Barnet next for Saddlers
2nd September 2006
Despite the fact England are playing at home later in the day we find ourselves making the journey to Barnet. Whilst confidence is high following our unbeaten start which includes five wins one draw and five clean sheets, the mood within the saddlers ranks is some what flat. The expectations were raised with the hope of a new striker been in place before the midnight deadline, only for the deal to fall through at the last hurdle.
So what can those that have decided to travel to Barnet rather than Old Trafford expect, well there is a possibility of a good old fashion soaking looking at the weather forecast, and a hard game against a Barnet team that has just found some form following a poor start. they started with three defeats (Torquay H 0-1, Accrington A 2-1, Swindon A 2-1,) then turned the corner with the 3-0 trashing of Hereford, followed by a creditable 1-1 last week at Wrexham, as well as a cup win against a weakened Cardiff side. This up turn can be in part be credited to the performances of striker Tresor Kandol, such has been his form that Barnet turned down a £150,000 bid from Brighton.
This alone highlights the new found stablity at Barnet, where a summer of discussions with an unhelpful council caused a dark cloud to hang over Underhill, at one point it seemed that Underhill would not be able to hold league football this season. This was of course resolved but Barnet still have a desire to move to pastures new sooner rather than later.
As for matters on the pitch, Barnet have a mixture of youth and experience with ex gills boss Andy Hessenthaler and ex everyone Paul Warhurst amoung the ranks.Last season they finished five points off relegation with 54 points having won 12 drawn 18 and lost 16, scoring 44 and letting in 57 . This season I would not have Paul Fairclough`s job for love or money, it is unsettled times at Barnet. Goals were a problem last season and despite the signing of a striker this may remain a problem. Especially wi
Barnet Team News:
Defender Ian Hendon is the major doubt, having feared that he had broken a toe at Wrexham it was later found just to be bruising. He is reported as been hopeful to make it, otherwise Paul Warhurst could make a start. Andy Hessenthaler has been out sick recently so again could be missing. There are players with League one experience which could feature, including Jason Puncheon (MK Dons) Nicky Nicolau( Swindon Town). Also young full back Joe Devera has been getting rave reviews in recent games, whilst hard working Nicky Bailey was MOTM against Wrexham and will need to be out battled if we are to get anything out of the game.
Player to watch: Tresor Kandol
A Brace of goals against Cardiff brought national coverage for the right reasons. It also brought a bid of 150k from Mark McGee at Brighton. Manager Paul Fairclough has high hopes for the striker.
The 6ft 2ins tall striker began his career at Luton Town in 1998 and then played for Cambridge United and Bournemouth before dropping out of the game. He came back with a bang with 85 goals in 110 games for Thurrock and was signed by Dagenham and Redbridge.
Barnet paid 50k for the 25 year old in January and despite some off the field problems resulting in a short jail term, Tresor is determined to progress in the game.
manager Paul Fairclough said: 'He is going to be a big player, not just for Barnet but on a wider stage. The lad has shown great character overcoming huge personal problems'.
Walsall Team News:
Whilst Alan Picken is still recovering from the fluid on the knee following a minor op in the summer which was aggrevated in the first game of the season, others seem to be getting fit.
Manager Dickie Dosh has perhaps the biggest squad to choose from so far this season. Tony Bedeau and skipper Michael Dobson both came through 90 minutes for the reserves to be incontention. As will Mark Kinsella although he may not make the 16.
The main choices for Richard are the problem at right back, There are also a nice selection problem in midfield where Dean Keates, Craig Pead, Michael Dobson and Mark Kinsella are all competing for the two places. Up front the question is who will play with Martin Butler, James Constable replaced Hector Sam last week and didn't take his chance. A new striker was sort and didn't arrive, whilst Tony Beadeau and Carlos Fanguerio could provide a different option at some point during the game.
Player to watch: Hector Sam
Still to find the net for the saddlers and dropped to the bench for the win over Darlington. Richard Money also stated in the press that the new striker was to play alongside Butler, in effect relegating Sam to third or fourth choice. As the deal fell through Richard Money will be wanting a positive response from his strikers, Sam in particular.
Match Facts & Stats
last 6 results of this fixture
Football League Trophy Barnet 1-2 Walsall 09-12-1997
Football League Two Barnet 1-3 Walsall 17-04-1995
Football League Two Barnet 3-0 Walsall 03-11-1992
English Division 4 Barnet 0-1 Walsall 25-04-1992
Mr Anthony Taylor a new ref having only had two league games to date, one of which he managed to show seven yellow cards, whilst in his first he showed three so it could be interesting.
We have only played Barnet eight times, having won seven,having lost just once. If we are to battle it out for promotion this season these are the type of games we must go into expecting to win. Whilst I expect it will be a lot harder than many fans will expected I think we can come away with 1-0 win
A fishing we go
Next saturday we go to Grimsby.