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Barnet Preview

By: Richard Lord
Date: 25/08/2005

GRIMSBY head for Barnet this weekend as the two sides meet for the very first time. Although the Mariners' confidence will be sky-high after their amazing 1-0 win at Derby in midweek, they will be facing an equally buoyant Bees side that were victorious at Bristol City and who also top the League Two table.

Home > 2005-2006 Season > Previews > Barnet (a)

Russell Slade will be delighted with the victory at Pride Park but he will remain cautious of Town's erratic form. Following up one of the worst home displays in recent seasons with an extraordinary away result means anything could happen at Underhill. Barnet's consistency is already apparent, having gained ten points from their four league games already, and having dumped Bristol City out of the League Cup on Tuesday night by four goals to two.

The Opposition

Barnet are enjoying life back in League football after winning promotion from the Football Conference last season. They ran away with the title, finishing the campaign 12 points ahead of their nearest challengers Hereford. And now it looks as though Paul Fairclough's (left) men are continuing in much the same vein as they stand top of the table without defeat. Their excellent win at Bristol City in midweek will only serve to drive the team's growing belief that they can realistically push for promotion this year. Many promoted sides from the Conference have done this in the past, and the achievements of Doncaster and Macclesfield will certainly inspire the Londoners.

Their Squad
Barnet have the ever-dependable Richard Graham in their squad, signed from Kettering Town but who enjoyed a spell at QPR earlier in his career. Ben Strevens is the only player that remains at Underhill from the time the side was relegated out of the Football League, which makes him the Bees' current longest-serving player. Although he began his Barnet career as a striker, he's mostly utilised as a midfielder these days. Striker Giuliano Grazioli (left) is one of the best goalscorers around in the lower divisions. Incredibly, he scored five times in one game against Barnet when he was at Peterborough. The game finished 9-1 in the Bees' all-time heaviest home defeat. Barnet's most prolific player this season is midfielder Nick Bailey. Having already notched four goals this campaign, he is also an early contender for Goal of the Season. His strike at Bristol City on Tuesday has caused a certain fan to write in to Sky Sports and demand that they show the goal. It's argued to be better than Ricky Villa's!

Recent Form


WDerby (LC)(a)1-0
WBristol R(a)2-1
Currently 15th in League Two.
WBristol C (LC)(a)4-2
DBristol R(h)1-1
Currently 1st in League Two.

Top Scorers


Rob Jones1
Gary Jones1
Nick Bailey4
Dwaine Lee 2
Dean Sinclair2
Richard Graham1

Team News



  • Gary Cohen is ruled out with a hamstring injury, and is also doubtful for Monday's home game with Rushden.

  • Tom Newey will come back into the reckoning after sitting out the Derby victory because of suspension.

  • Rob Jones may not feature after he was taken off at half time against the Rams, therefore maybe forcing Slade to stick with 4-4-2 or change it and draft in Glen Downey.

  • Gary Croft failed a fitness test on Wednesday but could be available for the trip to London depending on how much his swollen knee recovers.

  • The impressive performance of goalscorer Gary Jones could see him start ahead of Martin Gritton, while Justin Whittle will keep his place in the side because of Tony Crane's suspension.
  • Midfielder Dean Sinclair should return to the side after being rested for the Bristol City victory. It looks as if the game will come too soon for defender Ismail Yakubu, but Jason Norville has an outside chance of making the squad.

  • Scott Tynan and Ian Hendon also appear likely to retain their places in the side after struggling with a foot injury and an in-growing toenail respectively.

  • Simon Clist is definitely out with a long-term groin injury.
  • Probable Teams


    1Steve Mildenhall
    2John McDermott
    3Tom Newey
    4Simon Ramsden
    6Justin Whittle
    8Paul Bolland
    7JPK Kalala
    19Gary Jones
    11Andy Parkinson
    9Michael Reddy
    10Martin Gritton
    18 Scott Tynan
    4 Ian Hendon
    3 Simon King
    6 Anthony Charles
    5 Adam Gross
    10 Ben Strevens
    17 Dwaine Lee
    8 Dean Sinclair
    2 Nick Bailey
    11 Richard Graham
    9 Giuliano Grazioli



    20Gary Croft
    17Glen Downey
    14Terry Barwick
    15Calvin Andrew
    30Nick Heggarty
    1 Ross Flitney
    12 Lee Roache
    20 Jason Norville
    15 Damien Batt
    19 Ben Bowditch

    Head to Head

    There are no previous meetings between the two sides


    The inconsistency of the Mariners could again be a problem. However, Town have a tendency to do well away from home and against better opposition. Derby hadn't been beaten in seven months at home and it's been over six months since Barnet have tasted defeat in front of their own fans. There are valid reasons to predict a win or a defeat, so I'm going in between and settling for a 2-2 draw.


    Recent Predictions

    Bristol R0-22-10
    Reader's POMs


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