Barnet v Newport County: John Akinde, Jack Taylor and Nana Kyei feature in five things we learned from the 0-0 draw

Barnet took on Newport County at the Hive but could not find a way past the Welsh side

Barnet took on Newport County at the Hive but could not find a way past the Welsh side

Barnet were unable to find a way past inspired goalkeeper Joe Day as they drew 0-0 with bottom side Newport County.

Nana Kyei had the best chances and forced Day into his best save of the match, throwing a left-hand at his fierce curling shot.

But what did we learn about the Bees?

John Akinde doesn’t want to leave Barnet

This isn’t based on anything I have heard behind the scenes, although everyone at the club is desperate for Akinde to stay for obvious reasons.

He has been so far “unable to promise” that he would stay at the club beyond January but with less than two weeks until deadline day, he has is still a Bee.

However, I have seen strikers in the shop window before. They are desperate to grab a headline and make sure their talents are at the forefront of every rich chairman’s minds.

Akinde was far from his best today and did look tired. But he didn’t look like he didn’t want to be there.

Quotes earlier this week suggest he thinks he can carry Barnet beyond League Two. I would suggest he will attempt to do so until the summer at least.

Jack Taylor is making waves

As I exclusively revealed before kick-off, West Ham are not the only footballing organisation with their eye on Jack Taylor.

Since coming into the side in December, the 18-year-old has been ever-present in the post-Martin Allen side and has been supremely impressive.

Jack Taylor in Barnet action

Jack Taylor has impressed for Barnet despite his tender years

The Republic of Ireland sent two scouts to watch him today (I had no idea there was Irish blood) and the FAI are clearly interested in poaching him.

He has 18 months left on his current deal and a year option after that. Barnet will do well to keep him any longer.

Rossi Eames and Henry Newman don’t have the job titles we think they do – I think…

Even I – something of a stickler for consistency and categorisation – have struggled to call Barnet’s two leaders (coaches? caretakers? managers?).

I probed them for an answer – “should we drop the interim” – as to their future but both were resolute in their assertion that it’s one week at a time and that realistically, it’s all about the players anyway.

I await further developments with interest but giving the job to anyone else would look like madness at this point.

Luke Coulson will bring something different to the front line

Coulson’s debut, if social media is anything to go by, came 15 minutes too late.

The winger joined the club this week as the Google Maps directions for Eastleigh were dug out once again.

He twice nearly made the difference with a lofted ball to the back post and Rossi Eames believes he will add a directness and aggression to the attacking third that Barnet currently lack.

It is harsh to criticise them for a lack of incision when County sat so deep but that was the problem and Coulson will go some way to rectifying that.

Nana Kyei is still learning

This was definitely not Nana Kyei’s best day at the office. The winger struggled to have an impact against Newport’s resilient, physical and deep back five.

His struggles were highlighted by the contrast with the success of Mauro Vilhete and Harry Taylor, who made much of the running in the opening exchanges.

Kyei was also put on most of the set pieces with Luke Gambin gone to Luton and I’m afraid his inadequacy was so extreme that it bordered on the farcical.

He struggled with injury in the early season and has often looked best coming off the bench. Maybe he needs to reprise that role.

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EXCLUSIVE: Republic of Ireland eyeing call-up for Barnet teenager Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor in Barnet action

Jack Taylor has impressed for Barnet despite his tender years

Barnet youngster Jack Taylor’s good form has drawn the attentions of scouts for the Republic of Ireland.

Taylor spent seven years as part of the Chelsea youth set-up before joining the Barnet youth set-up in 2012.

Having signed his first professional deal in April, Taylor was handed his first-team debut in October against Norwich in the EFL Trophy.

And since the departure of Bees legend Martin Allen to manage Eastleigh, the 18-year-old has been a firm fixture in the midfield of interim boss Rossi Eames.

His impressive performances are understood to have caught the eye of the Republic of Ireland set-up, who sent scouts to Barnet v Newport County at the Hive to monitor him.

The Barnet midfielder, whose older brother Harry also plays for the club, has 18 months remaining on his current contract.

However, there is an option for the club to extend his stay by a further year.

Ireland representatives are not the first scouts to have watched Taylor this season, with a host of clubs from across the country having sent officials to assess his talents.

West Ham United are reportedly interested in signing both Taylor brothers, according to the Evening Standard.

Taylor has featured at right-back this season but is generally preferred in central midfield.


This is great news for the club and for the player himself. Every fan I’ve spoken to has told me how excited they are about his abilities and since Eames took over he has grown into his role in central midfield.

International recognition would be the kind of thing he deserves and if that results in a call-up to the Ireland under-19s or something similar, that would be a huge confidence boost. Might it alert his native England to his abilities? Quite possibly.