The Barnet FC Youth Team returned to winning ways in the Merit League on Saturday with an emphatic 4-1 victory over Swindon Town at The Hive.
Having lost 1-0 away to Portsmouth last time out the U18s were looking to rediscover their best form, and they certainly did that with a dominant performance over 90 minutes that included some sensational football and some spectacular goals.
Heading into the game, the coaching staff made several changes to the side by bringing U16 player Theo Alexis into the midfield with Jack Taylor, Fumnaya Shomotun and Shane Cojocarel completing a midfield diamond behind George Booker and Mathew Stevens up front.
Barnet started the game well and kept good possession of the ball with Swindon dropping off deep.
The Bees took the lead just eight minutes in with a contender for Goal of the Season from Keir Dickson. The left-back started the move in his own half with a throw-in that found its way to Charlie Kennedy, who passed it forward to Alexis to break the line with a fast pass to Cojocarel who in turn fed Dickson to twist his man inside out before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the top corner.
Barnet found themselves 2-0 up within a quarter of an hour after Cojocarel won possession back with a strong challenge before sliding Hakeem Odofin in down the right, as the full-back picked out Booker who in turn replicated the pass to Stevens to score with a trademark finish.
It was 3-0 shortly after the half-hour mark when another incisive pass by Kennedy was played into the path of Shomotun who left two players for dead with a deft touch before scooping the ball over the defence for Cojocarel to finish for his 23rd of the season.
Swindon did pull a goal back before half time after Barnet lost possession with a neat combination playing in their center forward to slide the ball past Kai McKenzie-Lyle.
However, Barnet started the second half brightly and went up another gear in terms of movement, ball possession and forward runs.
They quickly found themselves 4-1 up just two minutes after the break when Jack Taylor played a sublime lofted ball over the top of the Swindon back line for Fumnaya Shomotun to strike with the outside of his boot first time past the keeper.
It was another fine goal to cap an impressive display that keeps the young Bees in touch at the top of the table.
Following the game, Professional Development Lead Coach Rossi Eames expressed his happiness at the performance, saying:
“The players refocused on Thursday after a tough few weeks, the free-flowing football was once again evident and the four goals that we scored were excellent.
“We were 3-1 up at half-time but as a group we felt that the movement and the emptying and filling of space could be quicker. Our runs forward on and off the ball were excellent with the mindset back to what it was three weeks ago.
“It’s the business end of the season and it is important that every player remembers what has brought them success all year and not to forget it.
“We go to Watford on Saturday in which I expect our standards and production of play to not drop.”