Vanarama National League – The Hive London – Tuesday 7th August 2018 – KO 19:45
The Bees return to the Hive tomorrow night on the hunt for their first victory of the season after Saturday’s opening day draw away at Aldershot Town.
Multiple debutants took to the field for Barnet as John Still overlooked his first game back in charge but despite numerous chances to win the game, the Bees had to settle for a point apiece.
However, it was a positive result nonetheless with attentions now turning to Tuesday night when we welcome Braintree Town.
Andre Boucaud was taken off injured in our friendly with West Ham XI meaning he missed Saturday’s opener at Aldershot and a return is unlikely for this fixture.
Striker Dave Tarpey was forced off during Saturday’s warm-up with a slight tweak in his knee that was injured last season. A decision is yet to be made on him.
Skipper Callum Reynolds is nearing a return following the back issue which has ruled him out in the last few weeks.
Ricardo Santos, Mauro Vilhete and Harry Taylor are all sidelined.
The last time Barnet and Braintree Town went head-to-head in a competitive fixture was back in October 2014.
A National League encounter under the Tuesday night floodlights at the Hive saw the Bees cruise to a 3-0 victory and they will undoubtedly be hoping for a de ja vu this time around.
Luisma Villa opened the scoring on 26 minutes, curling a low shot inside the near post of Nick Hamann’s goal.
Bondz N’Gala found himself on the receiving end of a swinging arm by Iron stand-in captain Sean Marks which subsequently saw the striker receive his marching orders.
Ten-men Braintree fell two behind six minutes later when Villa bagged his brace after producing another curling effort, this time landing in the far corner of the Town net.
Substitute Luke Gambin rounded off a convincing victory just shy of the hour mark, dribbling between defenders before firing hard and low from just outside the box.
Manager – Brad Quinton:
Brad Quinton couldn’t have hoped for a better debut season when he took charge of Braintree last summer. After relegation from the National League, it was always going to be a tough ask to guide his new team back to England’s fifth tier at the first time of asking. However, that’s exactly what Quinton achieved when he lead Town to National League South play-off glory, beating Hampton and Richmond on penalties in the final.
The Braintree boss had already made a name for himself at the club ahead of last season’s triumph after making over 500 appearances and scoring 69 goals for the Iron during a 12-year spell as a player.
Prior to his return to Braintree, Quinton was in charge of Bostik Premier League side Enfield Town. Originally appointed as assistant manager in 2013, he then took over as manager ahead of the 2014-15 season. In his three years at the helm of Enfield, he guided them to promising league positions, ending campaigns in and around the play-off spots. His final season at the club saw them clinch fourth spot but missed out on promotion after a play-off semi-final defeat to Dulwich Hamlet.
One to Watch: Christie Pattison
Winger Christie Pattison only joined Braintree from Carshalton Athletic this summer but will very much be a key player to watch when the Iron visit the Hive tomorrow.
The former Phoenix Sports man spent the start of last season on loan at Welling United before joining Carshalton where he attracted the attention from his current side.
Pattison will undoubtedly use his pace on the flanks to try and cause the Bees problems on Tuesday and after bagging five goals in his short spell with Carshalton last season, he isn’t shy of finding the net.
Two of his strikes last season proved to be crucial late winners meaning the Bees back-line will have to be on high alert until the final whistle in order to prevent his never-say-die attitude from posing a problem.
Braintree travel to North London off the back of a 2-0 opening day home defeat to Halifax Town on Saturday.
Jonathan Edwards opened the scoring for the visitors three minutes before the break after heading the ball past ‘keeper Ben Killip from a corner. It went from bad to worse for the Iron on 65 minutes courtesy of another header from a corner, this time from Nathan Clarke.
It was a disappointing return to the National League for the Iron but they will undoubtedly be hoping to turn things around on Tuesday night.
Simeon Akinola arrived at Barnet in 2017 after spending two years with Braintree. Making over 100 appearances for The Iron, the forward was also part of the Town side who reached the National League play-off semi-final in 2016. Akinola bagged over 20 goals for Braintree before making the switch to the Hive.
Another man who was part of that successful Braintree side of 2016 was summer singing Dan Sparkes. Signing from Histon in 2012, the midfielder spent over four years in Essex, making over 100 appearances before signing for Torquay in 2016.