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Preview: Wycombe Wanderers v Barnet


Life under the caretaker stewardship of Gareth Ainsworth hit rather a large bump as Wycombe Wanderers crashed to a 4-1 defeat at second-placed Port Vale on Saturday.

It was a lively encounter at Vale Park with the visitors taking a narrow lead into the break courtesy of winger Joel Grant's coolly taken penalty on twenty minutes. More significantly however they failed to go in at half-time with eleven men still on the field after striker Jo Kuffour stupidly caught home goalkeeper Chris Neal as he cleared near his own corner flag and was shown a second yellow card by popular official Carl Boyeson.

Neal went on to make a vital save early in the second half when he tipped Grant's shot over the bar. The Chairboys then collapsed as striker Tom Pope made light work of the back-line. He pierced it with a through ball for striker Ben Williamson to equalise just before the hour mark and then out-jumped Leon Johnson to head down past Bull. He then somehow out-muscled and out-jumped both Johnson and Gary Doherty to head his second of the afternoon. The misery wasn't yet complete as Bull allowed Ashley Vincent's 25-yard drive to spin out of his hands and into the net. The scoreline may have been a little flattering but the hosts deserved their victory.

Ainsworth unsurprisingly named an unchanged starting line-up to the side which won at Fleetwood Town, the only change coming on the bench with striker Matt McClure returning from a hamstring strain to replace Oliver Taylor. The next week looks even more crucial for the immediate future of Wycombe Wanderers with back-to-back home games against Barnet and our plucky non-league neighbours Oxford United. Both teams recorded handsome and much needed home wins at the weekend and suddenly they appear to be slightly more tricky than some might've been thinking.

Two victories and six points should guarantee Ainsworth's job title becoming sans caretaker. It would also leave the Wanderers well placed to push up the table and look to leave any thoughts of a relegation battle behind them. A victory against the Bees may well be considered enough in itself but anything less and it won't be just supporters who will be having second thoughts about who they consider to be the best man to succeed Gary Waddock. It could mean a return to the drawing board with the likes of Sean Dyche and Keith Scott being favoured by some.

Barnet have endured a nightmare start to the season under new rookie coach Mark Robson. They had failed to win any of their opening eleven matches in League Two and that prompted the club to bring in former Dutch international Edgar Davids as a joint-player / coach alongside Robson. His first game in the dugout ended in a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Plymouth Argyle at Underhill so Davids decided he had better put his boots back on. It paid immediate dividends as he captained the side to their first win of the season, thrashing Northampton Town 4-0 at Underhill on Friday evening. A victory at Adams Park will take them to within two points of the Blues.

The Chairboys have hosted the Bees on numerous occasions of the years with the first meeting coming in an F.A. Amateur Cup second round tie at Loakes Park way back in January 1921 when a brace-a-piece from Jackman and O'Gorman sealed a 4-3 victory. One meeting at Loakes Park which won't be forgotten is the 7-0 thrashing in September 1987 at the hands of a Barnet side which featured the recently-departed Noel Ashford. There have been ten meetings between the sides at Adams Park in both league and cup. The Blues have won six, drawn three and lost one.

The sides last met at AP back in September 2010 when Gary Waddock's team had made a slow start to life back in League Two. The hosts took the lead on 19 minutes when Andy Sandell headed Matt Bloomfield's corner into the net. Lewis Montrose smashed home from thirty yards to double the lead just five minutes later, before Sandell headed home another set-piece from Bloomfield. Phil Walsh pulled one back for the visitors with just over a quarter of an hour remaining but Bloomfield restored the three-goal lead with a fine finish from the edge of the box. A minute later some lax defending allowed Steve Kabba to score and the game finished 4-2 to the Blues.

Gareth Ainsworth will be forced to make at least one change to his starting line-up in midweek with Jo Kuffour serving a one-match ban. That could see Matt McClure handed another start. There is also a doubt over winger Bruno Andrade, who limped off against Port Vale at the weekend after picking up a knock. That could see Ainsworth recall himself but there is also a chance of midfielder Sam Wood making a welcome return after more than two months out with a knee ligament injury.

Striker Dennis Oli could be back in training next week after recovering from an ankle ligament injury. Full-back Marvin McCoy could also be joining him after fracturing his left fibula and damaging ankle ligaments. No timescale has been set on a return to action for midfielder Matt Bloomfield as he battles with a groin problem. Full-back Grant Basey's surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament injury was successful but he will miss the rest of the season as he continues his rehabilitation.

The Wanderers starting eleven could be as follows (4-4-2):

Nikki Bull

Danny Foster - Gary Doherty - Leon Johnson - Charles Dunne

Gareth Ainsworth - Josh Scowen - Stuart Lewis - Joel Grant

Dean Morgan - Matt McClure

Subs: Matt Ingram, Anthony Stewart, Dave Winfield, Matt Spring, Sam Wood, Junior Morais, Oliver Taylor.

Barnet might sit rock bottom of the League Two table but they will travel to Buckinghamshire with renewned confidence having given the Cobblers a good shoeing last time out. Davids and Robson are unlikely to make any changes after their maiden league win and that should mean no return to Adams Park for full-back Danny Senda. He has returned to reserve team action after more than nine months out with a knee injury but is unlikely to be named in the squad. Striker Jake Hyde, the nephew of Wanderers legend Paul Hyde, once had a trial spell with the Blues and he is set to continue in attack.

