The Last Barnet XI To Beat Dagenham and Redbridge – Where Are They Now?

This evening will see one of the numerous all-London affairs in the Vanarama National League play out as Dean Brennan’s Barnet take on Dagenham & Redbridge, who are managed by Bees’ icon Ben Strevens.

Brennan has never even gained a point against the Daggers during his spell at The Hive and their abysmal record against the men from Victoria Road stretches all the way back to October of 2020, when Peter Beadle’s side won 2-1 courtesy of two late goals.

Here is a look at the eleven who started that game and where they are now.

Goalkeeper: Scott Loach

In goal for the Bees was Scott Loach, a player signed the season before by Darren Currie when the club had play-off ambitions. He conceded 57 goals in 24 appearances in the 2020/21 season, but that isn’t a slight on his ability as he was often let down by the defensive unit in front of him.

Loach left the club at the end of the 20/21 season and moved to Chesterfield, where he kept 16 clean sheets in 44 league games. He departed the Spireites after one season and moved to Derby County where he has made three appearances.

Right-Back: Alexander McQueen

McQueen arrived in North London with a reputation as an offensive full-back but failed to live up to expectations as he departed at the end of the 20/21 season having made 36 appearances for the Bees.

In 2022, he had a spell in the USL Championship where he played for Indy Eleven 22 times, failing to get on the scoresheet. This season he has come back to England and the National League with Oxford City where he has made five appearances and scored one goal.

Centre-Back: Matt Preston

Preston struggled with injury during his time at Barnet, making just 15 appearances before leaving the club at the end of the 20/21 season. Unfortunately, struggles with fitness have continued to plague his career as he struggled for game time at Solihull Moors, who he joined after leaving the Bees.

He then went on loan to Kidderminster Harriers and seemingly got back to his best, being named Man of the Match as the then sixth-tier side beat West Ham United in the FA Cup. But, just a couple of weeks later, he sustained a serious injury in a league match against Alfreton Town which put him out of action for over a year. After a loan spell at Brackley Town to help build up his fitness, Preston now finds himself back at the Harriers.

Centre-Back: Ben Nugent

Nugent is one of the handful of players in this team to have stayed on with the Bees for the 2021/22 season, but he only made two more appearances in black and amber (in addition to the 23 he made the season prior).

The big centre-back moved to Gloucester City to reunite with Tim Flowers and he made 53 league appearances in the sixth tier. He now finds himself in the Cambodian Premier League playing for Angkor Tiger FC.

Left-Back: Jerome Binnom-Williams

Former England C international Binnom-Williams made 22 appearances in black and amber before he was released at the end of the 20/21 season.

He moved to Maidstone United in the National League South where he played 30 games and scored four goals as his side achieved promotion in the 21/22 season. Last season, Binnom-Williams played 19 times and found the back of the net once as the Stones were relegated from the fifth tier straight away. He now plys his trade at Dulwich Hamlet in the seventh tier of the football pyramid.

Central-Midfield: James Dunne

Dunne’s performance levels were excellent in the 2019/20 campaign, but his endurance and top speed looked considerably worse the following season as the Bees finished rock bottom of the league but were saved from relegation due to Covid-19.

The former Portsmouth man departed at the end of the 20/21 season and moved to Southend, where he made a further 23 National League appearances and scored two goals. Since then, Dunne has been playing in the National League South, making 40 appearances for Welling in the 2022/23 season and 23 appearances for Dover Athletic so far this season.

Central-Midfield: Harry Taylor

A Barnet stalwart, Taylor’s passion for the club was evident, even when some of his teammates appeared very uncommitted. Taylor made 42 league appearances for the Bees in the 20/21 season and represented the Bees a further 37 times the season after before amicably leaving the club as he wasn’t suited to the system Dean Brennan wanted to play.

He linked up with former manager Darren Currie at Southend United where he made 32 league appearances last season. However, it has been this season, as the Shrimpers have struggled due to a transfer embargo, where Taylor has shone, making 23 appearances so far and being one of the Shrimpers stand-out players.

Central-Midfield: Wesley Fonguck

Like Taylor, Fonguck was a loyal servant to the Bees as he made over 125 appearances for the club. He started the 20/21 season relatively well, scoring twice in 11 games before suffering a season-ending injury in Tim Flowers’ first days in charge.

Fonguck also went to Southend and made 35 appearances last year, finding the back of the net on two occasions. This season, the midfielder has been able to get more minutes due to Southend’s transfer embargo and he has already matched his goal tally from last season in 23 appearances.

Attacking-Midfield: Eliot Richards

Signed by Beadle as he was a key cog in the Hereford United side that earned him his reputation, Richards’ career at Barnet never got going. He scored the winning goal against the Daggers in the 88th minute, but he would make just three appearances before suffering a season-ending injury.

The former Wales Under-21 international found himself at Merthyr Town, the club he joined Barnet from, at the end of the 21/22 season before having spells in the Cymru Premier League with Pontypridd United and Penybont in the last two seasons.

Attacking-Midfield: Ephron Mason-Clark

The diamond in the rough; Ephron Mason-Clark is the only player in this team to have gone on to play at a higher level. The 20/21 season saw him make 42 appearances for the Bees, netting three times and performing at a noticeably higher level upon the appointment of Simon Bassey towards the end of the season.

The following year, Mason-Clark bagged six times in 39 appearances which earned him a move to Peterborough United. Joining just after the start of last season, the attacker made 39 appearances for Posh and registered 17 goals and assists in his first real season in the EFL.

He was made club captain by Darren Ferguson at the start of this season and although he has since relinquished the armband, the former England C international has already notched up 13 goal contributions in the league. The powerful winger will surely go on to play at the highest level.

Striker: JJ Hooper

Scorer of the equaliser in the 85th minute, Hooper arrived in North London with a credible goalscoring record at National League level. He scored seven times in 24 appearances for the Bees but was largely underwhelming which led to his release at the end of the 20/21 season.

Hooper then joined South Shields who were in the seventh tier at the time. He scored 12 times in 21 appearances, including all four goals in a 4-2 victory over Nantwich Town. In January 2023, Hooper’s two-year deal was terminated early and he joined Gloucester City in the sixth tier, making seven appearances and scoring one goal. This season, he has been playing for Blyth Spartans in the National League North, netting seven times in 12 games.

Dean Brennan will know that a win is required against Dagenham & Redbridge tonight if his Bees side want to keep the pressure on second-placed Bromley. It could be a tough ask without the likes of Danny Collinge and Dale Gorman, especially as the Daggers are unbeaten in their last three league games.

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