left hand to his effort. Barnet had established a deserved lead but did not relent, with Taylor and Craig Robson both trying their luck from distance. As the visiting supporters began singing about a trip to Wembley and beckoning Currie to wave back at them, the hosts struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances, with Paul Coutts’ ambitious volley about as good as it got. Barnet, effective on the counterattack, would have doubled their lead through the lively Coulthirst after more good work by Mason-Clark on the byline but for a last-ditch intervention from Marvin Johnson. “I think we have been quite fortunate that it was not two or three,” a fuming Wilder said. “They got everything right and we got everything wrong.”At full time the home supporters acknowledged Barnet’s efforts. It was a classy touch and Mason-Clark and Coulthirst proved such a nuisance that, when they were taken off, swaths of home fans applauded them. By the time Kieron Freeman dragged wide after the interval, Wilder had seen enough and summoned Mark Duffy, then Sharp, who last week scored his 220th league goal. Then came Chris Basham. But Barnet held on through a nerve-jangling final couple of minutes, with Mark Cousins tipping Leon Clarke’s header on to the bar.As the final whistle sounded, an inevitable chorus of “We’re going to Wembley” filled the stadium but equally predictable was the clamour for Currie to be given the job on a full-time basis, after hatching a historic upset in only his third match in management; Still, his predecessor, walked away from the game last month after managing more than 2,000.For Currie, whose team face Dorchester on Saturday, few are likely to be as memorable as this. Share on WhatsApp Reuse this contentlast_img

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