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Preview: Barnet v Wycombe Wanderers


Wycombe Wanderers hit the road for the final time this season as they make the relatively short trip to North London to face Barnet in the final ever league game to be played at Underhill.

The Chairboys claimed a share of the spoils after holding promotion chasers Northampton Town to a goal-less draw at Adams Park in midweek. It was a game short on both quality and entertainment as the Cobblers` brought their own brand of grindball to bear, but there were plenty of positives to take from the evening, not least a third clean sheet in five matches with Matt Ingram already looking comfortable between the sticks and Gary Doherty and Leon Johnson imperious in the centre of defence.

The point takes the Blues up one place to 14th in the League Two table on 59 points and the target to beat remains the 12th place finish with 62 points in 2006/07 under current Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert. Barnet meanwhile have considerably more to play for. They slipped into the bottom two in midweek after losing 3-2 at relegation rivals Torquay United at Plainmoor and should results go against them this weekend, they could be relegated out of the Football League.

Wycombe Wanderers have been regular visitors to Underhill over the last sixty years so it is somewhat fitting that the Chairboys will be the final ever opponents at a much-loved ground that will be sorely missed. This will be the 21st visit to North London in first team competitions, the first of which came back in February 1952 in a F.A. Amateur Cup quarter-final tie. It attracted a record crowd of 11,026 which still stands to this day but sadly the Bees won the game 2-0.

The first seven meetings all came in F.A. Cup competitions with the first four all ending in defeat for the Blues. A victory was finally recorded in January 1977 in F.A. Trophy first round tie with Howard Kettleborough`s goal sealing a narrow 1-0 win. The first league meeting came in August 1985 following the Wanderers promotion to the Gola League and they enjoyed another 1-0 victory, this time courtesy of Declan Link`s first half penalty. It needed a superb late penalty save from Gary Lester to take all three points.

It took ten meetings before the sides recorded a draw and it was a painful one for the Chairboys. The late Kevin Durham fired the visitors ahead but the promotion chasing hosts snatched an equaliser in injury-time as the game ended 1-1. The Blues fortunes didn`t get any better in the following years, failing to record a single victory in any of the next ten meetings as both clubs won the GM Vauxhall Conference title and promotion to the Football League.

There was a rip-roaring 3-2 defeat on a balmy Tuesday evening in September 1990 when 4,579 fans almost saw the visitors came back from a 3-0 deficit with Mark West notching a brace. It would be more than six years before the sides met again in a F.A. Cup second round tie. It ended in a pulsating 3-3 draw as the Wanderers fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 only for Sean Devine to restore the hosts lead. Yet John Williams levelled to notch his second of the afternoon to earn a replay.

The meeting in January 2006 ended in a goal-less draw but the game paled into insignificance on an emotional afternoon as Wycombe Wanderers mourned the tragic passing of 21-year-old Mark Philo.

The last trip to Underhill came on a freezing cold Tuesday evening in March 2011 as Gary Waddock`s side somehow scraped a 1-0 win courtesy of Chris Westwood`s header on the stroke of half-time. It needed two crucial saves from Nikki Bull to take the three points as he pushed efforts from Clovis Kamdjo and Mark Hughes onto the woodwork. That was only the Blues fifth victory in 20 visits to Underhill. There have been five draws and ten wins for Barnet.

Gareth Ainsworth made three changes to his starting line-up in midweek with defender Leon Johnson coming in to replace injured defender Dave Winfield. Defender Marvin McCoy and midfielder Stuart Lewis were also recalled to the side with defender Michael Harriman and midfielder Sam Wood both dropping to the bench. There was a recall to the bench for teenage defender Kortney Hause after he recovered from recent illness.

Striker Matt McClure had to be substituted with a knee problem whilst Dave Winfield is still struggling with a calf strain and both players are rated doubtful for the weekend. That could mean recalls for Sam Wood or Jo Kuffour whilst Junior Morias will be hoping to feature again after his cameo in midweek. One wonders whether ex-Barnet goalkeeper and current Blues' goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison might be given his debut, perhaps as a late substitute!

