Pompey v Barnet: The opposition view
It has been a pretty solid start from Barnet, who sit in 14th in League Two.
Martin Allen’s side have lost just the one game so far – a 1-0 defeat to Carlisle which, by the manager’s own admission, was a poor showing on the day.
Last weekend the Bees were a little unlucky to share a 1-1 draw with Colchester, responding very well to going behind early.
They knocked on the door for an age before eventually equalising in the 82nd minute.
If there had been more time left, they would have won the match from there.
So on the whole it is a good start to Barnet’s second season back in League Two.
They did well last year after climbing out of non-league football, eventually finishing 15th.
There was, however, a tricky little period at the beginning as they attempted to adapt and couldn’t string wins together – but in the second half of the campaign ran into some form.
From January onwards they lost five times and claimed some decent scalps including Pompey, Plymouth, Leyton Orient, Notts County and a final-day victory at Crawley.
The Bees are very quiet on their targets for this season, but undoubtedly will want to push on and improve.
Certainly, they have established themselves in League Two and it would be a huge disappointment if they didn’t improve.
In fairness, they are currently looking very solid defensively, while goals have been shared around a bit, with John Akinde the leading scorer.
Obviously, there is room for improvement, but it is better than 12 months ago when Barnet came in at this level.
Allen purposely kept changes to a minimum this summer, although adding experienced players like Alex Nicholls and John-Louis Akpa Akpro.
The manager wants to blood a lot of the youngsters, with Harry Taylor and Justin Amaluzor the two to have really impressed – and they can benefit alongside senior pros.
There are about eight young players who have grown up together in the youth team and are now pushing for the first-team set-up.
With changes kept low in the summer, the only player they didn’t want to lose was Andy Yiadom, albeit expected.
The influential midfielder turned down a new contract in favour of moving to Barnsley on a free.
Graham Stack was another departure, but had suffered from injury and his deputy, Jamie Stephens, ended up crowned player of the season.
Overall, things are going well for Barnet as they look to progress.