Match Preview: Wycombe Wanderers (A)
EFL League Two
Saturday, September 22, 2016 – KO 3.00pm
Team News: Barnet’s injury list grew last weekend with Elliott Johnson and Josh Vickers missing the defeat to Exeter City. Jamal Campbell-Ryce was then withdrawn with a knee ligament issue early in the second half.
Martin Allen already has Gavin Hoyte (knee), Michael Gash (knee), James Pearson (knee) and Sam Togwell (hernia) unavailable to him.
Last Time We Met: The Bees only made the short trip to Adams Park in April of this year for a game which finished 1-1.
Chairboys skipper Paul Hayes got the opener just before the hour mark, bundling home from point-blank range after Michael Harriman’s header hit the crossbar and left Bees keeper Graham Stack prone on the floor.
But Barnet levelled when captain Andy Yiadom met Elliott Johnson’s cut-back from the left-hand side and tucked home from the centre of the penalty area.
Manager: Gareth Ainsworth, 43, has been in charge at Wycombe Wanderers since 2012. The Blackburn-born winger moved to Adams Park from Queens Park Rangers – initially on loan – in 2009 and went on to make more than 100 appearances for the club after singing permanently.
In November 2012 he became Blues boss and, after a short-stint of doubling up as player-manager, he retired in April 2013 to focus solely on coaching the Chairboys – a decision which was vindicated as Wycombe reach the 2015 League Two Play-Off Final, only to lose to Southend United.
Ainsworth, who has been forced to operate with a small first-team squad only, re-registered as a player ahead of the 2016/17 campaign and made his first appearance in three years when he came on as a substitute in the Checkatrade Trophy, providing an assist for the third goal in a 3-0 win at Northampton Town at the end of August.
Dangerman: Exciting winger Paris Cowan-Hall is the man who provides the spark going forward for Wanderers.
The 26-year-old is in his third spell at Adams Park and his second on loan from Millwall after making a handful of appearances at the end of last season.
Cowan-Hall began his career with Rushden & Diamonds and trialled at Chelsea and Manchester United as a teenager before joining Portsmouth in 2010.
He didn’t make a senior appearance for Pompey but took in two loan spells at Grimsby Town before moving to Scunthorpe United where he made a single substitute outing in a year prior to joining non-league Woking.
It was with the Cards that Cowan-Hall underlined his ability and Plymouth Argyle took a punt on him in 2012. He featured regularly during the 2012/13 season but joined Wycombe in 2013, netting ten times in 38 league starts in 18 months.
That form caught the eye of Millwall and he joined the Lions in January 2015 but has made just 11 appearances for the South Londoners – ten of them starts – since that move.
Connections: Bees forward John Akinde spent two loan spells at Adams Park between 2009 and 2010, scoring eight times in 12 league starts while on loan from Bristol City.
Akinde scored against Wycombe when the two sides met in the FA Cup first round in 2014 (below), netting inside a minute before Ainsworth’s side ran out 3-1 winners against nine-man Barnet.
Midfielder Sam Togwell had a short time with the Blues, making four appearances on loan from Chesterfield at the end of the 2013/14 campaign as Wycombe battled relegation to the Conference.
He was sent off against The Blues in the 2014 FA Cup meeting at The Hive (below).
1990s hitman Sean Devine also turned out for both clubs with distinction, bagging 47 in 113 league starts as a Bee before moving to Wanderers, initially on loan, and helping himself to 42 in 82 league starts.
Popular forward Nicky Evans sandwiched a spell at Wycombe between two successful stints at Barnet.
Evans, now 58, netted 133 times in 248 appearances for the Bees between 1983 and 1989 before joining Wanderers. He rattled in 14 goals in 29 outings for the Buckinghamshire club before finishing his career at Underhill with a further 18 in 54.
A Conference winner with the Bees in 2005, Ben Strevens spent eight years at Underhill between 1998 and 2006 and went on to enjoy two seasons with Wycombe Wanderers, winning promotion to League One while at Adams Park.
Winger Darren Currie moved to Wycombe from Barnet in July 2001 for £200,000 and would later play in the Championship after impressing at Adams Park.
Others to have represented both clubs include Lee Hodges, Scott McGleish, Lee Harrison, Noel Ashford, Glyn Creaser, Hakan Hayrettin and Kevin Durham.
Last Time Out: Wycombe were denied their first away win of the season on Saturday as they drew 1-1 at Mansfield Town in EFL League Two.
Long-serving midfielder Matt Bloomfield put Wanderers ahead at the One Call Stadium with a neat finish in the first half.
However, the Stags hit back when Matt Green fired past Chelsea loanee Jamal Blackman with seven minutes to spare, denying the Chairboys their maiden three points on the road this season.
Wycombe Wanderers (4-4-2): Blackman; Harriman, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson; Bloomfield, Gape, Rowe, Cowan-Hall; Hayes, Akinfenwa.
Ticket info: Supporters can purchase tickets for tomorrow’s match from Barnet – more info here – or by paying £2 more on the day.