I have no idea where to start with writing this blog.
Not sure if I should start with writing about the Morecambe debacle on Saturday afternoon, or with the spirited, unfortunate defeat at The Recreation Ground in Aldershot.
But instead, earlier today, came the news that Martin Allen had been reappointed as Barnet manager 8 years after he left to join the other Bees across town. I must admit, when I found out late this morning, I was shocked. I really thought that Fairclough would be with us until the end of the season. Indeed, after looking at his Twitter account, it seems as though this move has come totally out of the blue for ‘Mad Dog’ as well.
There is no pressure on him to succeed. No one expects us to stay up so if we do, the whole of Britain’s private investigating teams will come out to play, conducting DNA exams on Allen, wondering if it is actually Jesus gracing their presence!
I, however, believe that this has to be the right move for Barnet. I’m not going to get overexcited about staying up, as there is no escaping the fact that the Bees need to win at the very least five of their remaining games in order to catch up with the teams seemingly miles above. The reasons behind this astonishing appointment is very clear.
Barnet simply just had to win on Saturday at home against Morecambe. It was a beautiful, sunny, afternoon, and in front of a relatively large crowd, for once I was actually feeling somewhat confident about getting a good result. And indeed, my spirits were high but I wasn’t expecting what was going to follow. Possibly the worst defending you will ever see, from two long, Rory Delap style throw, led to two simple goals and within a quarter of an hour, the Bees looked shell-shocked. The Morecambe players and staff put on free travel for their travelling contingent, and as has been the case many a time over the past few seasons, they were able to float up the motorways of the country with three points in their back pocket. The point between us and Morecambe was now 9 points, and with so few games remaining left, it looked as though the Bees would probably have to make journeys to places such as Hayes and Yeading and Gateshead after all.
Tuesday night’s away match at Aldershot was always likely to be a scrappy game. I would have thought that after having their match there two months ago abandoned, our players would at least have felt a bit more familiar with their surroundings. Apparently not, and despite in my opinion being the best side on the night we lost. To make matters worse, Matty Parsons, who I think looks a very promising player, was sent off for two yellow cards, with reasons only known to the referee. When you hear Paul Fairclough protesting against a referee’s decision, you know that it was definitely a very harsh decision. If the Bees where sitting comfortably in mid-table, I’d go on to talk about how well our players passed the ball with nice one touch movement, but all this is wasted if you’re in our position and you can’t put the ball in the bloody net! I’m sure this is probably the same for Stockport, but when you’re down in the dark, gloomy relegation zone, and not on form, luck also seems to go against you. It was the case with the red card, but an other stand out situation occurred with Mark Marshall becoming unlucky. Fans like seeing players put pressure on the opposition, and sure enough, for once the pressure almost came good. After chasing the goal keeper down, the ball hit Marshall’s backside and instead of rolling into the empty net, like it would have if he were Adam Le Fondre or Ryan Lowe with their respected clubs, the ball bounced awkwardly and eventually hit the base of the post. Liam O’Brien, who started in goal due to a knee ‘injury’ to Jake Cole, had to make a few decent saves, but we also tested their goalkeeper, but to no avail.
Barnet’s next match is against, God help us, Chesterfield. Top of the league and cruising. On a high after a 5-0 win in front of a packed house at the beautiful B2net Stadium and the Sky Cameras, few will see anyway of Barnet getting a result. But this is little old Barnet, who refuse to go down without a fight, and that will be the attitude of Martin Allen as well.
Our game is a 6 o’clock kick off due to the small matter of a Wales v England game at 3pm, so come on, come out on late Saturday evening and support the Bees with the knowledge that the sheep countrymen have been absolutely well and truly battered!