A quartet of players remain in the treatment room and won't play again until next season. Defender Anthony Stewart is recovering from surgery after fracturing his hand whilst midfielder Matt Bloomfield is still struggling with a pelvic shear which is preventing him from training. Defender Danny Foster is recovering from a second operation on his knee whilst full-back Grant Basey continues his rehabilitation following surgery on his anterior cruciate ligaments.

Here's the current list of player availability...

Matt McClure (Striker) - doubtful (substituted with a hamstring strain in midweek)

Dave Winfield (Centre Back) - very doubtful (struggling with a calf strain)

Anthony Stewart (Centre Back) - ruled-out with a fractured hand and won't play again until next season

Matt Bloomfield (Midfielder) - ruled out with a groin injury and won't play again until next season

Danny Foster (Right Back) - ruled out with a knee injury and won't play again until next season

Grant Basey (Left Back) - ruled out with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury and won't play again until next season

The Chairboys starting eleven could look something like this (4-4-2):

Matt Ingram

Michael Harriman - Gary Doherty - Leon Johnson - Charles Dunne

Stuart Lewis - Josh Scowen - Matt Spring - Sam Wood

Dean Morgan - Joel Grant

Subs: Lee Harrison, Kortney Hause, Marvin McCoy, Bruno Andrade, Jesse Kewley-Graham, Junior Morais, Jo Kuffour

Barnet have suffered a third successive campaign fighting for their Football League survival and yet again they appear to be the brink of a return to non-league football. The appointment of Mark Robson as head coach was a failure and he was soon usurped by player-coach Edgar Davids,who took sole charge just before the turn of the year. The Bees have lost their last two games and have won just one of their last five to leave them on the precipice. They have however only lost one of their last nine home games.

Davids made two changes to his starting line-up in midweek with winger Keanu Marsh-Brown and striker Harry Crawford both recalled to the side. Winger Jon Nurse and striker Jake Hyde both dropped to the bench. Versatile midfielder Andy Yiadom continued to deputise at right-back with defender Barry Fuller handed an additional a two match ban. He was left out of the squad as was striker Craig Beattie whilst midfielders Clovis Kamdjo and winger Mauro Vilhete were both recalled to the bench.

Loan midfielder Kyle De Silva is available again after serving a three match ban and will be hoping to make the squad for the vital clash with the Chairboys. Goalkeeper Sam Cowler and Liam O'Brien are sidelined with hand and groin injuries whilst strikers Ricky Holmes and Steve Kabba are ruled-out with long-term ankle and knee injuries.

The Bees squad does include a couple of ex-Wanderers but you may not remember them as neither featured for the first team. Sam Cowler joined on a youth loan from West Ham United back in 2009 whilst striker Jake Hyde, the nephew of ex-Blues goalkeeper Paul Hyde, was part of the Centre of Excellence as a kid and played a handful of reserve matches in 2008.

Barnet lined-up as follows last time out: (4-5-1):

Graham Stack

Andy Yiadam - Dale Stephens - Tom Flanagan - Elliot Johnson

Keanu Marsh-Brown - Mark Byrne - Curtis Weston - John Oster - Edgar Davids

Harry Crawford

Subs: Michel Kuipers, Chiro N`Toko, Clovis Kamdjo, Luke Gambin, Mauro Vilhete, Jon Nurse, Jake Hyde


Here are all the stats...


The league table currently shows Wycombe in 14th place with 59 points and Barnet in 23rd spot with 48 points, both sides having played 44 games.


