Martin Allen reflects on Barnet's first ever win at Wycombe Wanderers in the EFL...
Martin Allen hailed Barnet’s 2-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers in EFL League Two on Saturday as a victory full of character, determination, organisation and discipline.
The first half at Adams Park was an even affair. But after the break the Bees stepped up a gear and took control of proceedings.
Mauro Vilhete put Barnet in front with his first goal since scoring against Gateshead to clinch the Conference title in April 2015.
Wycombe substitute Myles Weston was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
Then, two minutes into stoppage time, John Akinde tucked home his tenth of the season against his former club to seal the win.
Reflecting on a perfect afternoon in Buckinghamshire, Allen said: “We made some changes and I think you have to say everyone in our squad put in a performance and did a job for the team and I was proud of my team today.
“Over the years you would say that is how Martin Allen’s teams play; they have to give everything for me.
“Today I think Wycombe had one shot. We were playing on the counter-attack in the second half and looking for the gaps to get John in the space behind. We knew the chances would come.
“It was a thoroughly deserved victory; a victory full of character, determination, organisation and discipline.”
Allen promised changes after last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at home to Exeter City and was as good as his word, making six.
One of those alterations saw right-back Gavin Hoyte come into the team after recovering from a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered nine months ago at Stevenage.
“He played in one practice game and I thought he looked ready,” explained Allen. “But I didn’t play him against Exeter City because I thought he needed a little bit more time.
“In the end I couldn’t wait any longer, I had to get him in the team. What an outstanding performance it was from Gavin.”
Allen continued: “They have all come in and done really well today. It hasn’t been easy because we haven’t had a right-back.
"Harry Taylor has done a really good job but he is a central midfield player. Mauro has played there but he’s a right-sided midfield player.
“On the other side we’ve had Bira Dembele and that hasn’t quite worked how I wanted it to. He did all right at Doncaster and we were unlucky.
“It’s not like we’ve been pants week in week out, we have been close to it. It’s not as if we’re looking at a load of rubbish players. At times we have been very unlucky.
“Someone said the other day we’ve lost as many games as Portsmouth. So it’s not as if we’ve been absolutely dire.
“But, as I said last week, we’ve got to improve and change things. Thankfully the players have stepped up for all of us.”
The other big change saw Allen switch from 4-4-2 to push Curtis Weston into a number ten role, playing off of Akinde.
Assessing the success of that change, Allen said: "It was a 4-4-1-1 with Curtis playing off of John, which all Barnet supporters know has been successful for us. Curtis thrived in that position.
"We needed to do something different. So we played with two holding midfield players.
"I said some of the younger players would come into the team and Alie Sesay got his chance today and did extremely well.
"We brought Gambo (Luke Gambin) back in after an exciting time playing with Malta. It’s taken him a bit of time to get back in and get settled.
"Mauro stepped up one today and, of course, the player who got the standing ovation in the dressing room after the game was Gavin Hoyte."