So here we are again at the end of another season and once again, we are fighting for our League Two survival on the last day. This afternoon, the Bees take on Port Vale knowing that even if they win they might still be relegated to the Blue Square Premier. Barnet need to win and hope that Aldershot can do the Bees a mighty big favour by stopping Lincoln from winning at Sincil Bank. If Barnet win and Lincoln draw or lose then the Bees stay up and the Imps go down. Any other result will mean the end of Barnet’s six years back in league football after they were promoted in 2005.
The 3-1 defeat last Saturday at Accrington was a big disappointment as a win there would have put league safety in Barnet’s hands. Other results meant that it comes down today to either us or Lincoln going down, but it could have been much worse as at one point the Imps were 1-0 up at Oxford. Had this score remained the same then Barnet would already have been relegated. Thankfully, Oxford rallied and eventually won 2-1 and the Bees have lived to fight another day. Ironically, the situation today is a mirror image of the last day of last season when Barnet just needed to beat Rochdale to secure their league place. Grimsby Town were in the same position as we are now. They too had looked doomed, but had had a good run of form but faltered on the last day losing to Burton. Barnet survived despite a dreadful run of six defeats in a row prior to the Rochdale match. Lincoln too, this season, have been in freefall having taken just two points from the last nine matches. Hopefully, this time around, the form team will stay up!!
Barnet go into the game with no fresh injuries following the Accrington match and the biggest decision seems to be who will play in goal for the Bees; Sam Walker, who has received a certain amount of criticism from the fans recently, who feel he has been to blame for a number of the goals conceded in recent games or Liam O’Brien. Jude Sterling may return to the defence in place of Clovis Kamdjo. The Barnet team tomorrow could look like this:
Sterling Devera Leach Parkes
Deering Hughes Byrne Marshall
Whatever happens tomorrow, the recent improvement in form that the team has shown has at least brought some excitement to the end of a season when it had seemed not so long ago that the Bees would have been relegated well before the end of the season. Most of the damage this season was done before Christmas when a change of manager earlier may have meant that we would not have been in this position now. But it is all ifs and buts and maybes now and all academic. The fans need to get behind the players this afternoon and, hopefully, at 5pm, we will still have a league club to support. COYB!!!