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A Week Of Love In Barnet
Romance By: Eric Hitchmo 15/02/2012




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A solid point at Plymouth keeps any lingering fears of relegation at bay, for now. The 83 brave individuals who made the journey deserve some recognition for their commitment to such an absurd game to attend midweek, especially on what was, the most romantic of all the days. It was either a stand in defiance of the nonsense that is Valentine's Day, or sad acceptance of single life. I'd probably sway towards the latter.

Reports suggest that we played reasonably and perhaps could have won, but it's a solid point against an improving side who have given table-toppers Southend and Crawley something to think about in recent weeks. More importantly, it keeps us nine points clear of them with games in hand and whilst all talk from the club camp suggests a playoff push, I'll be staying a little more reserved until we reach the accepted safety standard of 50 points. This is not to say that this playoff noise is unwelcome, aim as high as possible I say, but from my point of view, my feet are firmly on the ground. It was reassuring also to hear Lawrie Sanchez speak of such reservation, as he cited the very valid example of Lincoln's demise last season.

Away from football, there is a notable hush across the club at the moment. As it stands, going by the last updates from the club, we are within three months of playing our last ever game at Underhill Stadium. Surely if this were to be the case, we would hearing all sorts about our plans for the shortest of short-term futures. Grumbles and groans continue across the fanbase as the clamour for scraps of news grows by the day. We have already covered what our views are on this situation and will not re-tread such ground three weeks on since an update, but the sporadic tidbits that emerge have not really told us very much and we still await the all-telling document that will put all minds at rest. If only it were so easy.

And so back to the football. Promotion chasing Shrewsbury are our next visitors. They always seem to be promotion chasing, but never seem to get the job done, so it's no surprise to see them in there once again. The Shrews are one of six teams at the top within two points of eachother and won't want to let the opportunity to stay in there lightly. Their record at Underhill however is favourable to us. In 11 games, they have never won a single Football League match at Underhill, though eight of those eleven games have been draws. It's clear to see where the sensible money will be this weekend.

Earlier this season at the New Meadow, we were cruelly denied another draw with a last minute goal. That's not the first time that they've done it to us, getting a 90th minute winner in 2007/2008, and a stoppage time equaliser at the old ground in 2005 when Joe Hart proved to everyone why he was a future England Number One. A warning, then, that Shrewsbury do not mind stunning us at the death. We got some degree of revenge when Charlie Taylor popped up with a last minute goal last season to earn us a point, mind you, so swings and roundabouts.

Whilst results in 2012 have undoubtedly been positive, I still have reservations about our gameplan and lack of Plan B when faced against a better opponent. We saw against Swindon last week that our tactic of lumping the ball into the channels for Izale McLeod to chase has little effect when placed up against an able defence, and this has been demonstrated further against the likes of Crawley and it could well be the case against Shrewsbury. Whilst I will never claim to have an unbelievable understanding of the game of football, it seems clear to me that we have players who are well suited to playing football on the floor. The likes of Sam Deering, Mark Byrne and Ricky Holmes are far more effective with the ball at their feet, running at defences rather than chasing lost causes in the hope of a mistake and watching balls continually sail over their heads. We also have an exciting new dimension in the presence of Jordan Obita, but for me we just need to utilise these assets better.

Anyhow, we remain in a decent position when compared to seasons past and the results we have been grinding out using said tactic have been positive, so what do I know? I guess all that's left to say is to wish the Bees the best of luck, hope for a ruddy good performance and three points. Hurrah. We all went home happy.




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All Articles By This Author:

Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...


Other Articles By Category


Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...

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