It’s perhaps the worst fixture to have after thumping a team in fourth place 62. Barnet at home, following that result, will be seen by many as another hammering waiting to happen which is exactly why we should tread with caution in a game that we’re now more than expected to win. With the carrot, once again, dangling of the top half we need to put Tuesday to bed but take on the confidence gained to battle Barnet as if they’re as big a hurdle as Crewe were. So I guess what I’m saying is we should be confident but not overly so. Simple, right?!
I think I’d rather be playing Chesterfield than Barnet this weekend as odd as that sounds and the added ingredient that Barnet have become a bogey side for us of late adds to the potential for a tighter game than some will hope for. I very much hope I’m proven wrong but give me a 1-0 scrappy win to get us into the top half any day of the week!
Barnet come into the game half fresh (“fre-?”) after their game with Aldershot on Tuesday night was abandoned at half-time due to fog. The Cobblers won’t have wanted their own game to end on the same night that saw six different goal scorers and plenty of stepping up to the plate occurring. Josh Walker was running the show by all accounts and the rest of the Town squad lifted their games as competition for places increases.
Walker should certainly keep his place for this one but there’s doubt over John Johnson, Andy Holt and Leon McKenzie with all three suffering the effects of the midweek clash. If McKenzie doesn’t make it, Billy McKay will come in whilst Paul Rodgers should fill in at right back should Johnson not play.
Barnet, who this week released midfielder Glenn Poole after just eleven appearances for the club, are still without long term absentees Daniel Leach and Darren Dennehy but have no fresh injury worries. Steve Kabba could return, at least to the bench, after sitting out for a month with a knee injuryStand in manager Paul Fairclough gave his players a day off following the Aldershot half-game on Tuesday night and says that his team are “refreshed” after their rest.
In League Two this weekend…
The big game of the day comes at Adams Park as second placed, and in form, Wycombe meet fellow promotion chasers Port Vale. Vale picked up their first win under new boss Jim Gannon on Tuesday night against another side gunning for the top three in Rotherham so they’re back in form just in time for a tasty encounter in Buckinghamshire. Chesterfield may start to look over their shoulder soon and despite being five points clear have let their lead slip in the last week with draws at Bradford and Stockport. They’ll be hoping for a maximum haul this time out at home to Aldershot.
Crewe will hope to bounce back from their Tuesday night hammering as they visit third placed Rotherham in another big game at the top. Bury have been creeping ever nearer the top three in the last couple of weeks and host Burton knowing that three points could lift them into the automatic places.
At the bottom, there’s an important meeting of two sides that are moving away from the drop zone in Hereford and Lincoln as they collide at Edgar Street while Torquay welcome rock bottom Stockport who should be buoyed by the midweek draw with Chesterfield.
Gillingham and Oxford do battle at the Priestfield with both sides clinging on to the tails of the playoffs in recent weeks and Southend, on a run of four wins in five games, play Shrewsbury. Under pressure Bradford boss Peter Taylor takes his side to Macclesfield knowing that only a win will do to appease an expectant City following.
Meanwhile, Stevenage are back in league action this week and they host Accrington Stanley. Finally, Morecambe play Cheltenham with home debuts expected for new signings Andy Holdsworth and Kevan Hurst.