Barnet Home Record......W 7 - D 9 - L 6.....Pts 30...Ppg 1.36 (Rank-13)

Wycombe Away Record..W 9 - D 2 - L 11...Pts 29...Ppg 1.32 (Rank-10)


Barnet's last five results (All Competitions)

Lg2: Cheltenham (H).......Drew 0-0

Lg2: Dagenham (H).........Drew 0-0

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

Lg2: Chesterfield (H).........Lost 0-2

Lg2: Torquay (A)..............Lost 2-3


Wycombe's last five results (All Competitions)

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

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

Lg2: Burton (A)..................Lost 0-2

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

Lg2: Northampton (H)........Drew 0-0


Barnet Goal Stats (47 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 46...Cups: 1...Total: 47

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 57...Cups: 8...Total: 65

Goals Scored (Home).........Lg: 27...Cups: 0...Total: 27

Goals Conceded (Home).....Lg: 23...Cups: 2...Total: 25

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 15...Cups: 0...Total: 15

Failed to score...................Lg: 16...Cups: 2...Total: 18


Wycombe Goal Stats (48 games in all Competitions)

Goals Scored (Total)..........Lg: 49...Cups: 4...Total: 53

Goals Conceded (Total)......Lg: 58...Cups: 8...Total: 66

Goals Scored (Away).........Lg: 23...Cups: 4...Total: 27

Goals Conceded (Away).....Lg: 35...Cups: 8...Total: 43

Clean Sheets.....................Lg: 14...Cups: 0...Total: 14

Failed to score...................Lg: 14...Cups: 2...Total: 16


Barnet's Top Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Jake Hyde...............13

Ricky Holmes............5

Jonathan Nurse.........4

Mark Byrne...............3

Daniel Lopez.............3

Andrew Yiadom.........3

Two other players have each scored two goals.

Twelve other players have each scored 1 goal


Wycombe's Goal Scorers - (All Competitions)

Joel Grant...............11

Matt McClure...........11

Dean Morgan............8

Sam Wood...............3

Gareth Ainsworth......2

Bruno Andrade.........2

Gary Doherty...........2

Jo Kuffour................2

Stuart Lewis.............2

Dave Winfield...........2

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

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

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

Kortney Hause.........1

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

Matt Spring..............1

Anthony Stewart......1


Barnet Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Ricky Holmes......26 on-target...22 off-target...3 against woodwork

Jake Hyde...........31 on-target...15 off-target...0 against woodwork

Mark Byrne.........27 on-target...18 off-target...2 against woodwork


Wycombe Shooting (Top-3) - All Comps

Dean Morgan......28 on-target...33 off-target...7 against woodwork

Joel Grant...........26 on-target...25 off-target...0 against woodwork

Matt McClure.......21 on-target...22 off-target...1 against woodwork


Shooting (Club) - League only

Barnet........181 on target...158 off target...11 against w'work (Rank-23)

Wycombe....170 on target...186 off target...11 against w'work (Rank-22)


Most Assists

Barnet - Mark Byrne..............9

Wycombe - Josh Scowen........7


Discipline - All Comps

Barnet...........5 Red Cards - 56 Yellow Cards

Wycombe.......5 Red Cards - 74 Yellow Cards


League Form Guide

All Season


Barnet.......Pld: 44...W: 12...D: 12...L: 20...Pts: 48...Pts per game: 1.09

Wycombe...Pld: 44...W: 17...D: 8....L: 19...Pts: 59...Pts per game: 1.34


First-third of the season (games 1-15)

Barnet........Pld: 15...W: 2...D: 4...L: 9...Pts: 10...Ppg: 0.67 (Rank-24)

Wycombe....Pld: 15...W: 3...D: 4...L: 8...Pts: 13...Ppg: 0.87 (Rank-22)


Second-third of the season (games 16-30)

Barnet........Pld: 15...W: 5...D: 4...L: 6...Pts: 19...Ppg: 1.27 (Rank-17)

Wycombe....Pld: 15...W: 9...D: 2...L: 4...Pts: 29...Ppg: 1.93 (Rank-2)


Final-third of the season (game 31 onwards)

