Barnet take on Lincoln City this afternoon in a League Two match after the pitch was given the go ahead this morning. The Bees will be looking for their first win since early November this afternoon following a run which has seen them take just four points from nine matches and seen them tumble down the table to 17th.
In their last outing, against Northampton at Underhill just after Christmas, the Bees gave a better performance defensively but still lacked so much in the way of imagination and penetration when it came to the task of carving out goals. A lack of goals has been a feature of this poor run as the Bees have only managed three goals in those last nine league matches. With the exception of the 5-1 drubbing at Cheltenham and the 4-0 defeat at Aldershot, the defence hasn’t been the major problem at least.
Most of the Bees’ defensive injury problems have cleared up anyway with Joe Devera and Ryan O’Neill returning for the Northampton match and Gary Breen likely to be fir for today’s match, leaving just Clovis Kamdjo still missing. Devera played alongside Ismail Yakubu against Northampton, but he may be moved to right back to make way for Breen with O’Neill dropping to the bench. Hendon must also decide on whether to stick with a slightly out of sorts, Kenny Gillet at left back or bring in Ahmed Deen who has performed very well when called upon to deputise for the Frenchman. Calum Butcher has returned to Tottenham after his loan spell at Underhill.
In midfield, Barnet could give a debut to new signing, Lee Sawyer from Chelsea. Sawyer plays in central midfield and has had a productive loan spell this season at Southend. With Nicky Deverdics out with an ankle injury and Dean Sinclair having returned to Charlton following the ending of his loan spell, Sawyer could well play in a three man midfield with Mark Hughes and Micah Hyde.
Yannick Bolasie is another player whose loan has finished and he has returned to Plymouth. Ian Hendon will have to decide on whether or not to return to playing two wingers, Albert Adomah and Albert Jarrett or go for a three man midfield as he did against Northampton. In fact, he could go for both. With Craig McAllister having returned to Exeter, the Bees are even more lightweight up front and with Paul Furlong not having scored since early September, Hendon may choose to play Adomah alongside John O’Flynn. Alternatively, he could play Jake Hyde up alongside O’Flynn with Adomah on the bench ready to come on if the Bees are in need of a goal late on.
Both clubs are badly in need of points, with Lincoln in 22nd place, just four points above Grimsby and the relegation zone. However, Lincoln won last time out, beating Chesterfield 2-1 at Sincil Bank, their first league win in 9 matches. The Imps away form in the league is poor with just two wins and seven defeats in 10 matches, but, it has to be said, that Barnet’s home record, so impressive earlier in the season, has not been good in recent weeks with four draws and a defeat in their last five home league matches and only two goals.
Despite the Bees’ awful run in the last two months, they are only eight points off the play offs but it is vital that they start winning matches now if they are to have a serious chance of making the play offs and they certainly have to beat sides, no disrespect, like Lincoln at home. However, it is not going to be an easy task with the Bees seemingly so low in confidence. But with Gary Breen back marshalling the defence and new boy Lee Sawyer sparking up the midfield, Barnet Mad will be optimistic and go for a 2-1 win for the Bees today. With fingers very much crossed mind you!!