With Vale travelling to Barnet on Saturday, here is another one of our brief guides to Port Vale’s latest opponents.
Travelling Vale fans travelling by public transport should bear in mind that “Tube upgrade” work on the Northern Line means the stretch to High Barnet will be out of action. Vale fans coming by train into Euston station can take a brief walk to nearby Kings Cross and take an overland train to nearby New Barnet station which is within walking distance of the ground.
Last time we met
Vale started their league season with a home win over Barnet thanks to goals from Louis Dodds (pictured), Jennison Myrie-Williams (penalty) and Tom Pope.
On our last trip to Barnet’s Underhill ground in August 2011, Vale ran out comfortable 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Gary Roberts and two from Sean Rigg.
The two sides have met eleven times with Vale winning five, Barnet winning three and three draws.
Man in charge
Edgar Davids joined the club in October as joint-player-manager alongside Mark Robson. Robson departed in December, leaving Davids in sole charge of the club. Davids’ record since taking sole charge stands at two wins and three losses.
Former Vale skipper Tommy Fraser (pictured) made 64 appearances for the Valiants, many of them as captain, after he became Micky Adams’ first signing in 2009. When Jim Gannon was made manager, Fraser was swiftly out of the door and joined Barnet, making 21 appearances for them. He was released in 2011 and currently plays for Ryman League side Whitehawk alongside his brother James.
Other players to appear for both sides include Exodus Geoghaghan, Sam Stockley, Sagi Burton, Peter Beadle, Gary Brazil and Andy Clarke.
Vale will check on the fitness of Lee Hughes and Darren Purse before deciding whether to name an unchanged starting eleven. Micky Adams has expressed some concern that the experienced duo have already had two games this week and should he opt to rest them Joe Davis and Ben Williamson (pictured) are favourites to replace them.
Edgar Davids can hand a full debut to recent signing Harry Crawford, who scored in their last game. Midfielder Curtis Weston is also available after sitting out against Rovers through illness. Striker Ricky Holmes is an injury doubt.
“I used to watch him in the major tournaments when I was younger. He was one of the best central midfield players in the world and it will be great to play against him. He’s a lot older now, obviously, but he brings a lot to their team and means you can’t take Barnet for granted. We’ve got to be 100 per cent on it.”
– Ryan Burge on Edgar Davids
“Maybe three games in a week might be a bit too much for them, but we’ll assess them up to the game and pick a side accordingly.”
– Micky Adams is cagey about Lee Hughes and Darren Purse’s chances
A more serious trivia section than recent efforts as we profile Barnet’s battle with the local council.
The Conservative-led council have seemed hell-bent on driving the club out of the borough for some time. After Barnet’s attempt to build a new stadium at nearby Copthall Athletics stadium was rejected, rugby club Saracens’ application for the same venue was passed with the minimum of fuss.
Meanwhile, the council continued to make Barnet’s life at Underhill more and more difficult. The ajoining Scout group were allowed a licence for vehicles to use an access lane , but the council wanted to charge the club for the same access [albeit only a nominal amount] effectively leaving Barnet with no vehicle access to the club offices. Then the club tried to renegotiate the lease at Underhill only for the council, following an assessment of the ground, to apparently demand an unreasonable amount of rent.
So, it’s hardly any surprise that Barnet have decided to move to a new stadium in nearby Harrow, who appear to be far more positive about having a football club. The ground, the Hive, should be complete for the 2013/2014 season. I for one, hope the Bees kick off their new era as a Football League club.