Barnet were soundly beaten by Championship side Brentford in the ‘Battle of the Bees’, with two goals in six minutes before half-time killing the contest.
Charlie MacDonald put the hostts ahead after 18 minutes with a well-taken goal but the West Londoners responded ruthlessly. First Stuart Dallas and then Alan Judge (twice) scored to put the visitors comfortably ahead at the break.
Andre Gray, who had been a threat throughout, got the fourth just before the hour and eight minutes later, Montell Moore slotted home the fifth. It would have been six, had the evergreen Kevin O’Connor not skewed a penalty over the bar.
Martin Allen sprung a couple of surprises with his team selection, most notably pushing Andy Yiadom into right midfield, with David Stephens starting in his place at right back.
Gavin Mahon was the only trialist to be included in the matchday squad, which was comprised of just 16 players as Keanu Marsh-Brown, Luke Gambin, Sam Muggleton and George Sykes were all rested.
Trialists Sam Cowler, Ramil Sheriff and Ahmed Abdulla were not included in the squad.
The decision to push Yiadom forward to the right-hand side of midfield looked vindicated after just eight minutes when he provided the assist for Barnet’s opener.
Yiadom, who joined the Bees as a winger, progressed down the right before clipping a cross into the penalty area which MacDonald controlled expertly before volleying beyond David Button.
Barnet’s lead lasted just six minutes as the lively Dallas nodded home from close-range for the Championship side.
A cross from the left-hand side was not dealt with properly and the winger stole a march on his marker at the far post to ghost into the six yard box and nod beyond Graham Stack from point-blank range.
The hosts were indebted to Stack in the 25th minute when the goalkeeper pulled off a superb reaction stop from close range to deny Gray. The former Luton striker had been allowed to work the ball onto his left foot and drive a firm effort towards the top corner; Stack somehow tipping over.
Brentford keeper Button was the next to demonstrate his agility, blocking Luisma Villa’s curling shot towards the bottom left-hand corner.
Nine minutes before the break, Brentford took the lead in circumstances not dissimilar to Luton’s first at The Hive on Sunday.
A through ball split the Bees backline and with Gray running back from an offside position, the diminutive Judge profited, scampering through to plant beyond Stack from inside the penalty area.
Judge grabbed his second and Brentford’s third just six minutes later, deftly lobbing beyond the stranded Stack and in at the back post after his initial effort had been well blocked by Elliott Johnson.
Dallas went close again before the break, testing Stack with a left-footed strike after cutting in from the left.
A bright start to the second half from Barnet went out the window when Mark Warburton’s side bagged their fourth.
The menacing Alex Pritchard made enough room down the left to drive the ball low across the face of goal where Gray was on hand to stab home from close range.
Brentford went further ahead in the 65th minute when substitute Moore found a gap between Stack and the bottom left-hand corner of keeper’s goal, planting a precise effort beyond the experienced gloveman.
MacDonald had the opportunity to grab his second shortly after but rushed his contact, allowing sub keeper Jack Bonham to get down to his right and hold with ease.
Jake Reeves almost got in on the act in fine style, sweeping an effort against the face of the crossbar first time after Moses Odubajo’s clever backheel had picked him out on the run.
A sixth ought to have arrived five minutes later when Stephens was penalised for a foul on Odubajo inside the box but the experienced O’Connor sent his penalty flying over.
With the visitors threatening to run riot, Allen changed the shape, going with five at the back, a midfield four which saw Jon Nurse and Mauro Vilhete on the flanks and MacDonald as the lone forward.
The final chance Barnet’s way, Saville heading into the turf and up into the palms of Bonham from a corner kick.
In the end, though, the Championship were clear and deserved winners at The Hive, leaving Allen and his staff with plenty to mull over ahead of next Tuesday’s trip to Margate.
Barnet: Stack; Stephens, N’Gala, Saville, Johnson; Yiadom, Mahon, Weston, Villa (Nurse 60); MacDonald and Akinde (Vilhete 72).
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle (GK), Lowe, Cain.
Brentford first half: Button; Yennaris, Dean, Craig, Bidwell; Judge, Douglas, Diagouraga, Dallas; Pritchard; Gray.
Brentford second half: Bonham; Yennaris (O’Connor 60), Calvet, Tarkowski, Bidwell (O’Shaughnessy 60); Odubajo, Pritchard (Smith 60), Tebar, Reeves, Moore; Gray (Hogan 60).
Subs not used: Clarke, Adams.
Referee: Mr D Rock.