The Bees are back in action on Boxing Day as they make the short trip to Boreham Wood, aiming to clinch their second win on the bounce in the closest fixture between any two sides in the National League.
John Still’s men go into the game off the back of a 2-0 home victory against Dover Athletic at the weekend. Jack Taylor netted on 56 minutes before Mauro Vilhete rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.
Tomorrow’s match also marks the first competitive league meeting between the two sides.
Manager: Luke Garrard
Luke Garrard was appointed Boreham Wood manager back in 2015 after two years as Ian Allinson’s assistant. Prior to that though, he was the club’s Academy Coach before taking up the role as Academy Director in 2012. Last season proved to be Garrard’s most successful as Wood manager, guiding his side to a fourth place finish before losing 2-1 to Tranmere in the play-off final, the club’s first ever trip to Wembley.
The 33-year-old also played for Boreham Wood over two spells during a playing career that began at Swindon Town. He first arrived at the Wood after a brief spell at Bishop’s Stortford before leaving for Northwood shortly after. He joined AFC Wimbledon in 2006 where he went on to make over 100 appearances before returning to Boreham Wood in 2010.
One to Watch: Justin Shaibu
With five goals to his name this season, Justin Shaibu is Boreham Wood’s second leading scorer in the league at the moment, one behind Josh Umerah.
The 21-year-old signed for the Wood on loan from Brentford in the summer and has scored two in his last two games.
Aiming to make it three in a row, the Bees back-line will have to be on top of their game if they are to prevent the youngster from extending his goal tally.
Shaibu, who plays for Denmark U20’s, is a powerful striker will bundles of pace and will be out to cause all sorts of problems tomorrow.
Recent League Form:
A win for Barnet tomorrow will see them leapfrog Boreham Wood in the league standings. Tomorrow’s opposition, who sit nine points off the play-offs in 12th, have only clinched one win in their last five league games.
A 2-1 defeat away at AFC Fylde last month was quickly followed up by a 1-0 loss at home to Dover, extending their winless run to five games. However, they returned to winning ways over a week later, beating high flyers Leyton Orient 1-0 at Meadow Park. They go into tomorrow’s game off the back of two consecutive 1-1 draws away at Halifax Town and Braintree respectively.
As for their home league form, the Wood have won half of their 12 games at Meadow Park this season.
They also have a better goal scoring record than Barnet, bagging 26, two more than the Bees. However, after letting 27 goals fly into their net this season, they have conceded one more than John Still’s men.
Last 5 league games: LLWDD
Byron Harrison spent just under a year at Boreham Wood after signing in 2006 from Worthing. He bagged 13 goals for the Wood in 31 appearances.
Simeon Akinola began his senior career at Boreham Wood, making his first team debut in 2011. During his time there, he was loaned out to Billericay Town and Harrow Borough and bagged two goals for the club before leaving in 2012.
Bees skipper Callum Reynolds captained the Wood to promotion from the 6th tier into the National League.
Mauro Vilhete, who will be looking to add to his goal at the weekend, was loaned out to Boreham Wood on three separate occasions from Barnet and scored 10 goals in 48 appearances.
Assistant manager Darren Currie is another who spent a brief spell with Boreham Wood. He joined the club in 2011 as a player and assistant manager but left after a matter of months to join Hendon.
As for the opposition, defender David Stephens spent three years at Barnet from 2012 to 2015 after signing from Hibernian. He was part of our conference winning side of 2015 and was named the club’s Player of the Season for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 campaigns. He made over 100 appearances for the Bees, netting three times before leaving to join the Wood in 2015.
Midfielder Tom Champion also joined Boreham Wood from Barnet, signing in 2017. He spent two years at the club and during that time scored two goals in 57 appearances. Whilst at Barnet, he was briefly loaned out to Lincoln City in 2016.