Barnet suffer major blow ahead of Hartlepool visit

Gavin Hoyte
Gavin Hoyte
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Barnet boss Martin Allen has suffered a blow ahead of tomorrow’s clash against Pools, with the news that key defender Gavin Hoyte looks set to be sidelined.

The right-back, who is only recently back from a long term knee injury, limped out of Tuesday night’s 2-2 draw with League Two bottom club Newport County.

And the initial prognosis is that Hoyte will not be avaiable for selection when Craig Hignett’s men come to town tomorrow.

Hoyte was given a standing ovation by teammates after a flawless performance in las weekend’s 2-0 win at Wycombe, which was his first appearance for the Bees since damaging knee ligaments back in January.

Speaking before the clash, Allen did, on a positive not, confirm that Hoyte’s injury was not a reoccurrence of the old problem.

He said: “Gavin Hoyte was outstanding on Saturday and thankfully, the big result is thats it’s not his knee – it’s a hamstring strain.”

In a week where Hartlepool’s defensive frailties have been laid bare, things don’t sound as though they are set to get any easier this time out.

Known for his long-ball, set-piece based style of play, Allen has managed to get the very best out of John Akinde.

The big frontman, despite the Bees’ struggles, is the fourth tier’s top-scorer with 11 strikes so far this campaign.

Pools have dealt with the division’s best well in recent weeks, having kept Omar Bogle and Danny Hylton quiet, but Akinde, who netted twice in midweek, could be a different kettle of fish.

Allen says the 27-year-old has added a goal-threat to his game this season.

Of his prolific striker, Allen said: “John has been outstanding in his last two games.

“Wycombe on Saturday was his best performance of the season by far.

“On Tuesday he was right on his game.

“He’s been scoring goals but he has needed to work on his performances – which he has.”