Martin Allen was quick to praise Barnet’s young players for their impressive contribution as the Bees exited the EFL Checkatrade Trophy with a 2-1 defeat to Peterborough United.
Paul Taylor gave Posh a sixth-minute lead but a Barnet squad containing 12 players aged 21 or under deservedly levelled when Justin Amaluzor turned smartly in the box and fired home.
It was not to be a winning end to this year’s Trophy though, as Peterborough nicked it six minutes from time through George Moncur.
However, the result was immaterial with both sides already out. The real story was the inclusion of 15-year-old Dwight Pascal, becoming Barnet’s youngest ever player, and run-outs for six homegrown players.
Speaking afterwards, Allen said: “We couldn’t go through in this competition, I have to make that clear.
“The important thing, after I watched our Youth Team last week against Luton Town, was it was the right time to put those young players up and push them on.
“I put them in with some first-team players who haven’t played all the games, put them altogether for a day’s training and I thought they put in a tremendous performance.
“The fact we’ve had the youngest player to play for Barnet is a bonus ball. The fact he’s played the whole game at 15 years old is impressive and he is going to be a proper player.”
Allen continued “The others who came on – Ephron Mason-Clark and Justin Amaluzor – brightened up our performance and gave us extra pace and energy.
“The attitude of our senior players was also good. Ben Tomlinson was outstanding; Bira Dembele, Alie Sesay, Jamie Stephens, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Alex Nicholls all put in a real shift to help the young players around them.
“We played a strong Peterborough team, it wasn’t like us and what we picked – nearly all that lot have been playing in their first team.
“So it was a tremendous performance from our players and normally I get the hump when we lose. I don’t normally say that to the public; it naffs me off, upsets me, disappoints me and hurts me.
“Tonight I can say well done senior players and excellent young players.”
You can watch Martin’s full video interview below: