2011/12: Season Review October & November
Feature by Jaybee
Updated Thursday, 17th May 2012
The latest in Barnet Mad's exclusive new series.
The Bees’ poor league form continued as October opened with a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Northampton Town in a match Barnet should never have lost, Ricky Holmes scoring for the Bees. Left back, Garry Borrowdale, on loan from QPR, made his Barnet debut. However, the club’s cup form seemed to still stay good with a fine 3-1 away win at Gillinghamfollowing in the 2nd round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Izale McLeod scoring twice to give him 10 goals for the season and Mark Marshall scoring his first goal of the season.
However, the fine cup form was just not carrying over into the league and, despite a 2-1 home win over Aldershot, thanks to goals from Kabba and Holmes, it was the only win in eight league games following the 2-0 win over Plymouth in September as Barnet suffered defeats at Shrewsbury (3-2, with goals from Holmes & Marshall) and Hereford (1-0) and two home defeats to Southend (0-3) where McLeod missed and early penalty and Burton (3-6, with goals from Deering, Holmes & McLeod).
This dreadful run, not surprisingly, took Barnet into the bottom two and the humiliation of the Burton defeat. It also prompted Lawrie Sanchez into going into the loan market in order to stiffen up the team’s leaky defence. Michael Hector was signed from reading, Paul Downing from WBA and Jack Saville from Southampton. All were young, eager central defenders, though both Hector and Saville could play at full back as well.
Michael Hector started in the away league match at AFC Wimbledon and the performance was much improved with the Bees gaining a point in a 1-1 draw, McLeod scoring his 12th goal of the season. Two cup games then followed and it was probably no surprise that Barnet won both games; a 2-0 away win at Cheltenham in the quarter finals of the Johnstones’ Paint Trophy, with goals from Marshall and Charlie Taylor (Paul Downing making his first start) and a 2-1 1st round FA Cup tie away at Southport with goals from Clovis Kamdjo and Taylor. Jack Saville made his Bees’ debut as a substitute.
For once, the team’s fine cup form was mirrored with an upturn in league form. A fine 2-0 away win at Bristol Rovers, Saville making his full debut (and new signing Alassane D'Diaye from Crystal Palace came on as a substitute), dragged the Bees out of the relegation zone with Byrne and McLeod scoring for Barnet and this was followed by a dogged 2-1 win at home to Macclesfield Town, a McLeod brace giving him 15 for the season and the Bees rising to a heady 19th in the table, now 6 points clear of the relegation zone. New loan signings, Gavin McCallum (from Lincoln City) and Cedric Baseya (from Reading) featured as substitutes.
Sanchez’s signings following the Burton debacle seemed to have done the trick and Barnet fans had begun to think of Wembley and mid table safety after an unbeaten November but the question was could Barnet maintain their form in both competitions? We would see.