Tomorrow afternoon, Barnet are at home to Rotherham United in a crucial match for the Bees. A win for Barnet will mean that the Bees are safe from relegation to the Blue Square Premier next season. Even if the Bees lose, a failure to win by Grimsby Town, who are at Darlington tomorrow, will be enough to virtually ensure safety for the Bees.
With Cheltenham having gained a draw in midweek at home to Darlington, the Robins now seem safe as they are nine points clear of Grimsby and have a superior goal difference, so only a freak turnabout in the next few weeks would lead to Cheltenham being relegated.
Below Cheltenham are Lincoln City who are eight points clear of Grimsby, so like the Bees they still are not totally safe. They also have a better goal difference than the Mariners but only by the margin of five, so like Barnet, they will be looking for at least a win in their last three matches. Tomorrow, the Imps are at home to Bury.
Barnet are seven points clear of Grimsby but have a game in hand, although the Bees also do have to travel to Blundell Park to play the Mariners next Saturday. Barnet also have a much superior goal difference, a margin of 14, than Grimsby so need, effectively two points from their last four matches to ensure safety, assuming that the Mariners win their last three matches.
Clearly, a win tomorrow would be ideal as it would, save Barnet fans’ nerves, which have been so tested recently after the club had such high hopes earlier on in the season.
Barnet should have top scorer, John O’Flynn back for tomorrow’s game after missing the last six matches with a knee injury. With Jake Hyde also expected to be fit, manager, Ian Hendon has a number of options up front, having had to play recently with just 41 year old, Paul Furlong up front.
Mark Hughes should also be fit to return after gashing his face at Dagenham and Daniel Leach, sent off against the Daggers, could return after a one match suspension. The Bees have a full squad to choose from with the exception of long term injury, Ismail Yakubu.
Rotherham are currently placed fourth and look very unlikely to make one of the automatic promotion spots as they are 8 points behind Bournemouth with only three matches left to play. However, the fight for the play-offs is close so they will be looking for three points tomorrow to cement their chances of a play-off position.
The Millers have won 10 and lost 10 on the road this season and drawn just one match away from home, so a point for the Bees tomorrow is statistically unlikely.
Rotherham are likely to without striker, Drewe Broughton who has an infection, while midfield player, Danny Harrison is suspended. Tom Pope and Dale Tonge are out for the rest of the season.
It is obviously going to be a tense afternoon tomorrow with Bees’ fans keeping one eye on events at Darlington. With Rotherham still needing something to ensure their place in the play-offs, it is likely to be a close match. With this in mind, and determined to be optimistic, Barnet Mad is going for a Barnet win to make the Bees safe, maybe 1-0.