Match Preview: Stevenage (H)
EFL League Two
The Hive London
Saturday, December 17, 2016 – KO 3pm
Team News: Tom Champion (hamstring) came off after an hour as the Bees won 1-0 at Yeovil Town on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
Shaun Batt (hamstring), Michael Gash (knee) and James Pearson (knee) are all sidelined for the season. Harry Taylor and Jamal Campbell-Ryce are working their way back from injury.
Last Time We Met: Barnet travelled to the Lamex Stadium at the end of January and came away with a goalless draw.
The game saw recently-departed defender Gavin Hoyte suffer a season-ending knee injury with both sides struggling to create chances.
Barnet’s best chance came in the second half when Batt laid off a long ball forward for Chris Hackett to drill over the bar.
Manager: Darren Sarll, 33, held a number of roles at Stevenage across two spells before getting the manager’s job on a full-time basis earlier this year.
After coming through the youth setup at Hitchin Town, Sarll turned out for a number of local non-league sides, including Berkhamsted, St Albans City, Hemel Hempstead Town and Chesham United, before retiring.
He began his coaching career with Stevenage’s youth and reserve sides before linking up with Andy Scott at Brentford and Rotherham United.
In 2012 he returned to Stevenage and was Head of Youth until June 2015 when he was promoted to first-team coach under Teddy Sheringham.
When Sheringham was sacked in February this year Sarll took over – initially as caretaker.
A run of six defeats from his first nine games was arrested, in part, by the arrival of Glenn Roeder as an advisor and Sarll guided Boro to safety with an 18th-place finish at the end of his first season at the helm.
Dangerman: Striker Matt Godden has enjoyed a fine start to life at Stevenage after joining from Ebbsfleet United in the summer.
The 25-year-old netted 35 times in 73 league appearances for the Fleet before being snapped up by Boro in the summer.
And the Canterbury-born forward has repaid Sarll’s faith by bagging seven goals in his first 20 appearances for Stevenage – form which earnt him a new and improved contract at the beginning of the month.
Godden began his career with Scunthorpe United but failed to net in 21 outings before leaving in 2014.
Loans at Brigg Town, Ebbsfleet (twice), Dartford and Tamworth gave a glimpse of what Godden could do and when he rejoined the Fleet in 2014, he fulfilled his promise.
Connections: Of the current squads, Barnet defender Bira Dembele has played for both. The Frenchman joined the Bees from Stevenage in the summer of 2015 after missing out on a place in the League Two Play-Off Final with Boro.
Shaun Batt and brother Damian have both turned out for the two, though neither played regular for Stevenage with Shaun starting his career at the Lamex before moving to Dagenham and Redbridge.
Striker Jake Hyde scored 32 league goals across two spells with the Bees before leaving for York City. He has struggled to re-capture that form since and is yet to score for Stevenage since signing in the summer.
Further back, former Stevenage boss Graham Westley brief wore Barnet colours during his playing career, scoring once in three outings for the Bees.
Another man to manage both is Mark Stimson. He won the FA Trophy with Boro in 2007 but lasted just 26 games as Bees boss.
Also: Bondz N’Gala, Leon Lalite, Stuart Lewis, Craig McAllister, Charlie MacDonald, Jack Midson, Jon Nurse, Jason Soloman, Kieron St Aimee, Jude Sterling, Anthony Thomas, Barry Fuller, Andy Iro, Lee Flynn.
Last Time Out: Once more Stevenage’s poor home form undermined them on Saturday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to play-off hopefuls Blackpool.
Bright Osayi-Samuel scored his first senior goal with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area in the 77th minute before Mark Cullen sealed the win for the Tangerines, taking advantage of a slip by Dean Wells to score with six minutes remaining.
Stevenage (4-4-2): Day; Henry, Wells, Wilkinson, Franks; Pett, King, Schumacher, Cowans; Lee, McKirdy.
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.