Once again the curse of losing at home to City has cost someone their job, this time Jamie Fullarton being told to kindly do one by Notts County after City won 4-1 last weekend. That victory puts City in buoyant mood and on a five match unbeaten run heading into the crucial Easter period, now to actually win a home match! Paul Tisdale will as always have several selection headaches, with Jake Taylor’s goalscoring appearance off the bench dropping a huge hint that the Welshman is hoping for a starting berth, while Ollie Watkins continues to impress especially in linking with Jayden Stockley. Alex Nicholls is waiting to return too, which gives Tisdale some good problems to have.
Pre-season it was difficult to gauge how Barnet would do – on paper the squad looked a little threadbare aside from the prolific John Akinde, but with Martin Allen (still!) at the helm you always know the performances will be more than the sum of their parts, and so it has proved as a team predicted to be battling relegation (and who had done little to assuage those fears early on) sits comfortably in mid-table in 15th, one place but five points behind City. Perhaps most interestingly is their record against the top sides in the division – surely the only team to have recorded wins against each of Northampton, Oxford, Plymouth, Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth – which suggests motivation could be an issue against the more mediocre sides. As expected Akinde has been the chief source of goals with 15 in all competitions, while Michael Gash (seven) hasn’t featured since mid-January.
The reverse fixture, City’s first ever visit to Barnet’s new home at The Hive, proved a Halloween nightmare as a Troy Brown Own Goal and a second from Josh Clarke gave Barnet a comfortable 2-0 win. Barnet last made the trip to the Park in December 2012 with a side containing Edgar Davids, City were 2-0 up through Coles and Bennett but when Davids went off injured Barnet were transformed and goals from Nurse and Iro ensured the match finished 2-2. City have the slight lead in league head to heads with nine wins to Barnet’s seven (nine draws).
Match officials – http://www.exeweb.com/2016/03/22/match-officials-exeter-city-vs-barnet/
Last meeting at St James Park – http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4259
Earlier this season at the Hive – http://www.grecians.co.uk/wordpress/?sp_event=4097