Barnet travel to Aldershot this evening, after a very disappointing 2-0 home defeat at the weekend at the hands of Southend United. The Bees started brightly on Saturday and could have been ahead inside the first 20 minutes but after Southend took the lead it has to be said that the Bees offered very little threat.
Aldershot have seen an improvement in form since the arrival of Dean Holdsworth as manager. Holdsworth had previously been manager of Newport County, where he had won promotion to the Blue Square Premier and had taken the Welsh club to a position where they are challenging for the play-offs.
Before going down at Gillingham on Saturday, the Shots had taken 7 points from their last three matches and, like Barnet, had been on a bit of a run. The improvement of form has taken them up to 14th, seven points above the Bees. Aldershot have won their last two home matches; against Crewe and Bradford City, so the Bees will do well to get anything from the fixture. They will certainly have to improve on the poor showing on New Years’ day at Underhill when Aldershot won 2-1 and, following the final whistle, Mark Stimson’s contract as manager was terminated.
Barnet may be able to call on the services of striker, Steve Kabba who has not played since the home game with Stockport County and has missed the last seven matches. If so, his inclusion would give Paul Fairclough a much needed option to play an effective front two instead of playing with just one striker up front as he has done recently, which has put a lot of pressure on Izale McLeod to come up with the goals. Midfield player, Glenn Poole has left the club after having his contract terminated.
Barnet have found it difficult to score recently, only 2 goals coming in the last four games, but defensively the Bees have been a lot tighter, with the exception, of course, with the dreadful defensive blunder by Liam ‘Brien which handed Southend their second goal on Saturday. However, there was a lack of width going forward on the right hand side of the pitch with Clovis Kamdjo not really being an overlapping full back and the young loanee from Wolves, John Dunleavy, who came on as a substitute on Saturday, looked more comfortable on the ball going forward and may well start against Aldershot.
Barnet face difficult away opposition in four of their next five matches and this period may well go a long way towards defining whether or not the Bees are likely to be a League two side next season or not. However, the Bees will do very well to gain a point at Aldershot, though a few weeks ago, they surprised everyone with a fine 3-1 win at Bradford City. Barnet’s team could look something like this:
Dunleavy Devera Uddin Parkes
Southam Hughes Jarvis Marshall