MATCH PREVIEW: Stockport County
Updated Friday, 15th October 2010
Barnet Mad previews tomorrow's League Two match at Edgeley Park
Barnet travel to Edgeley Park tomorrow for a League Two match in which is it is important that the Bees get something from. Barnet’s form has deteriorated and last Saturday’s defeat at home to Bradford City has left the Bees in the bottom two, two points below Stockport and with a growing injury list.
As well as long term absentees, Darren Dennehy and Daniel Leach, new centre back, Grant Basey was injured by an awful challenge by Bradford City winger, Daley last Saturday leaving the Bees with three centre backs out injured. England Youth international, Reece Yorke, has returned from his loan spell at Harlow Town and is included in the squad for tomorrow’s match.
In midfield, Glenn Poole is still doubtful and strikers, Steve Kabba, Izale McLeod, Charlie Taylor and Danny Kelly are also injured; Kelly is long term, while Kabba and Taylor are concerns for tomorrow. McLeod is probably still a couple of weeks from making his debut. On top of this, Phil Walsh’s loan ended last Saturday and he has returned to Dagenham & Redbridge. On the plus side, Mark Byrne returns after missing the Bradford game through suspension and Glen Southam is back after missing the last two games through a lip injury, so at least Mark Stimson has enough players to be able to play a strong midfield tomorrow.
Hopefully, after Anwar Uddin’s poor performance as a substitute last Saturday, Stimson will restore Joe Devera to the side, playing alongside Clovis Kamdjo in the centre of the defence. However, it is more likely that Uddin will start which could well mean that the defence could be rather shaky tomorrow. The defence has come in for a lot of stick lately, but this has been a little unfair.
Firstly, because of the dreadful injury situation which I am sure would have stretched most League two sides. Dennehy and Leach had both been playing very well at the time they were injured. To those fans who denigrate Leach, perhaps they should remember that after replacing Dennehy at centre back during the Cheltenham game, the Bees went on to win the match 3-1, Cheltenham having scored before Dennehy’s injury. Barnet lost in the next match at Lincoln 1-0, but that was due to a penalty given away by Devera and in the next game at home to Rotherham, the Bees looked comfortable in defence at 0-0 when Leach went off, but went on to lose 4-1. Equally, last Saturday, it was 0-0 at the time that Basey was injured and we went on to lose 2-0.
Secondly, often the defence is left exposed by the inadequacies of the Bees’ midfield. For example, both of Bradford’s goals last Saturday came following Barnet having won a corner at the other end and being caught out far too easily on the break. Barnet’s tactics against Bradford were terribly naïve. It also seems to be the case too that the midfield is often over ran due to only playing with two players in the central midfield, as we did under Ian Hendon last season and carrying two wingers in the side. During pre-season and in the two goalless draws with Bury and Burton, Barnet played with a three man midfield and just one striker and Holmes and Marshall playing wide. This leaves the single striker with too much too do and to little support, but in order to play tight, particularly away from home, a three man midfield could well be a better option, but with just one player playing wide and two strikers.
Such is the injury situation for tomorrow’s game that Stimson is likely to be forced to play this formation, given that he has a greater choice in midfield than up front. Hopefully, Steve Kabba will be passed fit and play up front alongside Ricky Holmes, who looks much more dangerous when playing more central, and Mark Marshall playing out wide. If Kabba is out tomorrow then Holmes and Vilhete may well start as the front two, though if Kabba does miss out then surely it is time that the manager gave his son, Charlie, a chance up front alongside Holmes. Vilhete is still young and at the moment it might be better to use his skills sparingly as an impact substitute.
In midfield, Stimson should revert to playing three in central midfield. Jarvis, Byrne and Southam looked promising as a unit in pre-season and they have not really been given a chance to play together since the season started and maybe tomorrow is the ideal time to see if it could work. One thing is clear, whatever the line up tomorrow, Southam should keep the captaincy, he is much more suitable than Uddin. Tomorrow the line up could look something like this:
Francomb Devera Kamdjo Parkes
Jarvis Byrne Southam Marshall
Stimson (or Vilhete) Holmes
It is hard to be optimistic at the moment, especially given the fact that so many key players are out. If Barnet return south with a point then I think most Bees’ fans would be perfectly satisfied with that. The important thing is that we don’t get detached at the bottom of the table before Kabba, McLeod and Basey are back from injury. Then the look of the team will be a whole lot better.
|15 Oct 2010|
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