FC Halifax Town fell to a 3-0 defeat against league leaders Barnet in only the Shaymen’s second league defeat of the calendar year.
It was easy to see why Barnet sit at the top of the Vanarama Conference as they dominated play from the outset.
Goals in the first-half from Mauro Vilhete and John Akinde and a second-half goal from captain Curtis Weston secured the three points for the Bees.
Barnet were quick out of the traps, scoring the opening goal within 80 seconds of the game starting. Graham Hutchison made an initial last ditch clearance from Elliott Johnson’s cross but the ball fell to the feet of Vilhete who was able to loop the ball over Matt Glennon in the Shaymen goal.
The Bees then continued to flood towards the Town goal, this time through Conor Clifford but his shot took a deflection from Hutchison and ran wide.
Neil Aspin who had originally set out the game with a defensive back five but decided to switch to a back four in the opening minutes of the first-half by taking off Hutchison to be replaced by Jamie Jackson.
However, Martin Allen’s men continued to press high up the pitch with Michael Gash finding Curtis Weston who saw his shot take a deflection as it dragged wide of the post. Conor Clifford then rattled the crossbar with his glorious effort from the resulting corner.
The Shaymen were kept to at bay the Barnet defence with just two shots at goal in the first-half with Elliott Johnson particularly impressing at the back. Town struggled to cope with the quick pace and physicality of Barnet in the first-half as the Bees search to finish the season as champions.
The match then continued to fall in favour of the home team as John Akinde bagged his 31st goal of the season. Will Hatfield was initially dispossessed and Scott McManus’s back pass to Glennon was latched onto by the Vanarama Conference’s top goal scorer, who remained composed to take the ball around the Town goalkeeper and slot into the back of the net to send the Bees 2-0 up at the break.
Barnet continued to dominate in the second-half and furthered their lead when Jackson took a nasty knock to the head in the and was forced to receive treatment off the field. The Bees then broke forward as Andy Yiadom got past McManus and Marc Roberts to send a ball across the face of goal which Akinde dummied to allow Weston a simple tap in.
Allen continued to spur his team on from the sidelines and Vilhete looked to get his name on the score sheet once more but his chip effort was over the crossbar, after some delightful link-up play between the midfielder and Akinde.
The Bees found their chances more limited in the second-half but still continued to dominate possession and had the main chances going forward. The Shaymen introduced Scott Boden into the fold deep into the second-half but he could not make an impact in the game.
Luisma Villa looked to inflict further misery on the Shaymen but his shot produced a fantastic save from Matt Glennon.
Barnet saw out the game comfortably and secured all three points at the full-time whistle to strengthen their hold on the league’s top spot and their chance to become champions come the end of the season.
Barnet F.C:Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, N'Gala, Johnson; Vilhete (Gambin ‘85), Togwell, Weston (c) (Villa ‘85), Clifford; Akinde (MacDonald ’80), Gash.
Substitutes:Saville, Muggleton, Villa, Gambin, MacDonald
Goals:Vilhete (‘2), Akinde (’44), Weston (’61)
FC Halifax Town:Glennon, Bolton, M.Roberts (C), Williams, Hutchison (’20 Jackson), McManus, Pearson, Maynard, Hatfield (Schofield ’45), Hattersley, Muldoon.
Substitutes:Senior, K.Roberts, Jackson, Schofield, Boden
Attendance:2,150 Halifax fans: 131
Website Man of the Match:James Bolton