Barnet returned to the top of the Vanarama Conference table on Saturday with an emphatic 5-0 win at home against Welling United at The Hive.
A sublime opener from Mauro Vilhete followed by a brace for John Akinde in the first-half set up the victory, with Michael Gash and substitute Luisma Villa applying the gloss in the second half to help the Bees record their third 5-0 win of the season.
Ahead of the game, Martin Allen made three changes to side that drew 1-1 away to Halifax in midweek with Jack Saville replaceing the suspended David Stephens in the heart of defence following the centre-half’s late red card at The Shay.
Meanwhile, Lee Cook replaced Sam Muggleton on the left wing with Conor Clifford dropping to the bench as Barnet started with Michael Gash and John Akinde up front.
Barnet began the game brightly against the Wings, who started the game four points adrift of safety, seeing plenty of early possession to keep the visitors on the back foot.
They came close to taking the lead on just thirteen minutes, but were denied by a fantastic double save from Welling goalkeeper Jonathan Healy who first dived low to keep out Lee Cook’s free-kick from 25 yards out before recovering immediately to block Andy Yiadom on the follow-up.
They only had to wait another four minutes to find the breakthrough however, taking the lead with a fantastic solo goal from Mauro Vilhete. Curtis Weston won the ball in midfield before playing the ball over the top of the full-back for Vilhete to run onto, as the winger beat his man on the outside before cutting inside and ghosting into the area and finishing high into the roof of the net.
The Bees doubled their advantage just five minutes later, with their strike pairing linking up beautifully as Michael Gash planted a flick-on between Welling’s two centre halves for John Akinde to race onto before lifting the ball over the keeper and wheeling away as the ball nestled just inside the post.
By this stage Barnet were dominant, making it 3-0 five minutes before the break from the penalty spot, with Welling defender Chris Bush seeing red after shoving over Michael Gash as he raced onto a Lee Cook cross into the box. As ever, John Akinde stepped up to calmly slot home his eleventh penalty of the season.
They started the second half in much the same vein, and put the game beyond doubt exactly on the hour mark when Vilhete headed the ball back into the box following a mis-hit clearance by half-time substitute Joe Taylor, as Michael Gash finished beautifully by chesting down and volleying home on the turn.
With the points in the bag, Martin Allen made a double change shortly afterwards by bringing Conor Clifford and Luisma Villa on in place of Curtis Weston and John Akinde as Andy Yiadom took over the captain’s armband.
Welling did have a chance to cut the deficit on 65 minutes when former Bee Kieron St Aimee raced in behind Bondz N’Gala, but with just the keeper to beat the striker shot wide of the left-hand post on the half-volley.
Barnet were not sitting back however, and made another attacking substitution on 74 minutes when Luke Gambin was introduced for Mauro Vilhete.
However, it would be another substitute who scored the fifth during the closing minutes, as Luisma Villa shot from the edge of the box with the ball taking a wicked deflection that completely wrong-footed Henly in the
Welling goal to gift the Spaniard his twelfth goal of the season and wrap up a resounding victory in front of a buoyant crowd at The Hive.
The win takes Barnet back to the top of the table, one point clear of Bristol Rovers who played last night with six games to go, starting with a game away to Alfreton Town next week.
Barnet FC: Graham Stack; Andy Yiadom, Bondz N’Gala, Jack Saville, Elliott Johnson; Mauro Vilhete (Luke Gambin 74), Sam Togwell, Curtis Weston (c) (Conor Clifford 64), Lee Cook; John Akinde (Luisma Villa 64), Michael Gash.
Welling United: Jonathan Henly; Sam Berry, Michael Chambers, Chris Bush; Barney Williams, Sam Corne, Jake Gallagher (c) (Zach Fagan 83), Dominic Vose, Reece Harris (Rod Young 76); Kieron St. Aimie, Jason Williams (Joe Taylor 46).