Chesterfield v Barnet preview: Still finding their feet and shooting boots under new boss John

Barnet visit the Proact Stadium on Saturday still looking for their first win of the season, following their relegation from the Football League.

Thursday, 23rd August 2018, 8:00 am
Barnet boss John Still

The game itself will hold mixed emotions for Chesterfield boss Martin Allen who was in charge of the Bees when they fell through the trapdoor alongside the Spireites in May.

Allen has been in charge of Barnet no less than five times during his managerial career and left with a heavy heart earlier this year having been parachuted in for the final eight weeks of the season.

But, despite winning five of his eight games in charge, Barnet went down on goal difference and Allen departed for Chesterfield. Barnet wasted little time in appointing a man they know well in John Still.

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Still (pictured inset) left Dagenham and Redbridge and returned to Barnet for his third spell in charge of the club. He has experience of the division having guided Maidstone, Dagenham and Luton Town to promotion to the Football League.

While Allen and Chesterfield made an encouraging start to life in the National League this season with three straight wins, Barnet have struggled to find their feet and their goalscoring boots.

The Bees have picked up just two points from their opening five games and have lost their last three, most recently a 3-0 defeat at home to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday.

They have only scored two goals this season and manager Still has voiced concerns at his players’ ability to do what’s necessary in both boxes.

He said: “If they can’t keep their minds focused on what people might class as a big game then it doesn’t matter what I say, with the greatest respect. They should be focused enough for that.

“Martin has a connection here and on top of that Martin’s a great friend of mine and has been for many years. It’s a really important game - important for them, important for us - we have to get a foothold on our season, which we’ve failed to get yet.”

And added: “Our goalscoring speaks for itself. We’re not scoring goals. I don’t know how many times we’ve had them cleared off the line or hit the woodwork but we’ve not scored.

“The longer the games go when you don’t score the more you give the opposing team the opportunity, because they think they’ve got a chance.”

In a hectic start to the season for National League sides, which has seen two midweek round of fixtures already, both Still and Allen will have seven days with their players in preparation for Saturday’s encounter at the Proact.

One name Spireites fans will recall from the current Bees’ squad is that of striker Byron Harrison whose 18-month spell at Chesterfield brought a return of one goal from 15 appearances.