Barnet lost more ground on the League Two play-off pack with a below-par 1-0 defeat at relegation-threatened Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

Stanley, who are now unbeaten in five, controlled much of the game at the Wham Stadium and hit the bar after half an hour through Matty Pearson.

Barnet's poor form, which has seen them win only one of 10 in the league, continued - and their first shot on target did not arrive until first-half injury time, before they fell behind nine minutes into the second period.

Shay McCartan's free-kick would eventually prove enough for the hosts, but not before John Akinde passed up a glorious chance to equalise and Accrington's Jordan Clark was again denied by the woodwork.

Barnet first-team coach Kevin Nugent, who is still searching for his first win after four games, made three changes from the midweek draw at Blackpool.

In came Harry Taylor for the injured Elliott Johnson, while emergency loan goalkeeper Benjamin Buchel, signed the day before the game, started between the sticks.

Boggy conditions at  the Wham Stadium made flowing football an impossibility in the opening stages, but following an opening half-hour devoid of quality, Stanley began to adapt to their surroundings.

They nearly led when Pearson struck the bar from a corner, before Michael Nelson volleyed Barnet's first effort wide at the other end.

The hosts took a stranglehold on the game and Nelson reverted to his normal defensive duties to keep out a goalbound effort from Sean McConville, in the final action of a poor first half.

Billy Kee's trickery found him fouled on the edge of the box after the break, and McCartan stepped up to bend the free-kick goalwards and beyond debutant Buchel.

Substitute Justin Amaluzor set up John Akinde as the Bees responded, and the division's top scorer came close to an equaliser, only to be denied by the woodwork.

The width of the post would again come to the rescue as Accrington looked for a second goal, and Jordan Clark was the latest to strike it when he really should have hit the back of the net.

Barnet are now eight points off the play-off places with 11 games to go, and need a sharp up-turn in form if their league season is not to peter out in the coming weeks.

Barnet: Buchel, H Taylor, Clough, Nelson, Dembele, Vilhete, Bover, Champion (Watson 72), Campbell-Ryce (Kyei 66), Akinola (Amaluzor 62), Akinde.

Unused: Coulson, McKenzie-Lyle, Sweeney, Tutonda.