On Saturday, Morecambe travel to Underhill in what is looking to be a pivotal relegation scrap for both sides. Barnet’s 2-1 win at Edgar Street last Saturday blew away a few of the clouds of despair that have hung around Underhill in recent weeks, in particularly, following last week’s 1-0 home defeat by Wycombe.
Speaking of the win over Hereford in the Barnet Times, Paul Fairclough commented that Izale McLeod, the scorer of both Barnet’s goals, was “a predator and got the goal we needed and probably didn’t deserve.” Fairclough was talking about Barnet’s equaliser last Saturday which came just before half time. The Bees’ boss added that “The first half performance was probably one of the worst I have seen from my players for a while”, adding that “There were some harsh words at half time, I have to say. But the transformation was fantastic.” Fairclough felt that in the second half, Barnet “were the team that appeared to be most hungry.”
McLeod’s two goals have renewed hope in the Barnet camp that the Bees can still avoid relegation and the match with Morecambe is a real ‘six pointer’. Morecambe are 6 points ahead of the Bees and have played the same amount of matches as Barnet have and are one of a few clubs that the Bees can realistically target as catchable. A win on Saturday would reduce the gap between the two clubs to just three points.
Morecambe’s form has been erratic recently, but any side that can go to Chesterfield and come away with a 2-0 win as they did a couple of weeks ago has to be taken seriously. However, Barnet’s form has slowly began to improve and the arrival of Mark Byrne and Matty Parsons has helped to further improve a side that, in all honestly, is not playing like a team in danger of going down. Under Paul Fairclough, the side has become more competitive and it does look as though the Bees are at last learning how to win games rather than lose or draw 0-0. Barnet have taken 7 points from the last 4 matches, form that would, if maintained until the end of the season, would give them around 51 or 52 points, almost certainly enough to keep the Bees in the league. But, of course, they do have to continue winning matches in the way they have in the last few games with victories over Lincoln and Hereford.
Other clubs involved in the fight to stay in League Two have difficult fixtures over the weekend. Tonight, Hereford travelled to Southend, who now have an outside chance of making the play-offs and were hammered 4-0 with the Bulls’ Joe Colbeck getting a red card in the dying minutes. Hereford’s defeat leaves them on 40 points along with Morecambe and Northampton and the Bulls still face a likely points’ deduction for playing an ineligible player in their home win over Torquay earlier in the season.
On Saturday, bottom club, Stockport face a difficult trip to Aldershot, Burton are at home to play-off contenders, Gillingham, Northampton are away at fast improving, Bradford City and Macclesfield have a home game against Torquay, who thrashed promotion chasing, Shrewsbury own 5-0 last week at Plainmoor.
Barnet have no further injury problems following the game at Hereford and the side starting tomorrow’s game is likely to look something like this:
Parkes Devera Kamdjo Parsons
Deering, Byrne, Hughes, Pulis, Marshall