Barnet head coach Martin Allen says strike duo John Akinde and Charlie MacDonald have been "superb all the way through"

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport by

Barnet head coach Martin Allen paid tribute to John Akinde and Charlie MacDonald after the strike duo scored the goals to sink Bristol Rovers 2-0 at The Hive.

Akinde, signed from Alfreton Town in the summer, opened his Bees’ account with a well-taken goal in the 22nd minute before MacDonald scored his second in as many games for the club shortly before the break.

Though the Pirates – the bookmakers’ favourites for promotion – threatened after the restart, Barnet maintained a steady grip on the match and saw out their second win in three days with a thoroughly professional second-half performance.

Assessing the impact of his front two, Allen said: “I think they’ve been superb all the way through. Charlie’s got three in three in pre-season and John’s made every one of them.

“They’ve got a good combination, they respect each other, they work incredibly hard together on the training pitch and they’re both honest, they’re both conscientious and they’re both very hungry to do well - I’m delighted with both of them,” he added.

Former Bristol City forward Akinde was a threat throughout, following on from a promising showing at Chester three days earlier and Allen refuted any suggestion there had been pressure on the former Alfreton man to net after a goalless pre-season.

Allen said: “Just about every goal we’ve scored so far, he’s [Akinde] assisted, so there’s been no pressure or extra intensity from us but I’m sure from within John’s own heart or own head, he’d have been hoping for that goal.

“You could see from the rest of his team-mates, the way they all celebrated when he scored, how much it means to his team-mates as well as him to get the goal,” continued Allen.

“He’s played superbly well, he’s a fantastic trainer and I think with full-time training with us and the way that we train is really going to help him. We are lucky to have him; he’s a very, very good player.”

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