Barnet skipper Charlie MacDonald says winning the coin toss against Southport was "crucial" in Saturday's 2-0 win

Picture: Dave Peters

Picture: Dave Peters

First published in Sport by

Charlie MacDonald feels winning the coin toss in the Bees’ 2-0 victory at Southport on Saturday was “crucial” and believes Barnet have all the “ingredients for a winning formula”.

The Barnet skipper called the toss correctly at Haig Avenue on Saturday and in heavy rain and against strong winds, opted to kick with the wind in the first half.

MacDonald’s decision was vindicated; with the Bees setting their stall out to take a 2-0 lead into the break thanks to high-quality goals from Lee Cook and John Akinde.

Reflecting on the win, MacDonald said: “I thought it was a real great performance and I think the toss of the coin was crucial because I managed to win the toss and we wanted to spin round so we could go with the wind in the first half.

“We wanted to take the game to them and come out the traps (quickly) in the first half and blitz them and I thought the first-half today was brilliant; we won our battles all over the pitch, created numerous chances and probably could have been more than 2-0 up in the first half.

“The second half was all about them coming at us, when they had the wind, but managing the game and I thought we managed the game really well today,” he added.

Back on top of the Conference after six games, MacDonald is refusing to get carried away, insisting the table doesn’t start to truly take shape until the New Year.

He explained: “I think once you get the Christmas and New Year period out of the way the table starts to take shape. It’s still really tight at the moment and we’ve still got a lot of the so-called ‘top teams’ to play.

“We were top of the league after the first game of the season, maybe even after the first two games. That Lincoln game killed us; we lost that one game and went down to eighth. We’ve showed a great reaction and we’re back up there now and that’s where we want to stay.”

The Bees have now kept five clean sheets from six matches and despite being better known for his goal-scoring exploits, MacDonald says clean sheets are a vital “ingredient” in the "winning formula”.

“Stacky (Graham Stack) prides himself on clean sheets and so do the defenders,” said MacDonald. “But Stacky said before everybody’s got their job and if we can start from the front and make it difficult for them to come through us then everybody plays their part in that.

“It’s magnificent to have five clean sheets in six games; it’s a great achievement and if we can keep that solid foundation, we know we can score goals, so it’s the ingredients for a winning formula.”

And going forward the Bees are thriving too, with Cook scoring his sixth in as many games against the Sandgrounders, whilst Akinde, Keanu Marsh-Brown and MacDonald have all weighed in.

Said MacDonald: “It’s magnificent [to share the goals around]. We have Keanu – who didn’t travel– who’s got two goals but we’ve got goals coming from everywhere at the moment and defensively we’re not conceding, so that’s the ingredients there for success.

“If we can maintain that, knowing that we can go into games because we’ve got a great back four and two banks of four and us forwards working hard as well, knowing that a goal can win us the game.”

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