Barnet shared an eight-goal thriller with Premier League side Crystal Palace on Saturday, going down 5-3 in an entertaining pre-season friendly at The Hive.
The Bees did take an early lead through John Akinde before a Dwight Gayle hat-trick put Palace in control, but despite Luke Gambin and Kevin Lisbie notching in the second half it was goals from substitutes Reise Allasani and Fraizer Campbell that settled an end-to-end game in the Eagles’ favour.
On a gorgeous afternoon at The Hive it was Barnet who started the quicker of the two sides – taking the lead with their first attack of the game as Curtis Weston lofted the ball through to Andy Yiadom down the right who crossed low for John Akinde to finish first time.
Their lead did not last long however as Dwight Gayle equalised with barely two minutes on the clock, slotting a free-kick from the edge of the area into the bottom corner of the net.
The breathless start to the game continued as Gayle scored a stunner to give Palace the lead, controlling a pass thirty yards out before cutting inside and curling a majestic shot inside Graham Stack’s post to make it 2-1 after just eleven minutes.
The dangerous striker then completed his hat-trick five minutes after the break, sprining the offside trap to race through one-on-one and finish high into the net.
After Palace had made wholesale changes during the interval Barnet replaced all ten outfield players on the hour mark, with Luke Gambin taking over the captain’s armband from Bondz N’Gala.
The winger wasted no time in making his mark on the same, pulling a goal back within a minute of being on the pitch with a low finish after keeper Chris Kittings had parried away an effort from Kevin Lisbie.
Palace regained their two-goal cushion on 73 minutes however, as another substitute in Reise Allasani raced clear down the right-hand side before placing a precise finish in off the far post and make it 4-2 with quarter of an hour to play.
The Bees were still not done, and they set up a grandstand finish on 81 minutes when Kevin Lisbie showed off his poacher’s instincts with a deft lobbed header over the keeper to convert an impudent scooped pass over the defence from youngster Fumnaya Shomotun.
Yet there was still time for one more goal as former Manchester United striker Fraizer Campbell volleyed home after a tackle from Harry Taylor had fallen into his path to wrap up an enthralling contest in which both sides had played their part.
Next up for Barnet is a trip to St Albans on Tuesday night (19:45 KO) followed by a visit to Maidenhead United on Saturday (15:00 KO).
Barnet FC: Graham Stack; Gavin Hoyte (Harry Taylor 61), Michael Nelsen (Joe Gater 61), Bondz N’Gala (c) (Bira Dembele 61), Elliott Johnson (Sam Muggleton 61); Andy Yiadom (Fumnaya Shomotun 61), Sam Togwell (Wesley Fonguck 61), Tom Champion (Tamille Roache 61), Ben Tomlinson (Luke Gambin 61 (c)); Curtis Weston (Kevin Lisbie 61); John Akinde (Michael Gash 61).
Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni (Chris Kettings 46); Joel Ward (Luke Croll 61), Brede Hangeland (Scott Dann 46), Damian Delaney (Paddy McCarthy 46), Martin Kelly (Jerome Binnom-Williams 46); Jake Gray (Reise Allasani 66), Hiram Boateng ((Keshi Anderson 66), Jason Puncheon (Connor Dymond 46 (Christian Scales 72)) , Sullay Kaikai; Dwight Gayle (Andreas Breimyr 61), Glenn Murray (Fraizer Campbell 46).