MATCH PREVIEW: Accrington Stanley
Updated Tuesday, 8th December 2009
Barnet Mad previews tonights FA Cup 2nd round replay at Underhill
Tonight, Barnet take on Accrington Stanley in a 2nd round FA Cup replay at Underhill in what many fans feel is a pivotal match of this season. Coming on top of a dreadful run in the league with just three points from the last six matches, the Bees will need to win tonight to rejuvenate their flagging form which has seen them drop from the play-off positions in the league to 13th.
However, tonight’s game will be far from easy as Accrington are in quite good form themselves and come to the game on the back of a fine 4-2 home win over Torquay United. Accrington’s win took them above the Bees into 12th place.
In the original match at the Crown Ground, Barnet rescued the tie with a John O’Flynn penalty deep into time added on and Accrington had been reduced to ten men following the sending off of striker, John Miles. Since then, Barnet have been involved in an eventful 1-1 home draw with Bournemouth in which the Bees gave possibly their best 45 minutes of the season during the first half and another disappointing away performance on Saturday at Bury losing 2-0. The Bees also had Mark Hughes sent off and the former Chester midfield player, possibly Barnet’s best player so far this season, will miss tonight’s cup tie through being suspended as a result of receiving two yellow cards at Gigg Lane.
Barnet also have a mass of injury problems which will affect team selection for tonight’s game. The four long term injured defenders, Ryan O’Neill, Joe Devera, Gary Breen and Clovis Kamdjo are all still out though Devera may be back in training next week. Albert Adomah will also miss tonight’s cup match after injuring his ankle at Bury though he should be fit for the home league match on Saturday against Crewe.
However, there is some good news. On loan central defender, Calum Butcher, who missed the Bury match because of a calf injury is now expected to be fir for tonight’s match to play alongside Ismail Yakubu at the centre of the defence. With Mark Hughes suspended, Hendon is likely to return to the defence that played against Bournemouth with Kenny Gillet returning to his natural place at left back and Ahmed Deen filling in again on the right.
Meanwhile, with Adomah and Hughes missing, Hendon’s options in midfield are going to be limited. Yannick Bolasie is likely to replace Adomah on the right with Albert Jarrett continuing on the left and Micah Hyde and Nicky Deverdics will most likely start in the centre of the midfield. However, there is a chance that Hendon may risk giving Dean Sinclair a place in the midfield. Sinclair, who re-joined the club on loan from Charlton recently, has been out with flu, but has returned to training this week and could well be named in the squad for tonight’s match. Sinclair could give Hendon the option of playing with three central midfield players and just the one wide player which many fans have been calling out for.
Up front, Craig McAllister is not eligible for tonight’s cup match having not been given permission by Exeter City, so Paul Furlong is likely to return to the side tonight with Jake Hyde on the bench. Elliott Charles is cup tied having played in an earlier round while on loan at Ebbsfleet. With Joe Tabiri, Luke Medley and Cliff Akurang all on loan, the Bees’ bench is likely to have at least a couple of youngsters included, though there is also likely to be a place for Danny Hart.
Accrington midfield player, Robert Grant, who scored the opener in the original match, is doubtful with a leg injury and Billy Kee stands by to replace him. John Miles, sent of in that match, also misses out through suspension.
Tonight is a key game for the Bees and it would be a huge blow if the club were to go out of the FA Cup at this stage, though the Bees are only 5 points off of a play off place and the return of some key players and an end to their awful away form could soon see them climbing the table, so the play-offs are certainly still on the agenda this season.
However, defeat tonight would not do the team’s confidence much good as they try to put an end to a run of six games without a win, the last victory coming in the 1st round FA Cup win over Darlington. The Bees have only lost one match at home all season, to Watford in the Carling Cup, and their home form has helped to keep their hopes for the season alive.
Its sure to be a tough match tonight and it could go into extra time or even penalties, but Barnet Mad is going to be optimistic and go for a place in round three for the Bees, perhaps 2-1 after extra time.
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