Barnet travel to Valley Parade to play Bradford City this afternoon on a day that has taken on a great deal of importance for the club’s immediate future. Depending on other results, the Bees could be safe from relegation by 5pm this afternoon or they could be well and truly in the thick of a desperate relegation battle.
Tuesday’s poor 4-1 defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge was nearly even more disastrous for the Bees. Grimsby Town lead 2-0 at home to Chesterfield into the second half until two Jack Lester goals grabbed a point for the Spireites. The outcome was that the Mariners are 7 points, instead of 5, behind Barnet who still have a game in hand. Another win for Torquay, 2-0 at Aldershot, and a draw for Cheltenham at Shrewsbury have seen the Bees drop to 22nd in the table.
Grimsby, who had won both their previous games prior to Tuesday, are at home to a very in-form Torquay United, who have won their last three matches and, for whom, a win at Blundell Park would mean safety. Anything but a win for the Mariners will make survival a very difficult matter. If Torquay were to win at Grimsby and Barnet won at Bradford City then the Bees security would be ensured. Bradford City are already safe and have nothing to play for, as they lie in mid table and cannot make the play-offs. Ian Hendon will be hoping that Barnet’s greater need will triumph this afternoon. A win for the Bees, whatever the results around them will bring safety that much closer. Two wins for Barnet from the last five games would do the trick whatever Grimsby achieve.
Elsewhere, Cheltenham are away at play-off hopefuls, Rotherham, while Lincoln City, who lost 3-1 at Notts County on Tuesday, visit Shrewsbury Town, who still have hopes of making the play-offs but whose form is not particularly good at the moment. However, a good result for the Bees today could see the club climb up to the relative heights of 20th!!
Daniel Leach will miss this afternoon’s match as he is suspended after being sent off at Dagenham. There are injury doubts about a number of players including Gary Breen, Micah Hyde, Jake Hyde, Mark Hughes and David Livermore, while John O’Flynn, despite optimistic comments from the club that he would be fit for the Easter games, has missed the last five matches. Ismail Yakubu remains a long term injury doubt.
Bradford City are likely to be without defenders Simon Ramsden and Matt Clarke, but midfield player, Michael Flynn could return following a rib injury.
This is a match that the Bees really need to get something out of to relive the tension around the club and also hope that Grimsby do not win. A win today would go along way to ending talk amongst fans of Conference football next season. Barnet Mad is optimistically going for a 2-1 win for the Bees this afternoon.