Following Tuesday’s excellent 3-0 victory at Weymouth, in which Josh Rees scored a brace, either side of a Harry Panayiotou header, Aldershot Town hit the road again, albeit only to North London, to take on Barnet at The Hive.
In association with LV BET, Rob Worrall previews the game:
Craig Tanner made his long awaited return from the bench on Tuesday, along with Ricky Miller, who missed the last few games with a hamstring issue. Ross McCormack (Achilles), Alex Finney (hamstring op) and Alfy Whittingham (Ankle) remain side-lined. Otherwise Shots boss Danny Searle should have the rest of his playing squad to pick from.
Name: Barnet FC
Nickname: The Bees
Caretaker Manager: First Team Coach Simon Bassey, Assisted by Dave Anderson
Stadium: The Hive
2019/20 National League Final Position: 7th (on PPG) – lost at Play-Off Eliminator Stage
Current National League position: 22nd
Simon Bassey is a name that will be familiar to Aldershot Town supporters from his playing days in the late 90’s. In all, he made 150+ appearances for Carshalton, Shots and AFC Wimbledon combined, before retiring due to injury and taking up a coaching role at AFC Wimbledon. He has twice taken the ‘Caretaker Manager’ role at Wimbledon, after the departures of Neal Ardley and Neil Cox. He departed Wimbledon by mutual consent in the 2018/19 season. He took up the role of First Team Coach at Barnet two weeks ago and as the most Senior Coach at the club, immediately assumed the role of Caretaker Manager, in which he will be assisted by the experienced Dave Anderson, who in taking the role of Goalkeeping Coach at Barnet, is now in his 15th managerial role in Non-League football, the most Senior of which was a stint as AFC Wimbledon Manager between 2004-2007. In May, 2019, he led Chertsey Town to FA Vase glory at Wembley.
With Bassey now the fifth person to take the helm at Barnet this season, there has, unsurprisingly, been a lot of player movement in and out of The Hive. The Bees lost the services of ex-Shots duo Cheye Alexander and Callum Reynolds even before they took part in the August 2020 play-offs, along with fellow Defenders, Dan Sweeney and Elliott Johnson. In the close season, last season’s top scorer, Simeon Akinola also moved on, as did Dan Sparkes, Ricardo Santos and Medi Elito.
12 players stayed, including skipper James Dunne, Keeper Scott Loach, Wes Fonguck, Joh Walker, Ephron Mason-Clark and Alfie Pavey. Former Manager Peter Beadle brought in the likes of Alexander McQueen (Dagenham), top scorer Michael Petrasso (8 goals to date) and JJ Hooper (Wrexham).
Subsequent manager Flowers then looked to strengthen the National League’s leakiest defence with the likes of; Liam Daly (Gloucester City), Ben Richards-Everton (Bradford City), Themis Kefalis (on loan from QPR), Ben Nugent (Stevenage) and Lee Vaughan (AFC Telford). He also strengthened the Bees midfield options with Anthony Wordsworth (AFC Wimbledon) and brought in Courtney Baker-Richardson on loan from Barrow.
Since Bassey’s arrival, the only players brought in to date, are Sam Skeffington, a midfielder, on loan from Millwall until the end of the season and Defender Sam Beard (Dorking Wanderers), who was awarded Man of the Match on his (and Bassey’s) debut, which resulted in a 0-0 draw at Maidenhead United.
The Bees are currently on a run of 12 National League games without victory, a run that has seen them beaten 10 times and pick up 2 draws. They currently sit 22nd in the National League table, with 14 points from 30 matches, having conceded 72 goals.
Saturday’s referee is Scott Tallis. This season, he has taken charge of 14 National League matches, showing 42 Yellow Cards and 2 Red Cards.
The match will be streamed and available by the home side. See their official website for details. There will also be live BBC Radio Surrey Sport commentary of the match with Rob Worrall, who will be joined by former Bromley boss, Neil “Smudger” Smith