Vanarama National League – The Hive London – Saturday 6th September 2018 – KO 15:00
The Bees will be hoping to return to winning ways this weekend when they welcome Maidstone United to The Hive.
John Still’s men go into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 3-1 defeat at home to promotion chasers Salford. Wes Fonguck bagged his sixth goal of the season on 42 minutes before two Ammies goals either side of half-time from Rory Gaffney and Thomas Walker respectively turned the game on it’s head. Mark Shelton made sure of the three points just past the hour mark after smashing home Scott Wiseman’s cross.
The last time these two sides met competitively was 26 years ago during the 1991-92 Division four campaign where Barnet came out on top, winning 3-2. The Bees finished that season in the play-offs, missing out on promotion at the semi-final stage. As for Maidstone, they had to settle for 18th place.
Manager: Harry Wheeler
Maidstone appointed Harry Wheeler as their boss in September following the departure of Jay Saunders, penning a deal until the end of the season.
Before arriving at The Gallagher Stadium, he was in charge of Billericay Town where he led the side to three titles last campaign, including the Bostik Premier League. However, he faced the chop despite a great start to life in the National League South.
Prior to joining The Blues in April 2017, he was at the helm of Welling United. The 30-year-old also managed his home town club St Albans City. Wheeler also represented The Saints during his playing career along with spells at Stevenage and Hampton & Richmond.
The Maidstone boss is a man Still knows very well having named him Dagenham & Redbridge’s head of youth development during his reign at the club.
Since taking charge of The Stones, Wheeler has overseen two league wins and two draws out of eight games.
One to Watch: Blair Turgott
It’s safe to say, Blair Turgott has hit the ground running this season. The 24-year-old has bagged nine league goals this season, the fourth highest scorer in the division and he will undoubtedly be eager to enter double figures tomorrow.
On top of his recent scoring form, Turgott was also named captain last month before claiming the club’s Player of the Month award for September.
The number 11 has bundles of experience under his belt too, stemming from the National League to League One. He also began his career in the West Ham youth set-up, making one FA Cup appearance for the club.
Turgott has also climbed the England youth set-up from U16 level to U19 before he was awarded an England C cap.
Sitting 21st with 15 points to their name, a win for Maidstone tomorrow could lift them back out of the relegation zone.
The Stones haven’t won in their last five league games, drawing twice and losing the others. A 1-1 draw at home to Chesterfield was followed up by a 1-0 defeat to Bromley. They then fell to two more losses, this time at the hands of Fylde and Solihull. However, they go into tomorrow’s game off the back of a 1-1 draw away at 16th placed Ebbsfleet on Tuesday night.
As for their away form, The Stones have clinched three wins out of their nine matches on the road, drawing once and losing the remainder.
Maidstone have scored the least amount of goals in the division so far this season with only 13 to their name. At the other end of the field, they have conceded 25, five more than The Bees.
Last 5 league matches: DLLLD
Dan Sweeney joined Barnet from Maidstone in 2016. The 24-year-old spent just over a year at the club and it was his penalty in the play-off final shoot-out to clinch promotion to the National League in his debut season. He made over 45 appearances for The Stones, scoring on three occasions.
Between 1986 and 1989, John Still was manager of Maidstone on a part-time basis. He guided the side to Conference title glory in his final season in charge before leaving shortly after for Redbridge Forest.