Saturday, 3 November 2012

PREVIEW: Barnet Away, FA Cup (03/11/12)

We face a short break now from the league and in some respects it is an unwelcome one, coming as it does on the back of last week's pleasing victory over Wycombe. In an ideal world, we would like another league game to build on that momentum, but progression in the cup brings its own kind of momentum.

To a certain extent it's tempting to look at Barnet – bottom of the entire Football League after a miserable start to the season – as easy opponents, but their recent form suggests they will be more challenging opponents than their lowly league position suggests. In the three games they have played since former international superstar Edgar Davids made his surprise debut for the Bees, Barnet are unbeaten, including an impressive 4-0 victory over Northampton and an away win at Chesterfield last week. Whether this is the result of of Davids' influence or just a temporary boost as a result of having such a big name involved with the club remains to be seen.

We will also go into the match weakened from our last outing as a result of loanees being cup-tied, meaning that Jake Forster-Caskey and Johnny Mullins must sit this one out. Lee Cox is, however, free to play. Barnet appear to have an almost full-strength side to choose from, Davids and all.

There are relatively few playing links between the two sides, though Damian Batt featured 37 times for Barnet in the Conference back in 2004. Our record against Barnet is very good. The two sides have met seven times, of which we have won five and drawn two. The most recent of those was back in February when goals from James Constable and Scott Rendell gave us a 2-1 win.

From the Vaults

Barnet v Oxford United (Football League Trophy 1st round), 7th November 1995

The first ever competitive meeting between Oxford and Barnet saw us travel to Underhill for an Auto Windscreens match. Both sides were relatively new to the competition, with Oxford in their second year in the third tier and Barnet in the their fifth as a Football League club.


Also This Weekend

The youth team stretched their winning run to eight games during the week, securing their passage to the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 4-2 victory over Yeovil Town. They will face Plymouth Argyle on November 14th at Thame United, but first is a trip to face the old enemy in the Youth Alliance Cup. Their opponents, Swindon, are also riding the crest of a wave, having beaten Sholing 6-1 in their midweek FA Youth Cup game.

The table-topping ladies team host Newquay following a blank week last week and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways after being held to a draw by Exeter in their last outing. The reserves also top their division, and make Sunday's trip to Banbury for a Southern Region League Cup match on the back of an astonishing 11-0 win against Newbury last week. More of the same will do nicely.

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