Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Steve Harris previews the game at Plainmoor
TORQUAY UNITED vs BARNET
Venue: Plainmoor, Torquay
Date: Saturday 18th February 2023
Torquay: W, W, W, D, L, L
Barnet: W, W, W, W, W, L
Torquay: Aaron Jarvis (10)
Barnet: Nicke Kabamba (17)
HEAD TO HEAD
Year founded: 1888
Nickname: The Bees
Last season’s league finish: 22nd in National League
Football Conference/Blue Square Premier/National League:
Winners: 1990-91, 2004-05, 2014-15
MANAGER: DEAN BRENNAN
A familiar opponent of United’s from the 2018-19 National League South title winning season, Dean Brennan crossed paths with the Gulls twice during their National League South title winning season. Firstly, as manager of Hemel Hempstead and later while he managed Billericay Town.
Dublin-born Brennan first came to England with Sheffield Wednesday in 1999, where he impressed at youth and reserve team level but failed to break into the first team with the Owls. He then went on to make a handful of appearances for Luton Town before dropping down into the non-league scene. He had spells with a number of clubs, including Stevenage, Grays Athletic, Lewes, AFC Wimbledon, Cambridge City, Chesham United and Hemel Hempstead. While at Grays, he helped them to win the FA Trophy in 2005.
As a manager, Brennan took charge of Hemel Hempstead in 2012 – he had a brief caretaker spell in charge of the Tudors in 2010 – and led them to the Southern League title in the 2013-14 campaign.
After establishing Hemel Hempstead in National League South, Brennan was appointed as manager of Billericay Town by their then owner Glenn Tamplin in September 2018. He was later sacked after four months in charge. A brief stint as manager of Kingstonian followed before he took charge of the Stones, who he led to the National League South title in the 2019-20 season.
After leaving Wealdstone midway through the 2020-21 season, Brennan joined Barnet as Head of Football in the summer of 2021 and took over the managerial reins following the departure of Harry Kewell as manager.
PLAYER TO WATCH: NICKE KABAMBA
Nicke Kabamba signed for Barnet in June 2022 on a permanent basis following his departure from Northampton Town. Kabamba stared out at Hayes & Yeading and joined Uxbridge in 2011 where he spent two seasons scoring 18 goals in 59 appearances. In August 2015, Kabamba signed for Hampton & Richmond Borough and scored a further 18 goals in the 2015-16 season, becoming the club’s top scorer. Stints at Portsmouth, Colchester United, Aldershot Town and Havant & Waterlooville followed before Kabamba signed for Hartlepool United in 2019, scoring five goals in his first four starts. Kabamba then joined Scottish Premier League club Kilmarnock in 2020 on a one-and-a-half year contract which preceded his move to Northampton prior to him joining the Bees.
Position: Centre Forward
Date of Birth: 1st February, 1993 (30 years old)
Former Clubs: Hayes. Uxbridge, AFC Hayes. Burnham, Hemel, Hampton and Richmond, Portsmouth, Colchester, Aldershot, Havant and Waterlooville, Hartlepool, Kilmarnock, Northampton, Woking
NL Stats 22-23: Played 28, Goals Scored 17, Yellows 1, Red 1
Torquay: Ross Marshall
Barnet: Ben Wynter
Torquay United 1 – 2 Barnet
Saturday, 11th February 2023
A brace from Harry Smith booked Barnet’s place in the quarter finals of the FA Trophy at the expense of Torquay United.
Smith gave the Bees an early lead before a free-kick Kieron Evans drew United level moments before Smith completed his double. Barnet edged ahead in the second minute as Ryan De Havilland’s cross found Smith, whose header looped over United keeper Mark Halstead. Two minutes later, the Gulls almost managed an immediate reply as a cross from Dillon De Silva picked out Aaron Jarvis who headed against the bar. In the eighth minute, it was the Bees’ turn to hit the upright as Sam Woods connected with a Dale Gorman free-kick and hit the bar. On 19 minutes, Barnet’s leading scorer Nicke Kabamba went on a dangerous run for the visitors before testing Halstead with a low drive which he turned around the post. The Gulls were forced into an early change in the 28th minute as Newport County loanee Lewis Collins was replaced by Tope Fadahunsi.
United continued in the quest for an equaliser as Tom Lapslie forced a routine save from Bees keeper Laurie Walker on 30 minutes. Four minutes before half-time, Jarvis attempted an angled effort from distance which sailed narrowly wide. In injury time, Fadahunsi struck the post after being teed up by Jarvis – as United trailed at the break. Six minutes after the restart, Gorman’s cross found Sam Beard who missed the target for the visitors. The Gulls equalised on 56 minutes when Evans’ free-kick found the back of the net – although it did appear that Shaun Donnellan got a final touch on it. Two minutes later, Barnet restored their lead when Smith headed home a cross from the left from Beard.
Torquay United (3-5-2):
Shaun Donnellan – Nico Lawrence – Dean Moxey
Dillon De Silva – Brett McGavin – Tom Lapslie – Kieron Evans – Ben Wyatt
Tope Fadahunsi – Aaron Jarvis
Sam Woods – Jerome Okimo – Moussa Diarra
Idris Kanu – Dale Gorman – Harry Pritchard – Ryan De Havilland – Sam Beard
Harry Smith – Nicke Kabamba