With very little else going on in the non-league world currently, this is starting to get very National League and Barnet orientated so later this week it’s time to redress the balance a little bit as we enter a new month on Monday.
Watching your club decline so badly as Barnet are currently in the midst of is painful as every football fan knows. Normally these things go in cycles for clubs, a few years of success or that combined with not troubling the promotion race nor the relegation zone.
Depending on the outcome of National League voting in the coming weeks we will see what direction the Bees will take for the remainder of the season. Null and void for the North and South divisions should mean no relegation from the top division giving the club a free hit to rebuild.
If the opposite happens then Tim Flowers still has that massive job on his hands to lift the club from the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone to safety. There are plenty of games left to do so but as each one passes with another loss registered the task gets harder.
Barnet vs Torquay springs to mind for Bees fans going back to 2001 when the sides met in the final game of the season at Underhill where the winner stayed up and the loser went down to the now named National League. That was to be the clubs first of so far three relegations from the Football League in the last twenty years.
What could go wrong did go wrong that day for the Bees, first choice keeper Lee Harrison going off with injury, Darren Currie missing a penalty, Barnet going in at half time 3-0 down and despite pulling two goals back in the second half, relegation was confirmed.
Fast forward to the present day and if things continue as they are for both sides over the coming months, they could both be in different divisions once again with the Gulls storming clear at the top of the table.
After Tuesday night’s capitulation to relegation rivals Dover Athletic, Flowers demanded a reaction from his players and with another debutant in the line-up, Courtney Baker-Richardson on loan from Barrow, the Bees abandoned the three centre half experiment and opted to go what looked like 4-3-3.
That reaction was evident in the opening first few minutes but they were undone inside ten minutes, picked apart by one pass and finished by Ben Whitfield past Scott Loach.
The visitors controlled possession of the game throughout the half and despite plenty of huff and puff from the Bees, the lack of creativity in the final third along with the ability to fashion out any chances saw Shaun McDonald not make a single save, indeed through the full ninety minutes, JJ Hooper’s header over the bar the closest to the target the Bees got all afternoon.
Torquay certainly didn’t have to exert themselves in the second half, the Bees showing signs of fatigue after the heavy conditions they experienced on Tuesday night and it was no surprise to see the Gulls wrap up the points with a long range strike from Jake Andrews dipping in front of Loach and out of his reach to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
The returning Antony Wordsworth managed a good 70 minutes whilst Baker-Richardson ran out of steam after an hour, both players not seeing a lot of football over the last few weeks, Michael Petrasso looking bright after another substitute cameo.
This was never a game Flowers would have marked down as getting anything from but it’s another game gone and there is a need for points to be picked up on Tuesday night with a short trip to face Aldershot, more is needed in the final third of the pitch if the Bees are to make any inroads into the teams above them, results did go their way this weekend but nine points to safety is the current margin, which might all be irrelevant depending on voting by the NL clubs this week, onward reporting of the National League fiasco to re-commence then………..