After going down at home to Torquay United in midweek, Barnet went 8 points clear at the top of the Conference with a home 3-1 win over bottom club, Telford United. Luisma Villa & Cook returned to the starting line up and Martin Allen brought in Jack Saville in the centre of the defence as Bondz N'Gala missed out for the first time this season. Bernard Mensah made his first start for the club after scoring against Torquay in midweek with Charlie MacDonald dropping to the bench.
Barnet took the lead after just one minute when Lee Cook whipped in a fine cross for John AKINDE to stab home. On 19 minutes, a long ball upfield was chased down by AKINDE who seemed to have lost his chance when the Telford keeper, Hall brought the Bees' leading scorer down and he calmly put home the penalty to put Barnet 2-0 up. Akinde came close to making it three shortly after, but it was Telford who scored the next goal when Sean Cooke scored with a fine volley from the edge of the penalty area after 35minutes.
HT: Barnet 2 Telford 1
Barnet put the game beyond Telford's reach with seven minutes remaining when MacDonald, on as a second half substitute, was brought down by a clumsy challenge in the penalty area and AKINDE scored from the spot to complete his hat trick and bring his goal tally for the season up to 16.
FT: Barnet 3 Telford 1
Barnet: Stack; Vilhete, Saville, Stephens, Johnson; Luisma Villa (Mekki 85), Hunt, Weston, Cook (Gambin 80); Akinde, Mensah (MacDonald 60).
Subs not used: N'Gala, Nurse
Earlier in the week, Barnet had entertained Torquay United at the Hive missing Andy Yiadom and Sam Togwell both suspended for three matches after being sent off against Wycombe in the FA Cup. Somewhat surprisingly, Lee Cook and Luisma Villa were left out from the starting line up. David Hunt made his first start for the club and Adam Mekki and Luke Gambin were brought into the side. Barnet had a dreadful first half, going in at half time 2-0 down following goals by Briscoe after 24 minutes and then three minutes from the interval when Graham Stack, who had a very poor game, let a corner bounce of him into the net for an own goal.
HT: Barnet 0 Torquay United 2
Martin Allen brought on Lee Cook for the second half and the home side pulled a goal back within 3 minutes when a long through from Hunt was inadvertently headed across goal by former Bee, Krystan Pearce for LUISMA VILLA to slot home from close range. Barnet then shot themselves in the foot, just when they had got back into the game. Within a minute, Briscoe had scored his second goal of the night to put Torquay 3-1 up with a shot from outside the penalty area that bounced in front of a diving Stack and into the net. Stack should not really have conceded the goal.
To their credit, the Bees fought back and reduced the arrears again following another Pearce error. MacDonald played a fine ball through to MENSAH who coolly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper with some class for his first goal for the club. However, Barnet failed to really trouble the Gulls after this and the visitors could easily have gone further ahead but for some wayward finishing. In truth, Torquay deserved the points against a sloppy Barnet team. Martin Allen must take a lot of the blame for the starting line up he put out, especially in leaving Weston and Johnson outnumbered in midfield. There was just too much space for the Torquay players all night. However, even with the performance, one still felt if Allen had included Luisma and Cook in the starting line up that Barnet would probably have taken all three points, even with Graham Stack's horror show. As it was, Barnet's lead at the top of the table was reduced to 6 points.
FT: Bees 2 Gulls 3
Barnet: Stack; Hunt, N'Gala, Stephens, Vilhete (Mensah 56); Mekki (Luisma Villa 32), Weston, Johnson, Gambin (Cook 46); Akinde, MacDonald.
Subs not used: Saville, Nurse