John Akinde scored his 60th league goal for Barnet to give the Bees a 1-0 win at Mansfield Town in EFL League Two this afternoon — their first at the One Call Stadium in 16 years.
The Bees’ number nine got the game’s only goal after 57 minutes, outmuscling Krystian Pearce and tucking beyond keeper Scott Shearer to score his 12th in his last 12 league outings.
And the victory was Barnet’s first at Mansfield since April 2000 when Marlon King won it for the visitors.
Martin Allen made two changes from the side which started the abandoned game at Newport County last weekend.
Ben Tomlinson and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro dropped to the bench. In came Luke Gambin and, making his first EFL League Two start of the season, Shaun Batt.
And it was Batt who almost broke the deadlock after two minutes. Akinde scampered down the right and slid a low cross in for his strike partner who couldn’t connect cleanly from close range.
Mansfield had their first chance in the tenth minute. Mal Benning crossed from the left and the ball fell for Mitchell Rose inside the area. However, Bees skipper Michael Nelson did well to block the midfielder’s strike.
Both sides enjoyed territory thereafter but neither could really work the opposing goalkeeper until seven minutes before half time.
On that occasion Mansfield’s Benning brought a good stop out of Vickers who got down smartly to his right to push away the winger’s firm strike.
A minute later the Stags had a better chance but Matt Green’s goal-bound header was blocked on the line by Elliott Johnson as the half ended goalless.
It was the Bees who had the first chance of note after the restart, the lively Batt again involved for Allen’s men. The forward darted between two defenders down the right-hand side and crossed to the back post where Gambin, on the stretch, stabbed just wide.
But Barnet’s next foray into the Mansfield half was rewarded with a goal which proved to be the winner.
The Stags lost possession and the Bees broke forward with Akinde released down the left by Gambin. The burly forward skipped past former Barnet loanee Pearce before rolling under Shearer from an acute angle.
Shortly after going in front Barnet made their first change, Jamal Campbell-Ryce replacing Batt. And the former Sheffield United winger went close immediately, earning a corner with a shot which was deflected wide.
The Bees did well to limit Mansfield’s threat after taking the lead and Josh Vickers had little to do in the Barnet goal.
One of the few chances Vickers had to repel came when substitute Kevan Hurst crossed from the left for Darius Henderson who couldn’t beat the Swansea City loanee with a firm header.
Barnet controlled proceedings from there to clinch their second win of the campaign. The Bees are at home to Colchester United next Saturday.
Barnet: Vickers; Vilhete, N’Gala, Nelson (c), Johnson; Nicholls (Sesay 74), Weston, Togwell, Gambin (Campbell-Ryce 70); Batt (Akpa Akpro 59), Akinde.
Substitutes: Stephens (GK), Watson, H. Taylor, Tomlinson.
Mansfield Town: Shearer; Bennett, Pearce, Taft (Hamilton 21), Iacovitti; Hemmings (Hurst 63), M. Rose (Henderson 72), Collins (c), Benning; Green, D. Rose.
Substitutes: Jensen (GK), Hoban, Baxendale, McGuire.
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge.
Attendance: 2,523 (122 Barnet fans).
Barnet lost to North Greenford United 3-0, bowing out of the Middlesex County Cup. Starting with most of the possession, Barnet’s youthful side looked