There’s always a fine line in football between pressure and feeling comfortable, and that line is even thinner these days for managers and head coaches alike given the need and want for success yesterday.
It’s fair to say Darren Currie has experienced both sides since the beginning of this season. Early season form had both Currie and the Bees in comfortable territory, but more recently the pendulum has shifted and the hot seat has been that little more uncomfortable.
Almost two weeks ago that pressure was relieved a small amount with a 5-2 thumping of Ebbsfleet at The Hive, with Simeon Akinola notching a first senior hat-trick and Barnet looking sublime going forward, especially in the second half. With there being such a gap from that game to taking on AFC Fylde in front of the BT Sport cameras at the weekend, there was the worry that the momentum garnered from the Ebbsfleet game would wane very quickly.
That looked to be dispelled very quickly as the attacking Barnet turned up in the first half and deservedly went into the break a goal to the good, a left footed Jack Taylor strike giving the Bees the lead. Taylor is very much the stand out player for Barnet, having a fine season and also impressing for the Republic of Ireland Under 21’s. Taylor could and should have had a second before the break and that would have put the game beyond the visitors given their lacklustre performance and the Bees brightness in attacking. It has been levelled at the team quite often this season the lack of clinical finishing in front of goal and not killing teams off, this game proved to be no exception.
They almost paid for it in the second half as Fylde equalised with a very well taken free kick from Danny Rowe, a cheap free kick given away however by James Dunne. And just as looked as if Barnet would have to settle for a point, a sweetly struck corner kick from the returning Dan Sparkes right onto the head of Akinola to snatch the three points in the final minute of stoppage time.
Both Akinola and Josh Walker were largely anonymous throughout the game, failing to make much impression on the Fylde back four but Akinola was in the right place at the right time to make it four goals in two games. Alongside Taylor, Wes Fonguck put in another good shift whilst both Harry Taylor and Elliott Johnson looked pretty assured alongside Callum Reynolds as emergency centre halves.
Despite the lack of wins over the past eight weeks, the Bees are still just four points off the play-off places and with back to back wins for the first time since September, there is a little bit more optimism around and with a week’s break from league action as the FA Trophy starts this coming weekend Barnet will head to Maidenhead on 21st December in good spirits.
There is the alarming issue of what can only be described as awful attendance figures over the past two home games, sub 1000 crowds need to be addressed sooner rather than later and the club must come up with some better ideas to get bums on seats before The Hive becomes a permanent two sided ground with the lack of support.
You can also hear my podcast debut on Beespod below: