The Bees kick off their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Southern League Premier Division side Leiston FC. After a disrupted week it is set to be a extremely difficult Fourth Qualifying Round Tie.
Leiston vs Barnet FC
Saturday 24th October, 15:00
Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
This weekend's hosts ply their trade in the Southern League Premier Division Central (Step 3 of Non-League) and have made a difficult start to the season, as they currently sit 22nd and bottom of the division. However, they have impressed in the Emirates FA Cup so far this season having beaten Halsted Town, Biggleswade Town, Leighton Town and AFC Telford United to reach this stage of the competition. They have already experienced one giant-killing so far in this years cup run, knocking out National League North opposition in Telford United on penalties following a battling 0-0 draw.
Leiston will be looking to equal their best ever run in the competition and know a win on Saturday will see them do just that. Their previous best run came in the 2008-9 season when they reached the First Round before being knocked out by Fleetwood Town in a replay, following a historic home draw against the Fleet at the first time of asking. The Blues will fancy their chances going into the match, as they'll know that we head to Suffolk with a depleted side following several positive tests for COVID-19. With an expected reduced sell out crowd of 600, it has all the makings of a difficult cup tie for the Bees.
In terms of preparation for the match, to say it's been a disrupted week would be an understatement for the Bees. As reported throughout the week, the boys have been self-isolating and following wide-scale testing nine players will miss the FA Cup clash on Saturday afternoon. The boss won't be present either after he tested positive, meaning that his assistant Steve Jenkins will lead the side at Victory Road.
It has been 10 days since we were in competitive action, as we beat Weymouth at The Hive London last Tuesday as a first half strike from Wes Fonguck sealed the points for the Bees. The boys who are available will now have to pull together and do their utmost to negate this difficult looking Fourth Qualifying Round tie. In last season's FA Cup run we reached the First Round of the competition before falling to League One side Fleetwood Town at The Hive London, to reach that stage again in the difficult circumstances we face would be a commendable achievement from the Bees.
FA CUP THROWBACK:
See highlights of last seasons Fourth Qualifying Round victory over Potters Bar Town:
STEVE JENKINS THOUGHTS:
HOW YOU CAN FOLLOW THE ACTION:
Unfortunately, the hosts will not be live streaming the fixture and due to the Club taking a skeleton staff to the Cup Clash we will not be able to put an alternative in place. We will ensure that there is minute by minute extended text coverage of the match via our social media channels, plus reaction from the camp following the game.
We will ensure that any participation in further rounds in the competition is covered more extensively and we hope supporters can understand our current situation. In the interests of safety, the Club will only be sending tested staff as part of our officials and media allocation.