David Bloomfield revisits our last trip to the Crown Ground
In January last year Barnet went to Accrington, who were themselves in the middle of a good run of form, and the Bees romped home by a 3-0 scoreline.
The pitch was frozen and the referee was one of the few who thought the game should go ahead with Manager Lawrie Sanchez claiming that this was his team’s most professional performance of the season.
Goals from Ricky Holmes, Mark Hughes and Sam Deering did the damage and the points took the Bees to 20th position in the table.
The Bees won all their four league matches this month with Sanchez being short-listed for the divisional Manager of the Month award.
The game was also notable for being the last time Mark Marshall would pull on a black and amber shirt. Mark had played well at the Crown Ground; his speed had caused problems all afternoon, even if I recall that he preferred to ply his trade on the side of the pitch where the sun had made the playing surface almost playable.
By the time of the next game, an away fixture at Northampton, news had come through from the game’s authorities that the left-winger had “failed a drugs test” and was unable to play pending an enquiry.
Marshall subsequently received a two-year ban which will expire in January 2014, by which time he will be 26 and depending on how he has looked after himself could feasibly mean a return to professional football.
The ban was clearly a personal blow for Marshall and also for the Bees who were losing the services of one of the best flank players in the League.
Of the sixteen players on duty for the Bees that day and only Clovis Kamdjo (who started) and subs Elliot Johnson and Mark Byrne are likely to travel later today when the squad head north.