Fifteen days into September and Darren Curie’s Barnet are sitting in a pretty good position. Saturday’s 1-0 win over Maidenhead courtesy of a Josh Walker goal left the Bees just a point off the play-offs with two games in hand on the other eight teams above them. There are more positives than negatives to this current run Currie’s men are on that I can see.
Much is made on Twitter about the lack of a ‘number 9’, a different type of striker to those already at The Hive. When you look at the squad assembled by John Still last season and inherited by Currie soon after there is a lack of balanced striking options and a desire amongst the supporters to see a difference. Currie to his credit doesn’t shirk away from those asking and is often answering honestly on Twitter, but if it’s not broken should anything be fixed?
One loss from the opening nine games is a very good return, only Bromley remain unbeaten which betters that record, Woking are also with just one loss and these two sit first and second. No one has conceded less than 10 goals apart from the Bees, but some concern does come in the other goals column where only three sides in the division have scored less goals than Barnet. But, it can be argued it only takes a goal to win a game especially if you aren’t conceding at the other end.
I’ve always felt that goals should come across the pitch, not just reliant on the strikers. You can see from our promotion winning seasons that goals from elsewhere is what wins you titles, the likes of Nicky Bailey, Dean Sinclair and more recently Curtis Weston proved that goals from not just Giuliano Grazioli and John Akinde are key.
Twenty goals plus from those two strikers did pave the way to promotion glory but if there is no focal point it does put pressure on others to step up and take up the mantle. We are winning games, it has been remarked that occasionally there are times where a shot needs to be taken, take a chance and hit the target.
Our current record suggests the squad is good enough, even when decimated with injuries as has been the case since the opening day of the season, which bodes well that games can be won when under-strength.
What seems to have escaped in amongst the desperate call for a striker is the alarmingly low attendance at the weekend, Just 1086 were in attendance at The Hive with 105 from Maidenhead, less than 1000 Bees fans at a time when the team is playing well and on the cusp of a promotion charge. Why? What is the answer?
I think if Tony Kleanthous knew the answer The Hive would be full every week. I know there are some that will never accept it’s not Underhill, but had the club remained there in a stadium and such a small area that wasn’t fit for the purpose of growing the club, then it could well have ceased to survive in the long term. People will argue that the club sustained league football more easily at it’s former home and it’s long been commented that the eye has been taken off the football at The Hive more than once at the expense of some great facilities.
A sobering thought would be to look at the clubs that have disappeared in the time Barnet have been at The Hive, that could have been the Bees as well throwing money at Underhill just to keep it in line with regulations and much needed improvements.
I myself struggle to get to games, I’m less involved at Wick FC this season, but a change in job means I have no chance to make a Tuesday night game anywhere, even at Eastleigh which is a hour down the road, and money changes dictate Saturdays are a struggle which I hope improves over the next couple of months. I’m sure there are many others in the same boat, but when the team plays well and gets on a winning run, surely that should attract back some that had simply given up?
Maybe over the next few weeks should those games in hand lift Barnet even further up the table then a few more drifters might wander back and see the football on offer is what we’ve craved for a long time and there are some very good young players coming through the ranks.
A win against Aldershot and the Bees are very much in the thick of things and it’s only mid-September, you can sense there is a chance that Darren Currie might be able to add himself to the Legends picture on the West Stand, here’s hoping……………………..