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Match Previews

Preview: Plymouth Argyle (H)

1 January 2017

Get the lowdown as Barnet host the Pilgrims to start 2017...

Match Preview: Plymouth Argyle (H)
EFL League Two
The Hive London 
Monday, January 2, 2017 – KO 3pm

Team News: Strikers Michael Gash (knee), Ben Tomlinson (quad) and Shaun Batt (hamstring) have already been ruled out for the rest of the 2016/17 campaign. James Pearson (knee) is a long-term absentee.

Last Time We Met: The Bees only tackled the Pilgrims in November, coming away from Home Park with a 2-0 win against the league leaders.

Bira Dembele headed Barnet into an early lead from a Luke Gambin corner before John Akinde latched onto an inch-perfect ball over the top from Mauro Vilhete and slotted past goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

Manager: Derek Adams, 41, will be intent on going one better than last season after missing out on promotion at the first attempt as Plymouth lost the 2016 League Two Play-Off Final to AFC Wimbledon.

The Pilgrims boss succeeded John Sheridan after Plymouth lost out to Wycombe Wanderers in the 2015 play-off semi-finals.

Born in Glasgow, the former midfielder cut his managerial teeth as player-coach of Ross County between 2007 and 2010, winning promotion from the Scottish Second Division in his first season.

However, he left in 2010 to join Hibernian where he became assistant to Colin Calderwood but lasted less than a year before rejoining the Staggies as manager in May 2011, winning the Scottish First Division in his first season back at the club.

The title was secured with five games to spare and Ross County enjoyed a 34-game unbeaten run while romping their way to the Scottish Premier League; achievements which brought Adams to the 2012 PFA Scotland Manager of the Year award.

Ross County finished fifth and seventh in the top flight before Adams stepped down in August 2014.

Dangerman: Attacking midfielder Graham Carey has enjoyed another fine season so far after impressing during his maiden campaign at Home Park.

The 27-year-old has nine goals in 22 outings for the Pilgrims this season and will be looking to build on the 12 he bagged in his first campaign with the West Country club.

Carey, who was born in Blanchardstown in Dublin, made one appearance for Celtic in six years at Parkhead before leaving in 2011 following loan spells with Bohemians, St Mirren and Huddersfield Town.

He joined St Mirren permanently upon his exit from Celtic and spent two years at Love Street before joining Ross County in 2013 where he linked up with Adams for the first time.

Connections: Former left-back-cum-midfielder Lee Hodges made more than 100 appearances for both Barnet and Plymouth Argyle.

The Epping-born left-sider joined the Bees from Tottenham Hotspur in 1994 and stayed at Underhill for three years, netting an impressive 26 goals in just 104 league appearances.

Less prolific was Bondz N’Gala. The centre-back left The Hive London in late November to join Eastleigh. He scored twice in just 96 league appearances, most memorably a late winner against Forest Green Rovers as the Bees won the 2015 Vanarama Conference title.

Another member of that title-winning side who has also joined Eastleigh recently is Graham Stack. 

The former Arsenal stopper, who has spent the last few months in the Indian Super League with Kerala Blasters, also made five appearances as a Pilgrim during the 2008/09 season.

Also: Jake Cole, Yannick Bolasie, Jason Puncheon, Carl Fletcher, Kevin Gallen, Anthony Pulis.

Last Time Out: Goals from Oscar Threlkeld and Craig Tanner kept Plymouth top of the table ahead of the New Year with a 2-0 win over Crawley Town on Saturday.

Threlkeld opened the scoring in the 69th minute, poking home after Glenn Morris failed to clear a David Fox cross properly.

The Pilgrims made sure of the points deep into stoppage time, Tanner cracking home to end 2016 on a high in every sense of the word. 

Plymouth Argyle (4-2-3-1): McCormick; Miller, Songo'o, Bradley, Purrington; Threlkeld, Fox; Jervis, Carey, Slew; Garita.

Ticket info: Supporters can order tickets for tomorrow’s match from our online box office or by arriving early and buying on the day from The Hive Ticket Office. 

Keep up with the game: Full match commentary from every game is available on Bees PlayerHD. You can also get live match updates on Twitter and Facebook throughout the afternoon. We are also on Snapchat ('Barnetofficial') and Instagram.


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