Vanarama National League – York Road – Saturday 6th April 2019 – KO: 15:00
The Bees stretched their unbeaten run to seven games on Tuesday night, convincingly beating play-off chasers Eastleigh 3-0 at the Silverlake Stadium.
Darren Currie’s side, who also clinched their sixth clean sheet on the bounce for the first time since 1981, opened the scoring with 24 minutes on the clock thanks to Shaq Coulthirst. With an equaliser in their sights, Danny Holland’s dismissal in the latter stages of the first half made that task all the more difficult. It then got worse for the hosts as former Bee and Spitfires player/goalkeeping coach Ross Flitney was then sent to the stands from the bench on the stroke of half-time. Barnet took advantage of the extra man in the second half and doubled their lead through Ephron Mason-Clark before Coulthirst converted from the spot just past the hour mark to settle the victory.
Attentions now turn to tomorrow afternoon when the Bees make the short journey to Berkshire as they face Maidenhead United.
Barnet came out on top in the last meeting between the two sides back in September, winning 1-0 at The Hive London. Josh Walker curled the ball into the bottom corner with only four minutes on the clock to bag the only goal of the game as the Bees clinched their fifth successive victory.
Manager: Alan Devonshire
After sitting in the Maidenhead dugout throughout some of the best days in the club’s history, it’s no surprise that Alan Devonshire is a legend at York Road.
The 62-year-old first took charge of the Magpies back in 1996 in a spell which stretched to seven years. During that time, his side put to bed a 27-year silverware drought, winning the Isthmian League Full Members Cup and four Berks & Bucks Senior Cups. His most impressive achievement during his first stab at managing Maidenhead was clinching promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division.
Devonshire left in 2003 but fast forward 12 years and the former midfielder was back in the Magpies’ dugout. He then went on to guide his side to National League South triumph in 2017, recording an impressive 98 points in their title-winning campaign whilst claiming the Manager of the Season award. He then managed to help keep Maidenhead in England’s fifth tier the following season, finishing 12th, only nine points adrift of the play-offs.
Aside from the Magpies, Devonshire also took charge of Hampton & Richmond where he managed to take them from the Isthmian League to the brink of the Conference. He also took charge of Osterley, Brentford Women and Braintree Town during a managerial career that stems back to 1995.
Devonshire is one of the most well-known managers in the division after an impressive playing career. After starting off in the Crystal Palace youth set-up, he went on to play for non-league outfit Southall after failing to break into the Eagles’ first team. The form he showed at the club attracted interest from big names, with one being West Ham United who became the next team to snap up his signature.
He spent 14 years at the Hammers, making himself a legend at the club. The Maidenhead boss made over 400 appearances for the London outfit and was even part of their triumphant FA Cup side of 1980. His time at West Ham also prompted England to give him the nod and he went on to make eight caps for his country. Devonshire also won the Second Division and became a League Cup runner-up in 1981.
He then moved to Watford in 1990, a team where he would go on to spend two years with. However, in 1992, he decided to drop out of league football to take up the role of a player-coach at non-league side Chippenham Sports.
One to Watch: Adrian Clifton
Striker Adrian Clifton tops Maidenhead’s leading scorers for this season having bagged 13 goals and will be looking to add to his tally tomorrow.
The 30-year-old is currently in his second spell at York Road having left in 2015 before re-joining two years later and he’s racked up his best season goal tally at the club this campaign.
Clifton has scored six times since the turn of the year whilst also netting on international duty with Montserrat just under two weeks ago. Since returning to England, the forward bagged the winner in his first game back against Havant & Waterlooville before making a late appearance from the bench last weekend.
Clifton is likely to regain his starting spot tomorrow as he looks to cause problems for the Barnet back-line.
Recent League Form:
Maidenhead, who sit 17th, will go level on points with Barnet if they win tomorrow. The Magpies also go into the game having won three of their last five league matches.
A 1-0 victory over Sutton United last month was followed up by a 3-0 defeat away at Ebbsfleet United three days later. They then found themselves on the wrong side of a 1-0 score-line when travelling to Harrogate Town in their next fixture. However, they quickly picked themselves up with a 2-1 win over Havant & Waterlooville before beating Halifax Town 1-0 in their last outing at the weekend.
Maidenhead have also bagged 42 goals, conceding 63 and have won eight of their 20 matches at York Road this campaign.
Last 5 league games: WLLWW
Striker Dave Tarpey joined Maidenhead in 2014 and went on to help his side to the National League South title in his final full season at the club before joining Barnet. He returned to York Road on loan in November but only played on three occasions.
Keep up to date:
Live Match Commentary from York Road with Sam Avery will be available on iBarnet.
Full updates will also be on our Twitter account and we'll be going behind the scenes on our Instagram.