Barnet........Pld: 14...W: 5...D: 4...L: 5...Pts: 19...Ppg: 1.36 (Rank-14)

Wycombe....Pld: 14...W: 5...D: 2...L: 7...Pts: 17...Ppg: 1.21 (Rank-16)


Last Five league Games

Barnet.............DDWLL - 5 points (Rank-17)

Wycombe.....WWLWD - 10 points (Rank-4)


Last Five League Games (Home)

Barnet...........WWDDL - 8 points (Rank-14)


Last Five League Games (Away)

Wycombe........LLWWL - 6 points (Rank-10)


Against Top Half Opposition

Barnet..........Pld: 23...Pts: 30...Pts per game: 1.30...(Rank-11)

Wycombe......Pld: 23...Pts: 24...Pts per game: 1.04...(Rank-17)


Against Bottom Half Opposition

Barnet..........Pld: 21...Pts: 18...Pts per game: 0.86...(Rank-24)

Wycombe......Pld: 21...Pts: 35...Pts per game: 1.67...(Rank-8)


First 45 mins v Second 45 mins - Performance Comparison

First-Half


Barnet...........W: 6.....D: 25...L: 13...Ppg: 0.98 (Rank-23)

Wycombe.......W: 14...D: 17...L: 13...Ppg: 1.34 (Rank-6)


Second-Half

Barnet...........W: 13...D: 18...L: 13...Ppg: 1.30 (Rank-13)

Wycombe.......W: 12...D: 15...L: 17...Ppg: 1.16 (Rank-20)


League Goals scored in First-Half

Barnet............15 (33%) (Rank-24)

Wycombe........25 (51%) (Rank-10)


League Goals scored in Second-Half

Barnet............31 (67%) (Rank-12)

Wycombe........24 (49%) (Rank-21)


League Goals conceded in First-Half

Barnet............29 (51%) (Rank-21)

Wycombe........23 (40%) (Rank-8)


League Goals conceded in Second-Half

Barnet............28 (49%) (Rank-7)

Wycombe........35 (60%) (Rank-16)


Record when scoring the first goal

Barnet scored first.....15 times (W:9 - D:4 - L:2)....Ppg: 2.07 (Rank-16)

Wyc'be scored first....23 times (W:14 - D:5 - L:4)...Ppg: 2.04 (Rank-17)


Record when conceding the first goal

Barnet conceded first..23 times (W:3 - D:2 - L:18)..Ppg: 0.48 (Rank-13)

Wyc'be conceded first..18 times (W:3 - D:0 - L:15)..Ppg: 0.50 (Rank-11)


Previous Meetings

In 17 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 7 draws. The two sides have met many times in other competitions.

At Underhill the tally is 1 win for the Chairboys, 4 for the Bees and 3 draws.

1981/82 FAC: Barnet 2 Wycombe 0

1996/97 FAC: Barnet 3 Wycombe 3

2000/01 LGC: Barnet 2 Wycombe 1

2005/06 LG2: Barnet 0 Wycombe 0

2006/07 LG2: Barnet 2 Wycombe 1

2007/08 LG2: Barnet 2 Wycombe 1

2008/09 LG2: Barnet 1 Wycombe 1

2010/11 LG2: Barnet 0 Wycombe 1


The Man In The Middle

Saturday's referee is Christopher Sarginson from Staffordshire who was promoted to the National List of Referees in 2008. His last Wycombe game was a 2-1 defeat at home to Sheffield Wednesday in October 2011, an encounter that was notable for a yellow card shown to 15 year-old Jordan Ibe for celebrating his first senior goal and a red card shown to current Blues' boss Gareth Ainsworth. During the current campaign he's issued 4 red and 66 yellow cards in 28 appearances.


Predictions

Benny: Barnet 2 Wycombe 1

Len: Barnet 1 Wycombe 1




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The Journalist

Writer: Benny & Len Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 18 2013

Time: 1:12PM

 

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