Ten-man Bees lose out to Pompey on the south coast
Ten-man Barnet took the lead but eventually lost 5-1 at Portsmouth in EFL League Two on Saturday, a scoreline which flattered the home side.
Barnet went in front in the 27th minute when Tom Davies was penalised for handball in the Pompey penalty area. Akinde easily dispatched the spot kick, firing under David Forde.
The lead was short-lived though, Conor Chaplin bagging an equaliser with a good finish in the 34th minute.
Five minutes into the second half Gary Roberts put Pompey ahead by firing into the roof of the net after working space to shoot.
And five minutes later Paul Cook’s side extended their advantage, Carl Baker curling beyond the helpless Josh Vickers.
Portsmouth could have added a fourth soon after when Bira Dembele – on his return to the side following injury – saw red for a foul on Chaplin in the penalty area. But Roberts saw his penalty beaten away by Vickers who guessed correctly.
The fourth did arrive in the 78th minute. Substitute Milan Lalkovic had only been on the field a matter of minutes when he drove through and shot into the corner of the net.
Danny Rose rubbed salt in Barnet's wounds when he added a fifth at the death.
Head coach Martin Allen made five changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Colchester United last weekend.
Out went Bondz N’Gala, Luke Gambin, Sam Togwell, Shaun Batt and Alex Nicholls. Harry Taylor came into central midfield with Dembele, Ryan Watson, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Jamal Campbell-Ryce handed starts too.
Barnet made a dangerous start with Akpa Akpro getting in behind early on only to see his cross deflected into Forde’s grasp.
Shortly after, Vilhete hooked forward for Akinde who was just beaten to the bouncing ball by Portsmouth goalkeeper Forde.
But Pompey ought to have gone ahead after 13 minutes when a cut-back from the left was nodded down to Baker who rushed his contact and swept over the bar.
Three minutes later an inch-perfect through ball from Campbell-Ryce released Curtis Weston. But the midfielder could not steer beyond the onrushing Forde.
After 28 minutes Barnet’s luck changed for the better. A corner from Watson was handled by Davies and referee Darren England awarded the Bees a penalty.
Akinde took the spot kick and nonchalantly placed beyond Forde to give Allen’s men the lead against his former side.
Almost immediately Akinde had the chance to double his tally but headed just over from Watson’s corner.
Six minutes after going behind the hosts were level. A sumptuous pass from Roberts released Chaplin and he coolly steered past Vickers to level.
It stayed that way until half time with Vickers blocking well from Baker five minutes before the whistle.
Portsmouth sounded a warning three minutes into the second half when Enda Stevens slung in a low cross which just evaded Roberts’ outstretched foot.
Two minutes later the hosts got it right, Roberts dancing into the penalty area and firing beyond Vickers into the roof of the net to give Pompey the lead.
Bees boss Allen introduced Gambin and Batt in an effort to find an equaliser but, less than five minutes after their second, Portsmouth bagged a third instead.
Baker cut inside from the right and curled left footed beyond Vickers who, at full stretch, could not reach the Pompey winger’s precise hit.
In the 64th minute referee Mr England awarded his second penalty of the game when Dembele brought Chaplin down in the penalty box, earning a red card in the process.
Roberts stepped up to take the kick but Vickers guessed correctly, diving to his left to parry the strike to safety.
Down to ten men Barnet continued to take the game to Portsmouth where possible and came closest to scoring when Taylor lashed over with a speculative drive.
A fourth did eventually arrive with 12 minutes remaining, Lalkovic manoeuvring into space before lashing beyond Vickers.
In the dying moments Portsmouth bagged a flattering fifth, Rose tucking home from close range.
Next up for the Bees is a home game against Morecambe at The Hive on Tuesday evening (kick-off 8pm).
Barnet: Vickers; H. Taylor, Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete, Weston, Watson (Batt 55), Akpa Akpro (Gambin 55); Campbell-Ryce (N’Gala 65), Akinde.
Substitutes: Stephens (GK), Sesay, Kyei, Nicholls.
Portsmouth: Forde; Evans, Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Bennett 80), Roberts, Naismith (Lalkovic 72); Chaplin (Main 72).
Substitutes: O’Brien (GK), Clarke, Smith, Linganzi.
Referee: Darren England.
Attendance: 16,280 (275 Barnet fans).