On the opening game of the season, the London weather saw the heavens open up, and the football gods granted Barnet their first three points of the season.
The first chance of the game came in the 7th minute, a good ball in behind from Harry Pritchard gave Idris Kanu something to chase, eventually leading to a free kick on the left side of the box. Captain Dale Gorman put a good cross in, but no one was there to claim it.
As the game went on, Hartlepool striker Chris Wreh constantly looked to find space as he drifted left from his central position, but new-signing Adebola Oluwo kept the American quiet.
Two successive corners on the right-hand side saw debutant Ben Coker put two in-swinging crosses in, finding blue and white shirts on both occasions.
Away side’s Charlie Seaman then had a good chance outside the box, looking to curl the ball into the top left, but Laurie Walker had nothing to worry about with the shot flying wide.
With Hartlepool moving the ball forwards quite well as they got into the game, the home side needed something to cheer about.
This came in the 22nd minute, as Dale Gorman lift a curved cross into the right side of the box from a deep position, where a mishit shot from Pritchard on the half turn led to a goal-line scrap. Centre-back Oluwo eventually fired the ball home, marking his first goal for Barnet.
Three minutes later, The Bees’ goalkeeper Laurie Walker was finally called to action, making a brilliant double save after a long-range shot from Tom Crawford and a should-have-been tap-in from Frenchman Anthony Mancini.
Ex-Burnley youngster, Anthony Mancini, finally found some space on the edge of the box in the 34th minute and looked to curl the ball into the far corner, but the shot was blocked.
Ben Coker then got a round of applause from the home crowd after taking a shot to the face, in which he leapt back up to continue defending despite visibly being in pain.
As half-time approached, Gorman was then given a yellow card for dissent.
Despite being opposition on the day, both sets of fans came together in the 43rd minute for a 60-second round of applause following the passing of lifelong Barnet FC fan, Ken Myers.
Home fans started asking the referee for half-time, but quickly stopped after Reece Hall-Johnson played a through ball down the right wing to Nicke Kabamba, who, with plenty of time to shoot, fired towards the bottom left corner, but the effort was saved by Hartlepool keeper, Joel Dixon.
HT: Barnet FC 1-0 Hartlepool United
A 54th-minute Barnet corner was then cleared to Collinge on the right side of the box, who then floated the ball to the far post which Nicke Kabamba headed home to put The Bees 2-0 up.
Seconds after the restart, Barnet matched the supporter’s energy with a rapid attacking transition, with the resulting shot only narrowly missing the post. The momentum was now with the home side.
Play was then paused in the 62nd minute for Jerome Okimo, who went down holding his face, coming off with a broken nose. He was replaced by Finley Potter, who rejoins the club on loan from Sheffield United.
As soon as play restarted, Danny Collinge added to his previous assist with a powerful header at the back post, making the scoreline a comfortable 3-0.
Crawford then received a yellow card in the 80th minute after bringing down Idris Kanu as he surged forwards.
As Hartlepool played the ball behind the Barnet backline, substitute Jake Hastie pulled a goal back for Hartlepool, slotting the ball past Walker into the bottom right corner.
Just as the crowd expected the full-time whistle, the 4th official, much to everyones surprise, then signalled for 10 minutes of additional time, giving some energy to the dormant away support.
Late in stoppage time, Hartlepool were awarded a lifeline, as a penalty was awarded.
Jake Hastie stepped up and drilled the ball to the right, but the effort was fantastically saved by Laurie Walker. Fans could not celebrate for long though, as the ball stayed in play, and was fired between the goalkeeper’s legs by Josh Umerah, putting the scoreline at 3-2.
Despite the later glimmer of hope, Hartlepool couldn’t quite equalise, with Barnet securing the win.
FT: Barnet FC 3-2 Hartlepool United
Barnet Starting XI: Walker, Hall-Johnson (Wynter 87′), Coker, Collinge, Okimo (Potter 64′), Gorman (Barratt 72′), Kabamba, Kanu, Pritchard, Oluwo, Brunt
Unused Substitutes: Senior, Stead
Goals: Oluwo 22′, Kabamba 54′, Collinge 67′
Yellow Cards: Gorman
Attendance: 1,909 (Away: 537)