Barnet went eight points clear at the top of the Conference table with a comprehensive win at the Hive over Braintree. The Bees gave a stylish and professional performance after a slightly languid start to the game. Graham Stack had to smartly save from Jordan Cox early on as the Essex club were perhaps the better side in the first period of the opening half, but all of that was to change around the 25th minute. The Bees were being pushed deep and looking a bit flat but they managed to build up a move on the left hand side and Elliott Johnson played the ball inside to LUISMA VILLA hit a swerving shot low into the left hand corner of the net past an unsighted Hamann to put the Bees 1-0 up. A minute later and Braintree were down to 10 men when Sean Marks appeared to punch Bondz N'Gala when the two players jumped for a high ball. Effectively, Luisma's goal and the sending off pretty much killed the game off and on 33 minutes, David Stephens laid the ball back for LUISMA hit home Barnet's second through a crowd of players, though Hamann would probably be unhappy to have not done better.
HT: Barnet 2 Braintree 0
Much of Barnet's play became more like what one might expect in a training session as they frustrated the visitors by playing possession football across the defence. It did make for quite a boring spectacle at times but at times Barnet's neat, intricate passing cut through the Braintree defence and really Barnet could easily have scored more goals than they did. Luke Gambin, on as a second half substitute for Lee Cook, should have made it 3-0 when Elliott Johnson won the ball back on the left and played the ball across in front of goal only for Gambin's effort to be cleared.
However, just before the hour, Andy Yiadom's neat through ball found GAMBIN who slipped easily through into the penalty area and passed his shot into the net past Hamann for Barnet's third which finally wrapped up the three points for the Bees.
Barnet were denied a clear penalty hen Yiadom was upended in the penalty area and both Adam Mekki and Luisma could have added
further goals but, in the end, the Bees saw out the game with more of the training style football against an opposition that frankly looked outclassed. Barnet looked very much a side that could go on to win the title and promotion even if much of the football lacked excitement.
This Saturday sees the Bees take a break from league action as they travel to Chelmsford in the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup.
FT: Barnet 3 Braintree 0
Barnet Mad Barnet Man of the Match: Luisma Villa
Barnet: Stack: Yiadom, N'Gala, Stephens, Johnson; Weston, Togwell, Luisma Villa, Cook (Gambin 46); Akinde, Nurse (Mekki 56)
Subs not used: Saville, Vilhete, Hoskins