Notts Remembering Slater v Barnet

A Vanarama National League fixture under the lights awaits at Meadow Lane this evening as Notts County host Barnet.

The pair met on the opening day of the current season on a day which saw Ian Burchnall’s side too hot to handle as the Magpies beat the Bees by five goals to nil. A brace from Ruben Rodrigues and a goal each for Cal Roberts, Kyle Wootton and Jim O’Brien ensured that the five goals gave Notts a five starred beginning to their campaign.

As for recent times, the Magpies enter tonight’s fixture on a run of six games without defeat. In their last outing, Notts County entered the fifth round of the Buildbase FA trophy following a 2-1 victory over Eastleigh. Despite it not being the most convincing of displays from a very orientated home side, a brace from Elisha Sam was enough to avoid a penalty shootout against the Spitfires on the day. Changing the focus to league rankings, Notts currently sit fifth in the Vanarama National League. However, a victory this evening would take the Magpies up to third place with a game in hand on those above still to be played against the league’s bottom outfit in Dover Athletic. Sam Slocombe will remain in-between the sticks for the hosts this evening following a setback at Sunderland AFC which has seen loanee Anthony Patterson unable to return yet within the fold. As this is the case, tonight’s game comes as huge importance for Slocombe given many of his recent critiques are manifesting the return of the trustworthy Patterson. As his return beckons, a chance to impress the head coach is yet again granted upon Notts’ number one, a chance in which he will undoubtedly be desperate to make the most of.

As for the visitors, they are currently on a winless run of form made up of five fixtures. In their last outing, the Bees were beaten at the Hive by the high-flying Chesterfield FC by four goals to one. Barnet’s last victory came right back at the beginning of December, where they defeated Maidenhead United. Goals from Robert Hall, Mitchell Brundle and Ephron Mason-Clark ensured the Bees three points which has seen them maintain their place at fifteenth in the Vanarama National League. At the helm currently is Dean Brennan, who was formerly at Wealdstone. Brennan was the successor of former Magpies boss Harry Kewell, who departed the club on September 20, 2021. During his current reign as Barnet manager, Brennan has only managed seven wins within his sixteen games in charge so far and has admitted his team will need to put in a top performance to take anything away from the game this evening. The Bees’ playing squad is limited as of right now, with Covid-19 and injuries meaning only thirteen first team regulars are said to be available this evening, leaving the door wide open for an academy promotion. This being a huge chance for a youngster to step up and show his worthiness to remain within the fold for the remainder of the season. It must be said however that any academy graduate would have been hoping their Vanarama National League debut was not against one of the league’s most dominant outfits.

So, what can you expect from this fixture?

I expect Barnet to show up with a plan to limit Notts’ firepower to a minimum, as all visiting teams have and will continue to do for the remainder of the season. However, the players Ian Burchnall has in abundance have previously shown their ability to break down a defensive overload, and I expect tonight to be no different with the Magpies extending their winning ways to seven games unbeaten.

Score prediction: Notts County 3-0 Barnet.

*Note there will be a number of commemorations to celebrate the life of legendary Notts County commentator Colin Slater at Meadow Lane tonight with guests including Neil Warnock, Brian Bates, Ian Richardson, Dave Regis and Iain McCulloch in attendance. Colin Slater MBE died aged 87 last week and was already an inductee into the Notts County Hall of Fame as well as Honourary Vice-President at a club he served for well over 50 years.

Current form:

  • Notts County: WWWWW
  • Barnet: LLDDL

Probable Line-ups: 

  • Notts County:  Slocombe, Chicksen, Brindley, Lacey, Roberts, Francis, Vincent, Palmer, Rodrigues, Wootton.
  • Barnet: Oxborough, Taylor, Turley, Greenidge, Woods, Brundle, Beard, Fonguck, Powell, Mason-Clark, Hall.

Venue & time: 

  • Meadow Lane, 7:45pm Friday 21st January 2022.

*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).

*Main image @Official_NCFC the life of the great Colin Slater will be remembered at tonight’s match.

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