Let's avoid late survival dash

Thursday 7th March 2013 17:12

Edgar Davids: No late drama please!

Edgar Davids: No late drama please!

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FanZone's Barnet blogger James Castle hopes that the Bees' luck will hold and the club can avoid more agonising final-day drama.

It's getting just a little bit interesting at the bottom of League Two this season.

Normally as we head into the last quarter of the campaign there are three or four teams scrapping it out to avoid being the bottom two but this time around just two wins separates nine sides in varying levels of form.

Instead of being faced with a Gladiators-style straight elimination it conjures up more of an image of 'It's a Knockout', although you possibly need to be of a certain age, and with a pretty vivid imagination, to try and compare the battle for survival in the fourth tier to a semi-athletic collection of postmen and labourers from across Europe trying to be the first person home over an obstacle course dotted with giant Styrofoam replicas of the ancient monuments of Rome whilst dressed as an enormous penguin.

Two wins, two draws and two defeats from Barnet's last six games is better form than the majority of these nine teams, and the same as the two teams in the relegation spots at present, but the Bees' inability to defeat any of their fellow strugglers apart from York City has proved a constant frustration. The same can be said of the knowledge that even a meagre return of nine points instead of three from our first eleven games would have significantly altered our current standing.

But it is the aforementioned Minstermen and Torquay United who are metaphorically hanging off the end of the speeding out-of-control treadmill by their iPod headphones, with both sides currently in the kind of rut that would see either of them struggle to win a one-ticket raffle.

Of our remaining eleven games, only two are against sides that are currently in the play-off places, with our last game being at Northampton Town who are looking a good bet for promotion under Aidy Boothroyd.

Barnet recorded a 4-0 win against the Cobblers in Edgar Davids' first game in the black and amber and Sixfields has proved to be a very happy hunting ground for the Bees over the years, where we traditionally trail by a single goal at half-time before overturning the deficit in the second period.

The same scenaio occurred at the end of last season at Burton although we had to be thankful that Brewers striker Calvin Zola deemed it more sporting to kick the ball out of the ground rather than into the goal from the penalty spot with his side one-up, and also that Mark Hughes scored by connecting with his shin rather than his boot for our winning goal.

Four wins from these eleven games, theoretically, should see us safe taking us through the fifty point barrier and our home form since the turn of the year has been impressive. The key games are likely to be those away from home, though, against fellow strugglers Accrington and AFC Wimbledon.

Our run-in could be a lot worse and yet there's a general feeling amongst the Underhill supporters that, for a variety of reasons, this will be the year when our luck will turn.

After surviving by winning our last game for the last three seasons on the spin you just get the feeling that, Barnet being Barnet, we will go into this match either needing just to draw or to avoid defeat so that we can begin the next campaign in our brand new stadium still as a League club - and end up doing neither.

Another final-day escape could severely test the patience of our fellow League Two sides; I already feel that we are viewed as the Timmy Mallett of the division - generally harmless but nevertheless bloody irritating - and there's only so many times I can watch by in helpless agony at a situation that I am powerless to control, like when the wife has X Factor on and has hidden the remote control.

It would be just so, so lovely, just for once, to get to the end of the final home game against Wycombe and know that we're safe. It's a feeling that I haven't felt since April 2008. Is it too much to ask?



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