Barnet lost by a 3-1 scoreline against Martin Allen’s table-topping Gillingham in a game that was largely decided by two early quick goals by the Gills.
Centre-back David Stephens made his debut at the expense of the injured Jon Fortune, the armband being taken by Barry Fuller. Clovis Kamdjo won a place in the line-up as a defensive midfielder with Jon Nurse able to return upfront with the plan being that Curtis Weston would push forward to offer support.
Until the Gills scored the game was in the balance, but after 10 minutes a speculative effort from distance by Jack Payne crept in and then a minute later a well-weighted delivery from the right by Charlie Allen was powerfully headed home by the old-school centre-forward Danny Kedwell; the Bees now had a mountain to climb.
Charlie Lee and then Allen both had chances to extend the visitors’ lead even further but they were wasteful with their opportunities.
Ricky Holmes, a hard-working and dangerous presence down the left-flank all afternoon then delivered an exquisite delivery that flew across the six-yard-box but there was not a Barnet forward in a position to capitalise.
On 26 minutes Barnet were offered a lifeline when Jack Saville steered a header goalwards from a well-driven corner from Mark Byrne. Then moments later good wing play by Andy Yiadom set up Nurse whose deft effort was only marginally off-target and then Kamdjo saw his header from another corner flash narrowly wide of the target.
However with six minutes of the half remaining Deon Burton at the far-post was able to climb the highest and headed accurately into the Bees net to re-establish their two-goal differential.
In the second-half without seriously threatening to turn the tide notable efforts on the Gillingham goal were made by Weston on two occasions, by Nurse and by Holmes. Any of which might have proved to have been the catalyst for a recovery but the Gillingham defence was generally looking steady and secure and formed the basis for the visitors to see out the second-half and claim all the points on offer.
Barnet did manage to put their game together in short spells, there were glimpses of coherent play, but the Bees are yet to produce such a performance for 90 minutes this season.
John Oster joined the fray midway through the second-half and it was clear that he has ability on the ball and also that, by his own admittance, he needs to get up to match-fitness before we can see the best of him.
Post-match Head Coach Mark Robson remained fiercely confident that once the first victory has been recorded others will surely follow and the corresponding climb up the league would result.
He also confirmed that the search for players to augment the squad is on-going.
The Bees are at Bradford City this coming Saturday.