Barnet opened up their season with this pre season friendly at home to Southern League Premier side, HungerfordTown and the Bees were impressive, particularly in the first half.
Barnet played two separate teams in each half. The teqm in the opening half was; McKenzie-Lyle; Hoyte, N’Gala, Roache, Muggleton; Vilhete, Shomotun, Togwell, Gambin; Akinde, Gash. So there was an early chance for Bees’ fans to see new, former Gillingham full back, Gavin Hoyte.
After a quiet first 10 minutes, things livened up when, after 13 minutes, John Akinde cut into the penalty area from the right and was dripped by Day and the referee awarded a penalty to the home side. A very familiar scenario last season!! AKINDE scored comfortably from the spot to put the Bees 1-0 up.
Barnet were nearly two goals up within a minute when a loose ball was picked up by Akinde who put Michael Gash through on goal but the visitors’ keeper was able to save.
However, barnet did go further ahead on 18 minutes when following a lovely backheeled pass by Fumnayo Shomotun, Gavin Hoyte put over an excellent cross for AKINDE to head home his second to put Barnet 2-0 up.
Barnet went 3-0 up on 21 minutes when AKINDE completed an 8 minute hat trick by stroking home with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Four minutes later and Mauro Vilhete was very unlucky not to score but saw his fine shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce out and, against the run of a play, Hungerford pulled a goal back when Stefan brown scored from close range; a rather sloppy goal from Barnet’s point of view.
A few minutes later and Luke Gambin came close to adding to Barnet’s goal tally when he hit a fine shot from outside of the penalty area but the Hungerford keeper made a fine save, but was quite fortunate in seeing his save hit the bar and then drop into his hands.
Barnet went 4-1 up on 41 minutes when Sam TOGWELL, spotting the Hungerford keeper off of his line, hit a beautifully struck shot which flew over the goalkeeper into the net.
HT Barnet 4 HungerfordTown 1
It was all change for the second half and the Barnet line up was; Haigh; Yiadom, Gater, Dembele, Johnson; Weston, Nwogu, Champion, Tomlinson; Sam Akinde, Stevens. So there were first appearances for new signings, Beri Dembele and Ben Tomlinson and the return to the club of Tom Champion. Chris Haigh is on trial from Gillingham and Sam Akinde is John’s brother, also on trial.
The second half did not have the excitement of the first and the second half Bees’ team struggled to take control, leading to Hungerford coming much more into the game without threatening Haigh, who, nonetheless, did what he had to do well. About 25 minutes into the half, Harry Taylor replaced Nwogu and went to right back with Yiadom moving up to midfield. Soon after, Yiadom almost scored but his shot was deflected just wide. From the resulting corner, Matt STEVENS made it 5-1 with an acrobatic overhead shot into the top corner of the net.
Three minutes later and Curtis Weston shot just wide of the post and soon after a fine Elliott Johnson run and cross come shot into the box was touched on to the post by Stevens and the ball came back out to Weston whose strong shot was well saved by the keeper.
Four minutes from time, Yiadom almost scored following a fine, jinking run but his shot flew just wide. One minute from time, SAM AKINDE wrapped up the scoring for the Bees when he beat the offside trap and scored comfortably.
So, a good first run out for the Bees with some good showings by the youngsters, especially, Shomotun, in the first half who looked very promising and Joe Gator, in the second half, who gave a very assured performance and looked very good on the ball as well.
FT: Barnet 6 HungerfordTown 1