Barnet recorded arguably their best result of pre-season on Saturday, defeating Championship new-boys MK Dons 3-1 at The Hive.
A first half hat-trick from John Akinde sealed an impressive victory for Martin Allen’s side that will give the Bees plenty of confidence heading into the new season.
The hosts took the lead after just ten seconds when Michael Gash robbed the Dons defence of possession before slipping in Akinde to finish beneath David Martin.
Their lead did not last for long however, as MK Dons drew level just a minute later when Andy Yiadom was penalised for tripping Dean Bowditch and Simon Church stepped up to convert the resulting penalty and make it 1-1 with less than two minutes on the clock.
The setback did not affect the Bees in the slightest, and they retook the lead shortly before the half-hour mark when Champion won the ball in midfield to allow Gambin to play Akinde through on goal, with the big striker calmly lobbing the advancing goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
Akinde then wrapped up his hat-trick on 39 minutes, latching onto Ben Tomlinson’s incisive pass from midfield before notching his seventh goal of pre-season and making it 3-1 before the break.
After such a breathless first half the second was an altogether quieter affair, with Barnet showing an impressive ability to control the ebb and flow of the game.
Mathew Stevens and Kevin Lisbie replaced the front two in Gash and Akinde on 72 minutes before the two Sams in Muggleton and Togwell came on for Gambin and Curtis Weston with just eleven minutes left.
Both of the new strikers went close during the final half-hour, with Stevens missing from close-range after Lisbie’s knock down before his strike partner then stabbed wide from a Muggleton long throw.
It mattered not, as Barnet comfortably saw out an impressive win against the second tier side.
Next up for the Bees is a visit to Eastleigh on Saturday as the big kick-off on August 8th draws ever closer.
Barnet FC: Ashlee Jones; Andy Yiadom, Bondz N’Gala, Bira Dembele, Elliott Johnson; Luke Gambin (Sam Muggleton 79), Tom Champion, Curtis Weston (Sam Togwell 79), Ben Tomlinson; John Akinde (Mathew Stevens 62), Michael Gash (Kevin Lisbie 62).
MK Dons: David Martin; Lee Hodson, Kyle McFadzean (Antony Kay 20), Joe Walsh, Dean Lewington; Darren Potter, Samir Carruthers (Ben Reeves 46); Carl Baker, Georgio Rasulo (Dale Jennings 61), Dean Bowditch; Simon Church (Daniel Powell 46).