Opposition Insight | Barnet

By Ryan Brookes | Image by Mark Comer

Barnet are next up to host the Minstermen, a side that will be looking to push for promotion via the playoffs come May.

They come into this match off the back of an unfortunate late defeat at Aldershot, where Kwame Thomas wrapped up the points with five minutes to go, but by no means does that reflect their season so far.

Dean Brennan’s Bees had a positive start to the new campaign, as they looked to go one better than last season, falling at the playoff eliminator.

They cruised through the opening eight games, picking up just a single defeat, painting them as potential title challengers with the likes of Chesterfield and Bromley.

Barnet have since kept up their good form, but not quite good enough to keep up with the Spireites who are now more than twenty points clear of the Bees at the top.

Sitting in third place, the London-based outfit are one of the best attacking sides in the fifth tier currently, having only been outscored by the league leaders – that statistic is a big part of why they are where they are.

Manager: Dean Brennan

Bees’ boss Brennan kicked off his managerial career properly in 2012 when he was appointed Hemel Hempstead manager, having taken charge as caretaker for a short while a couple of years ago.

He helped the Tudors to their highest-ever league finish (Fourth in Southern League Premier), but suffered playoff penalty heartbreak in that same season.

However, the following year, he made sure of promotion, guiding the Southern side to a title win.

A poor start to Hemel Hempstead’s first season in Conference South was quickly turned around by Brennan, as they eventually finished in a credible 9th place, before being narrowly denied a playoff spot in 2015/16.

Alongside assistant Stuart Maynard, he was appointed at Billericay by owner Glenn Tamplin in 2018, but the pair lasted just four months before their contracts were terminated.

It did not take long for Brennan and Maynard to get themselves back in the game though – they endured a short stint at Kingstonian, resigning not long into their tenure due to an internal issue.

The 43-year-old’s next port of call would be National League South outfit Wealdstone where he remained from 2019 to 2021.

He led the Stones to the league title in the shortened 2019/20 season, but departed in early 2021, with Maynard taking over his role.

Initially linking up with Barnet in the summer as their Head of Football, he stepped in as Head Coach after Harry Kewell’s dismissal. Brennan almost made it a season to remember for Bees fans last term as they secured a playoff spot, but were knocked out of the eliminator by Bromley.

As it stands, the Barnet manager boasts a win rate of over 50% which has been key to getting them to where they are now.

Top Scorer: Nicke Kabamba

Barnet’s most valuable player, Nicke Kabamba has been in fine form this season, netting nineteen goals in thirty appearances to date in the league.

That puts him joint-third in the National League scoring charts, level with Hartlepool’s Emmanuel Dieseruvwe.

The prolific striker has also managed to bag one brace and a couple of hat-tricks, including a memorable one over local rivals over Boreham Wood, and a crucial three goals in a win over Ebbsfleet.

Having not appeared in the Bees’ last few matches, there are doubts as to whether Brennan’s main man will start against the Minstermen on Saturday.


York City have only met with Barnet 17 times, with the first-ever match being a 2-0 win for the Bees back in 1991.

Since then, either side has won six, and there have been two draws along the way.

Last season, City completed an impressive double over the North London side – Lenell John-Lewis, Fraser Kerr, Sam Sanders, and Alex Hurst all chipped in as the Minstermen put five past their opponents down south, then a solitary Shaq Forde strike sealed the points for the reverse fixture in Yorkshire.

Earlier in the current campaign, Dipo Akinyemi scored a brace at home to the Bees, but that was not enough as we slumped to a 4-2 defeat.