Goalkeeper Sam Cowler was named on the bench last time out, and he spent time playing with the Wanderers youth side three years ago whilst a West Ham United player. He replaced goalkeeper Liam O'Brien, who has only just recovered from a hernia operation and he is one of a trio of doubts with strikers Collins John (thigh) and Ricky Holmes (hamstring) still struggling. Midfielders Curtis Weston and Frankie Warren are both ruled-out with thigh and ankle injuries respectively. Striker Ismail Kamara is sidelined with a dislocated shoulder whilst striker Steve Kabba is recovering from knee surgery.

The Bees may line-up something like this (4-5-1):

Graham Stack

Barry Fuller - David Stephens - Krystian Pearce - Jordan Brown

Andy Yiadom - Clovis Kamdjo - Edgar Davids - John Oster - Anthony Edgar

Jake Hyde

Subs: Sam Cowler, Jack Saville, Ahmed Abdulla, Jamal Lowe, Mark Byrne, Oliver Lee, Jon Nurse.


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 21st place with 11 points from 12 games and Barnet in 24th spot with 6 points from 13 games.


Barnet Away Record..........W 0 - D 1 - L 5 - Pts 1...Ppg 0.17 (Rank-24)

Wycombe Home Record....W 1 - D 2 - L 2 - Pts 5...Ppg 1.00 (Rank-21)


Barnet's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Exeter (H)..................Lost 1-2

Lg2: Southend (A)............Drew 2-2

JPT: Orient (A)...................Lost 0-1

Lg2: Plymouth (H)..............Lost 1-4

Lg2: Northampton (H)........Won 4-0


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Plymouth (H).............Drew 1-1

Lg2: Torquay (H)................Won 2-1

JPT: Portsmouth (A)............Won 3-1

Lg2: Fleetwood (A).............Won 1-0

Lg2: Port Vale (A)...............Lost 1-4


Barnet Goal Stats (15 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 12...Cups: 1...Total: 13

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 26...Cups: 6...Total: 32

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 3.....Cups: 1...Total: 4

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 13...Cups: 6...Total: 19

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 2.....Cups: 0...Total: 2


Wycombe Goal Stats (14 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 12...Cups: 3...Total: 15

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 20...Cups: 2...Total: 22

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 4.....Cups: 0...Total: 4

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 5.....Cups: 0...Total: 5

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 1.....Cups: 0...Total: 1


Barnet's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Jake Hyde...............3

Jonathan Nurse........2

Ricky Holmes...........2

Six other players have each scored 1 goal.


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Dean Morgan............3

Joel Grant................2

OG..........................2

Gareth Ainsworth......1

Bruno Andrade.........1

Stuart Beavon..........1

Matt Bloomfield.........1

Gary Doherty...........1

Matt McClure............1

Josh Scowen............1

Sam Wood...............1


Barnet Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Ricky Holmes......9 on-target...7 off-target...0 against woodwork

Anthony Edgar... 7 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork

Jake Hyde..........6 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - League Only

Dean Morgan.........8 on-target...4 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joel Grant..............6 on-target...8 off-target...0 against woodwork

Joe Kuffour............5 on-target...5 off-target...0 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Barnet.........41 on target...47 off target...3 against w'work (Rank-21)

Wycombe.....40 on target...45 off target...0 against w'work (Rank-22)


Most Assists

Barnet - Ricky Holmes...........................3

Wycombe - Ainsworth, Grant & Lewis......2


League Form Guide

All Season


Barnet........Pld: 13...W: 1...D: 3...L: 9...Pts: 6.....Pts per game: 0.46

Wycombe....Pld: 12...W: 3...D: 2...L: 7...Pts: 11...Pts per game: 0.92


Last Five league Games

Barnet..............LLDLW - 4 points (Rank-20)

Wycombe........LDWWL - 7 points (Rank-15)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Barnet................LLLLD - 8 points (Rank-22)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Wycombe..........LDLDW - 5 points (Rank-20)


Against Top Half Opposition

Barnet.........Pld: 9...Pts: 2.....Pts per game: 0.22...(Rank-22)

Wycombe.....Pld: 8...Pts: 10...Pts per game: 1.25...(Rank-11)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Barnet..........Pld: 4...Pts: 4...Pts per game: 1.00...(Rank-23)

Wycombe......Pld: 4...Pts: 1...Pts per game: 0.25...(Rank-24)


Previous Meetings

In 16 previous Football League, League Cup, Football League Trophy and FA Cup meetings (not counting qualifiers) there have been 6 wins for Wycombe, 4 for Barnet and 6 draws. The two sides have met many times in other competitions.

At Adams Park the tally is 5 wins for the Blues, 0 wins for the Bees and 3 draws.

1993/94 FLT: Wycombe 1 Barnet 0

1996/97 FAC: Wycombe 3 Barnet 2

2000/01 LGC: Wycombe 3 Barnet 1

2005/06 LG2: Wycombe 1 Barnet 0

2006/07 LG2: Wycombe 1 Barnet 1

2007/08 LG2: Wycombe 0 Barnet 0

2008/09 LG2: Wycombe 1 Barnet 1

2010/11 LG2: Wycombe 4 Barnet 2


The Man In The Middle

Tuesday's referee is Iain Williamson from Berkshire who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2002. His most recent Wycombe game was a 3-1 home defeat to Cheltenham Town in last season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy. During the current campaign he's issued 2 red and 24 yellow cards in 8 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Wycombe 1 Barnet 1

Len: Wycombe 2 Barnet 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday October 22 2012

Time: 12:44AM

 

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