We take a look at a rejuvenated team who are returning to the Football League.
Manager: Martin Allen
Last Season: Vanarama Premier, 1st.
Barnet are back in the Football League following a glittering campaign in which they led the Vanarama Premier for pretty much its entirety.
The Bees set the tone (and found themselves proudly perched at the top) after hitting five goals past Chester on the opening day and a series of successive wins meant they were runaway leaders by when the nights drew shorter.
Although Bristol Rovers ate into their points advantage and set-up a grandstand finale, Martin Allen’s team held their nerve in the closing weeks and secured promotion following a 2-0 victory over mid-table Gateshead on the final day.
With first class training facilities available to them, the Bees will be eager to make an impact at this level in the next 12 months.
WE’VE MET BEFORE
The last time we went head-to-head with Barnet was back in April 2008. An end-to-end contest at One Call Stadium finished in a 2-2 draw with Michael Boulding and Matt Hamshaw on target for us, whilst Anthony Thomas and former player Adam Birchall netted for our opponents.
What proved to be our last ever trip to Barnet’s old Underhill Stadium also ended in a point apiece with Liam Hatch’s equaliser cancelling out Simon Brown’s effort early in the second half.
Our last six meetings with Barnet are as follows:
Stags 2-2 Barnet, One Call Stadium, April 2008
Barnet 1-1 Stags, Underhill, October 2007
Stags 2-1 Barnet, One Call Stadium, April 2007
Barnet 2-1 Stags, Underhill, December 2006
Barnet 1-0 Stags, Underhill, April 2006
Stags 4-0 Barnet, One Call Stadium, October 2005
As mentioned above, Adam Birchall played for both ourselves and Barnet. The forward, now playing for Bromley, spent two seasons with us in the mid-2000s, then featured over 100 times during his career at the North London outfit.
Other players to have appeared for both clubs include Keith Alexander, Gary Brazil, John Doolan, Warren Hackett and Lee Howarth.
Two years ago, Barnet were forced to leave Underhill Stadium, their age-old home of more than 100 years, and move six miles across North London to The Hive Stadium.
The plush new facility, which boasts several state-of-the-art training pitches adjacent to the main complex, has two all-seated stands which run the length of the pitch and two terraced ends behind the goal.