Barnet’s hopes of reaching the Skrill Premier play-offs are all but over. It’s still mathematically possible for the Bees to reach the top five but a 4-0 defeat at home to Halifax Town has ended the chances.
Martin Allen’s side conceded three times in the opening 45 minutes at The Hive. Scott Spencer struck twice and Lee Gregory also found the net.
A fourth was added by Lois Maynard in the second period and the Shaymen wasted countless chances to add to their advantage as Barnet crumbled.
The defeat leaves the Bees five points off the top five with three games remaining. However, every side in the play-offs has a game in hand on Barnet. Their bid is over.
Prior to kick-off a win was essential. There were three changes to the Bees side which drew 1-1 with Southport on Tuesday.
Elliot Johnson, Connor Dymond and Curtis Weston replaced Mauro Vilhete, Keanu Marsh-Brown and Ahmed Abdulla.
Barnet made a fast start. Mark Byrne forced Matty Glennon into a first-minute save and Jake Hyde was then denied by the visiting goalkeeper.
The Bees pushed forward in the opening moments but they were caught out in defence and Halifax took the lead.
A quick free-kick was clipped into the path of Lee Gregory. He advanced on goal but saw his shot saved by Graham Stack. The ball rebounded into the path of Spencer and he bundled his effort over the line.
The Shaymen then attacked and Marc Roberts saw a half-volley blocked well by Stack.
Barnet were shaken by the goal and the pace of their passing dropped. Jon Nurse flicked a corner wide but the hosts’ goal threat diminished.
Conversely, Halifax continued to create chances and, on 23 minutes, they doubled their advantage.
A cross into the area was sent back across goal by Jams Holton and Gregory was unmarked and headed home.
Allen responded immediately and replaced Dymond with Marsh-Brown. The winger attempted to liven up the Bees attack but the Shaymen were quick to close him down whenever he received the ball.
With other results going against the Bees, the play-off dream was fading rapidly. On 31 minutes, it was over as Halifax grabbed a third.
It was a wonderfully worked goal. Scott McManus exchanged passes with Gregory and drilled a low cross into the area. Spencer came in off the right flank and finished excellently.
The visitors had further opportunities to add to their lead. Roberts headed narrowly wide and McManus saw a shot deflected into the side netting.
The half-time whistle was joined by a number of boos from the home supporters. Allen made a second change at the break. James Harper was replaced by Sam Muggleton.
The left-back’s ability to haul the ball 30 yards from a throw in was instantly used. His delivery dropped to Hyde, he fed Byrne but the midfielder’s shot was well saved.
From that point onwards, Halifax dominated and created countless chances. McManus was denied by Stack but the resultant corner led to the fourth goal.
Lois Maynard thumped home from close range after the Bees failed to clear the cross.
Gregory almost lifted the ball over Stack for a fifth and the Barnet goalkeeper then did brilliantly to deny Roberts from close range.
Gregory, who is the league’s top scorer, scooped the ball wide after being put through on goal before Stack again reacted quickly to push clear a Roberts header.
Fortunately for Barnet, the visitors decided to ease down in the final 20 minutes of the contest.
The Bees, bar a half-chance for Hyde, never looked like grabbing a consolation while Halifax controlled the game excellently.
At full time, the boos from the Barnet supporters were half-hearted. Their team had been well beaten.
Another season in the Conference awaits.
Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, Gjokaj, Johnson; Harper (Muggleton 45), Byrne, Weston, Dymond (Marsh-Brown 24); Nurse, Hyde.
Barnet substitutes: Saville, Crawford, Vilhete.
Halifax Town: Glennon; Bolton, Roberts, Lowe, Smith, McManus; Pearson, Marshall (Wilson 70), Maynard; Gregory, Spencer (A.Smith 70).
Halifax Town substitutes: Senior, Crowther, McReady.
Attendance: 1,683 (284).