Stroud-boy and Barnet media, marketing and communications officer Oscar Chamberlain airs his thoughts on Saturday's game.
The stage is set for Saturday’s match between Barnet FC and Forest Green to be an absolute cracker with both teams looking to secure a spot in the Skrill Premier play-offs come April 26th.
Both sets of supporters plus me and my fellow reporters will be focusing on every kick but having grown up just 15 minutes away from The New Lawn the match holds a significant and special interest to myself. I’m currently the media, marketing and communications officer for Barnet Football Club having studied Journalism and Sports PR at Staffordshire University and I must admit the rolling hills of Gloucestershire seem a long way away now I’m settled in the capital.
Despite this I have extremely fond memories of football at The New Lawn having regularly attended matches during my childhood. That is of course when I wasn’t dragged to Bramall Lane by my father to watch his beloved Sheffield United, it’s okay Dad, I forgive you!
Despite making the short trip to Nailsworth on countless occasions my stand out memory came away from home on a stormy afternoon in Wiltshire when Rovers took on Swindon Town in the second round of the FA Cup.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so cold and I know I’ve never been so wet, but after Stuart Fleetwood and Mark Beesley struck to put Rovers 1-2 up cup magic was coursing through my veins and like the others drowning around me I was daring to dream.
In the end the Robins broke Rovers’ hearts as goals from Hasney Aljofree and Blair Sturrock secured their passage to the third round but I can’t remember anyone feeling down as the chant of ‘let’s all have a disco’ continued to echo around the County Ground long after the final whistle.
On Saturday there will be no disco. There will be no cup magic. Instead two teams will go head-to-head with everything on the line knowing a defeat could prove detrimental to their play-off aspirations.
Barnet have been revitalised following the return of Martin Allen securing a deserved 2-0 win over Hereford United before taking a point from Cambridge United in a compelling 1-1 draw at the Abbey Stadium.
They will also be boosted by the presence of top scorer Jake Hyde who returned to play the full 90 minutes in last weekend’s game having not featured since a 2-1 win over Rovers due to a hamstring injury.
All eyes will be on The Hive come 3pm on Saturday in what is unquestionably the game of the day in the Skrill Premier.
As it happens I too will be heading back to Gloucestershire following the final whistle to celebrate the wedding of Abbie Furley and Ryan Harmer, congratulations to you both and I wish you the happiest of days.
Not a perfect day however, because incidentally Ryan is the Marketing Manager at The New Lawn and just like February 25th I’m hoping Rovers are left empty handed by the Bees. You really couldn’t make it up!
To all who are making the trip to The Hive on Saturday I wish you a pleasant journey down and an enjoyable day, but not too enjoyable after all!