Bees extend unbeaten run to seven with comfortable win over Halifax.Barnet maintained their position at the top of the Vanarama Conference on Saturday with an excellent 3-0 win over FC Halifax Town at The Hive.
A Mauro Vilhete goal set the Bees on their way just one minute in before a poacher’s finish from John Akinde shortly before half-time and another for Curtis Weston early in the second half wrapped up the Bees third successive victory which keeps them in the driving seat with just two games of the season remaining.
Ahead of the game Martin Allen named two changes to the side that won last time out against Dartford on Easter Monday.
Andy Yiadom returned from injury at right-back with Mauro Vilhete pushing forward onto the wing, whilst Sam Togwell came back into the centre of the Bees’ midfield with Conor Clifford lining up on the left as Lee Cook was the man to make way.
Barnet started like a train on a beautiful afternoon at The Hive, and took the lead with just a minute on the clock. Elliott Johnson was the creator crossing into the box from the left after a good passing move, and once Graham Hutchinson could only clear to the feet of the lurking Mauro Vilhete the winger was able to loop the ball into the top corner despite mishitting his shot.
Their early dominance continued with a string of efforts at goal and succession of corners, one of which nearly led to a second when it was cleared to Conor Clifford on the edge of the area who struck the crossbar with a powerful drive from 25 yards.
Barnet had strong appeals for a penalty waved away shortly after the half-hour mark when John Akinde appeared to have been brought down from behind in the penalty area, but despite loud protestations from the crowd referee Brett Huxtable was unmoved.
The big striker would not have to wait much longer to get on the scoresheet however, latching onto a misplaced back pass from Scott McManus before poking beyond Matt Glennon in goal with his first touch to make it 2-0 to the Bees at the break.
The hosts wasted no time in picking up where they left off in the second half, putting the game beyond doubt ten minutes after the interval.
Andy Yiadom was the provider this time, receiving the ball out wide on the right before jinking beyond his man in the penalty area and squaring for Curtis Weston to tap home, as the stand-in skipper continued his hot streak in front of goal with a fifth goal in seven games.
By this stage the Bees were rampant, with the midfield pouring forward to support Akinde and Michael Gash in attack at every opportunity.
Vilhete nearly got his second of the afternoon on 70 minutes, playing a neat one-two with Akinde in the penalty area before curling over from 12 yards out.
With the points in the bag Barnet rung the changes during the closing stages, as Charlie MacDonald came on for Akinde before Luisma Villa and Luke Gambin replaced Curtis Weston and Vilhete in a double substitution.
Two of the new arrivals nearly combined to score a superb fourth during four minutes of added time, as an exquisite back-heel from MacDonald fed Luisma in the box before the Spaniard saw his shot palmed away by Glennon.
The comfortable victory against the side who ended their promotion dream last season sees Barnet stay on course at the top of the table with just two games left to play, the first of which comes with a trip to Kidderminster next Saturday.
Barnet FC: Graham Stack; Andy Yiadom, Bondz N’Gala, David Stephens, Elliott Johnson; Mauro Vilhete (Luke Gambin 84), Sam Togwell, Curtis Weston (c) (Luisma Villa 84), Conor Clifford; John Akinde (Charlie MacDonald 80), Michael Gash.
FC Halifax Town: Matt Glennon; James Bolton, Graham Hutchinson (Jamie Jackson 20), Marc Roberts (c), Steve Williams; Will Hatfield (Danny Schofield 46), Lois Maynard, Matty Pearson, Scott McManus; Jack Muldoon, Danny Hattersley (Scott Boden 82).