Barnet’s John Akinde can storm the scoring charts for the second season running
Barnet won the Vanarama Conference last season when pipping Bristol Rovers by a single point and The Bees will now look to consolidate their Football League status.
The main reason why Martin Allen’s team enjoyed automatic promotion were the 94 goals scored and 31 of them were notched by John Akinde, a late blossomer who regularly destroyed opposition defences.
The 26-year-old has been round the houses during his footballing career, although it was only a spell with Alfreton Town where the Englishman started to hit the net regularly.
A transfer to Barnet then saw him score 31 goals in 45 games and that sort of return in League Two will surely see big John go close in the scoring charts.
You could argue that Akinde will find life tougher against opposition defences at this level although there’s not a huge gulf between Conference and League Two, while this beast of a striker has plenty of confidence in his ability after last season.
A pre-season hat-trick against MK Dons suggest that bright things will continue to happen and Coral’s 33/1 about the Barnet boy look staggeringly big.
Allen is expecting Akinde to “rip the pants off” opposition defences this season, with the Barnet manager continuing: “John Akinde will be on fire, there’s no doubt about that. I think it (the return to professional football) was a bit of a wake-up call for him really…he has stepped up and looks happy to be playing for Barnet.”
The market leaders include Matt Tubbs who should shine for Portsmouth after top scoring in League Two last season.
However, the striker is as short as 6/1 in this market and might suffer from being the one up top for Pompey.
We’re happy to stick with our man Akinde and we’ll pair him with Paul McCallum who is 33/1 with William Hill and should go well for another London club.
Leyton Orient suffered the drop last season and they have recruited the 22-year-old from West Ham, with the youngster having had a series of loan spells before making the short move.
Two goals in a recent pre-season win at Colchester suggest that the forward and his team are along the right lines as they bid to bounce back immediately into League One.