Barnet vs Maidenhead United: Vanarama National League, Saturday 14th September 2019, 3.00pm kick-off.
Maidenhead will aim to end a run of two consecutive games without a win as they head to the Hive this afternoon.
James Dobson’s penalty ensured that the club lost at home to the Daggers last weekend, a result that the Magpies will look to rectify.
The Bees have made a solid start to the National League, but their aim will be to carry on turning draws in to wins.
Alan Devonshire may have guided the visitors to fourth in the league after an impressive start, but has seen them pick up only one point from the last two games. Firstly, a draw at Wrexham ended the Magpies’ 100% winning record away from home. A Luke Young own-goal gave Maidenhead a first-half lead, but that was nullified before the break as Jason Oswell equalised with a header. Young then redeemed himself as he put the Red Dragons ahead. However, a stunning finish from Josh Smile ensured that the points were to be shared.
In the last match, they fell to only a second defeat in seven league games at home to the Daggers. After a goalless first-half, Ryan Upward was penalised for a handball in the penalty-area. That gave James Dobson a chance to grab his first goal for the club after his arrival from Sutton. He was able to dispatch his penalty, and that was enough for the visitors to win.
But, as the Magpies have won four of their opening five away matches this season, they’ll be confident that they can get back on track in the league at the Hive.
Barnet will take comfort by the fact that they’ve only lost one game in the league, at home to Dover. They sit in 12th place, and will look to catch up as they have two games in hand over most of the other teams above them in the table. Games against Fylde and Aldershot were postponed as a result of them having three players on international duty.
After three seasons back up in the Football League, the Bees were relegated to the National League on goal difference in 2017-18.
After Darren Currie took over from the retiring John Still in 2018-19, he secured a 13th placed finish.
Barnet are also recognised for an entertaining FA Cup push in 2019. Their run included a win against League One side Bristol Rovers, as well as a narrow result against Sheffield United, then of the Championship.
They were finally beaten though against Brentford in a fourth-round replay, losing 3-1 at Griffin Park.
Looking ahead now, the Bees have already proven that they’ll make it difficult for the Magpies as they’ve lost only once.
Three wins and four draws have ensured that Darren Currie’s side sit in 12th place in this early stage of the campaign. They ended a run of four without a win in their last game as they earned a 2-1 result at Eastleigh. Shaquile Coulthirst scored the winner in stoppage time, after Jack McKnight cancelled out Jack Taylor’s early strike. Should they win their two games in hand they will ascend towards the top of the league.
They’ll now be determined to carry on with the momentum of their last result so the Magpies will have to be cautious.
Last time out
Barnet secured the double with two 1-0 wins last season in the National League.
The first game took place at the Hive in September, and a Josh Walker strike was enough for the hosts to claim all three points. The fourth minute strike from the edge of the penalty-area secured Barnet a fifth consecutive league win. Byron Harrison had a chance to make it 2-0 before the end, but his penalty struck the crossbar.
It was a similar story in the game at York Road in April, as another tight affair was narrowly won after a first-half goal. Medy Elito finished off a fine counter-attack just before the break. A fierce cross from the right from Ephron Mason-Clark was fired home at the back post via the winger’s left boot.
With Maidenhead’s fine away record up against a Barnet side positive after their win at Eastleigh, the match is finely poised ahead of kick-off. A win for the Magpies could close the gap to third placed Bromley to two points, whilst the Bees could end up only one point behind them with a win. Barnet will be raring to go after a two-week break and that could make for an exciting match up in north-west London.