Notts County vs Barnet FC
Saturday, July 25th
Vanarama National League – Play-Off Semi-Final
Following last weekend’s dramatic play-off eliminator victory over Yeovil Town, the Bees head to Meadow Lane knowing a win would take us to the play-off final at Wembley Stadium. It would be the Club’s first trip to the stadium since it’s rebuild in 2007, but first of all, they must overcome a formidable Notts County side on Saturday evening.
Darren Currie’s side defended resolutely in the victory at Huish Park and the boss will be hoping for more of the same when we take on the Magpies. However, Currie will also be hoping his side can see more of the ball and once again be clinical when the opportunities arrive. The big Meadow Lane pitch may play into the Bees favour if they can get the ball down and play their usual neat passing game. A huge factor will be fitness and we head to Nottingham with 90 minutes of competitive football in the tank, however, Currie was keen to stress that it may only be the finest of advantages.
Paul McCallum is going to be once again the key man for the Bees on Saturday evening, he found the back of the net with his first sniff at goal last weekend and that clinical nature could be the difference once again. The game could be won and lost in the wide areas too and Currie will be hoping for another solid performance from the likes of Mauro Vilhete and David Tutonda.
Despite a shaky start to life in non-league, the Pies have been there or thereabouts all season in terms of the play-off places all season long. They have only lost on their own patch twice this season, although one of which did come against the Bees way back in August, whilst the other team to leave Meadow Lane victorious was eventual champions Barrow AFC. The Pies would have highly likely been backed by a huge crowd in normal circumstances but will have to adjust to life without the backing of their usually vocal home support.
Neal Ardley’s side are looking to bounce back to the Football League at the first attempt and have a squad of exciting youthful prospects, as well as plenty of Football League experience players too. There is no underestimating the challenge ahead of the Bees on Saturday evening, but the hosts have plenty of expectation on them to achieve promotion at the first time of asking. The game will rest on who can handle the occasion better, as well as who can maintain the fitness required for what has the potential to be a frantic semi-final.
Last time we met:
The one to watch – Enzio Boldewijn
We asked Nottingham Post journalist Leigh Curtis who the Pies standout player was and this is what he had to say
“I’m going to go for Enzio Boldewijn. The Dutch winger has had a brilliant season and is capable of turning a game on its head through pure magic. He scored one of the goals of the season against Barnet here. And Notts fans are hoping he can produce a repeat of that.”
What’s been said:
Neal Ardley – Notts County manager
“I thought Yeovil are a strong team, so go to Yeovil which is a really tough place to go and defend with so much passion and resilience, they earnt their luck. They earnt their chance to take those opportunities and win the game.”
“By the time we get to Saturday, everyone should know their jobs and what we’re about to face. If we can keep the lads relaxed, that gives us the best chance of winning the game.”
Darren Currie – Barnet FC Head Coach
Where to follow the action:
The match will once again live on BT Sport and it is set to get underway following the completion of the other semi-final between Harrogate Town and Boreham Wood.
If you haven’t got BT Sport then you can follow all the action live on iBarnet, as Sam Avery and Adam Rowe bring you live commentary so you don’t miss a moment of the action from Meadow Lane.
Alternatively, there’ll be behind the scenes content and live text updates on our Twitter account. Stay tuned across our social channels for all the post-match reaction.
Please don’t travel:
Your support so far this season has been incredible both at The Hive London and on our travels, however on this occasion we’re going to have to perform without the backing of the Bee Army in attendance.
Please do not travel to Nottingham, the game will be played behind closed doors and there is no unauthorised access to the stadium complex and surrounding areas at Meadow Lane.