A fine 3-0 win in front of the BT Sport cameras on the Kent coast saw many in the Vanarama Conference sit up and take notice, with the opposition seeming to up their games as a result during the following two games.
As the manager has said on numerous occasions, Barnet will have to get used to their favourites tag and the extra motivation that this can give opposing sides.
It seemed to give the referees some extra motivation as well, judging by their interpretation of what is and what is not handball against Telford and Wrexham respectively. Cue the old clichés about decisions evening themselves out over a season.
But with a point to prove against Altrincham on Saturday Barnet put in a five star performance at The Hive.
You may have read previously how impressed I have been with John Akinde. He has the stature to lead the line, but to go with it he has goals like the one he scored against Southport in his locker – a centre forward capable of finishes of real quality.
This time it took Barnet’s number nine just 45 + 4 minutes to bag a hat-trick. There’s something about 45-minute hat-tricks at The Hive – this is the second in four home games (the first being Lee Cook’s second half exploits against Dartford in August). Cook did not even feature on Saturday and it goes to show that there are plenty of goals in this team even without Barnet’s top scorer.
Of course it also helps when your new loan signing scores with his first touch after coming on to replace the hat-trick hero! Well done Sam Hoskins and hopefully the first of many.
Akinde was given a standing ovation as he left the field, and indeed at the final whistle too, which was thoroughly well deserved. Good to see Luisma on the scoresheet again too so soon after that cracking winner against Alfreton two weeks ago, not to mention his deft header against Dover.
As easy as it is to concentrate on the attacking prowess of a 5-0 victory, another clean sheet was very welcome too with Stack making a crucial save from a one-on-one and Muggleton slotting in well at full-back.
Elliott Johnson seemed assured in a less familiar midfield role before Togwell came on for the booked and rather bruised Bondz N’Gala following an accidental clash in the first half. A flexible squad with players who can come in and perform well is exactly what is required for what will be a long Conference campaign.
On then to Saturday’s away game at Forest Green Rovers. A Mark Byrne effort in the first minute set the Bees on their way to a 2-1 in this fixture last season, but this will be a tough away game against a team that has only lost once at home.
Yet if Barnet can show the attacking intent they showed against Altrincham on Saturday, you would think that there is every chance of us getting another result away from The Hive on Saturday.
Come on you Bees!