All you need to know ahead of the Town' NYD game with the Bees
WHO? Barnet, aka the Bees. Dutch superstar midfielder Edgar Davids is the man at the helm at the Hive. Barnet were relegated from the Football League last season, finishing in 23rd place in League 2. They were relegated on goal difference, with John Still’s former club Dagenham & Redbridge the club surviving instead on the final day of the season.
LONG TIME NO SEE. Both sides meet at Kenilworth Road on New Year’s Day just six days after the Town’s 2-1 win over the Bees on Boxing Day. Barnet went into the game in fifth place but dropped out of the Play-Off places following the defeat to the Hatters. Davids’ side lost to Salisbury on Saturday so will be aiming to stop a third successive defeat on New Year’s Day.
REMEMBER REMEMBER. It’s a 12 noon kick-off at Kenilworth Road. Yes, we know it’s New Year’s Day and it’s early but just go easy after 12 midnight, get yourselves to bed and set the alarm nice ‘n early.
PACKED HOUSE. If you haven’t got your ticket yet you’re strongly advised to do so. Over 8,000 Town supporters watched the 6-0 win over Kidderminster on Saturday and a similarly strong crowd could be in the old place on NYD. It’s best to book online and collect so said to www.eticketing.co.uk/lutontown.
X-FACTOR. Town boss John Still has twice been in charge with our New Year’s Day visitors. The manager twice led Barnet to the Play-Offs, losing on both occasions in Division 3 (now League 2). He has also held the post of Director of Football with the Bees.
HOW THEY DOING? The Bees slipped out of the top five following defeat to the Hatters and, after the defeat on Saturday, Davids’ side now lie ninth in the table but still just three points off a top five berth.
ON THE ROAD. Away from their Hive home the Bees have a decent record, winning five and drawing four of their 13 matches on their travels, losing just four times. The Bees had won their last three away matches in all competitions without conceding a goal until Saturday’s defeat. A 2-0 win at Dartford was followed by a 1-0 win at Hayes & Yeading in the FA Trophy, and last weekend, a solitary goal from Jon Nurse secured a 1-0 win at bottom-of-the-table Hyde.
LAST TIME HERE. Barnet will make only their second visit to Kenilworth Road on New Year’s Day. The Town beat the Bees on their only previous trip to Bedfordshire in December 2008. Goals from Paul McVeigh and Chris Martin had the Town 2-0 up before Abu Ogogo pulled one goal back for the visitors. The Bees striker was then sent-off before the Hatters wrapped up the win when Ian Roper forced Barnet’s Michael Townsend into an own goal two minutes from time to complete a 3-1 win.
NEW YEAR CHEER? The Hatters have an inconsistent record on the first day of the new year. Of the 29 games the Town have played on 1st January, 10 have been won, 12 have been lost and seven have ended all square. The Town were beaten 3-1 at Woking on New Year’s Day this year. That ended a run of three successive wins on New Year’s Day between 2008 and 2012. A 1-0 win over Yeovil in League One in 2008 was followed by a 3-0 win over Rushden & Diamonds in 2011 and a 5-0 victory against Kettering Town at Nene Park in 2012, where five different goalscorers found the net.
TELLY ADDICTS. Beware the TV curse. The Town haven’t won a televised live game since the 2-1 win over Hyde in August last season, a run of seven matches. Defeats at Grimsby and Newport were followed by a live FA Cup fifth round defeat to Millwall and last season drew to a close with televised draws at Kenilworth Road against Grimsby and Newport. This season the Town drew at home to Grimsby and lost at Wrexham.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Hatters are likely to pick from a similar squad, with the only exception being the omission of midfielder Pelly Ruddock who has been recalled from his loan spell by parent club West Ham.
BARNET TEAM NEWS. The Bees have three players suspended. Jon Nurse, Carl Fletcher and player/manager Edgar Davids are all serve bans. Top scorer Keanu Marsh-Brown, who missed the Boxing Day game through suspension, is available however.
LIVE & DIRECT. We’ll have all the news as it happens from Kenilworth Road. Pre-match build-up, team news, live text and audio commentary, a report, reaction, photographs and interviews. Remember to keep it lutontown.co.uk, Hatters Player and check out our ever-growing Facebook and Twitter feeds. And keep an eye on our Instagram, Vine and YouTube accounts too for good measure #COYH.