Tonight sees Barnet take on Bristol Rovers in their first home game of the season, in a game that is sure to provide the Bees with one of their toughest tests of the season.
Martin Allen hinted after the 5-0 win at Chester on the opening day that he may make changes for tonight’s match, saying:
“We may introduce fresh legs for the game because there are several players on the bench and in the stand that can have a real impact.”
Winger Adam Mekki is available for selection after signing for the club on a short-term deal after turning down the offer of a new contract at Aldershot during the summer.
Bristol Rovers were relegated from the Football League for the first time in their history back in May, with many bookmakers tipping them to make an immediate return this season.
This summer has seen plenty of comings and goings at the Memorial Ground, with John-Joe O’Toole and Matt Harrold two of the more established names to depart for pastures new.
However, Darrell Clarke, who only took over as Rovers manager in April, has put his own mark on the squad with a number of new signings. These have included midfielder Stuart Sinclair and striker Jamie White, both of whom played under him whilst he was player-manager at Salisbury City, with the latter scoring eleven goals in the Conference last season.
Barnet have enjoyed reasonable success against Bristol Rovers during recent seasons, doing the double over the Gas in 2011/12, the first year that the two clubs had played each other since 2007/08.
The Bees won both games that season 2-0, with Izale McLeod scoring in both along with Mark Byrne at the Memorial Ground and Clovis Kamdjo at Underhill. As it happens, those are Barnet’s only two victories against Bristol Rovers in fourteen meetings with the Gas.
The last time that the two clubs shared a league was during Barnet’s most recent season in League Two back in 2012/13. That season Barnet claimed just a single point against Rovers, drawing 1-1 at home in August with a goal from Ricky Holmes.
Bees fans are sure to remember the most recent meeting between the two sides in February of that season, when Harry Crawford’s last minute equaliser looked to have earned the Bees a point away from home before Ryan Brunt broke Barnet hearts with a winner at the death.