Martin Allen described the first 25 minutes of Barnet’s 2-0 win at Southport as “the best I’ve ever seen any Barnet team I’ve been involved with play”.
The Bees took charge of proceedings from the outset – as has become customary after six games of the Conference season – and grabbed the lead in the 24th minute via a sumptuous chip from Lee Cook.
John Akinde doubled Barnet’s advantage in the 39th minute with an equally well-taken finish, curling beyond Port goalkeeper Daniel Lloyd-Weston from a tight angle to put the visitors in command.
Barnet were unable to build on their dominance after the break but Allen was suitably impressed with the performance nonetheless.
He enthused: “For the first 25 minutes of that football game, it was the best I’ve ever seen any Barnet team I’ve been involved with play.
“They were absolutely fantastic and I thought we had two definite penalties in the first 25 minutes, numerous chances to score goals and really after 20 minutes the game should have been dead and buried and well out the way.”
Allen continued: “All the players did a fantastic job. As we know, it’s a hard place to come; their form here last season was right up there with the best of them and with the wind and the slope it was never going to be an easy game.”
Despite seeing less of the ball in the second period, allowing the hosts greater opportunity to play in Barnet’s third, the Bees kept their opponents at arm’s length and Luke George’s late drive was the Sandgrounders' only effort on target.
The clean sheet means Barnet are yet to concede on the road in three matches and have conceded just twice in their opening six fixtures – something Allen was encouraged by given the untoward conditions.
He explained: “There’s quite a big slope out there and quite a big wind out there, so I think those were significant factors. Driving rain, playing up the hill against the wind wasn’t easy.
“Goal-kicks weren’t going past the halfway line and their goal-kicks were landing on the edge of our box, so you’ve got to have discipline and you’ve got to do things properly, concentrate and keep working the opposition and moving them away from your box.
“You can’t just stand on the edge of your box and let them play at you and I thought we did that extremely well,” he added.