The last time Swansea and Barnet locked horns – or should that be beaks - in a league game, they were both headed for the League 2 promotion spots.

That win for the Swans at Underhill, back in March 2000, helped them to the league title that summer – while Barnet had to settle for an ultimately unsuccessful play-off push.

The course both sides have charted since that day could be described as contrasting – but their performances were not at The Hive tonight, as John Akinde’s first-half header sealed an impressive 1-0 win for the Bees.

Barnet were back at The Hive for the first time since May, having opened their pre-season account with a 5-0 whitewash at Maidstone United on Saturday.

That was a game more than Paul Clement’s Swansea, making their first outing of 2017/18, and with a number of new acquisitions in tow before they jet off to the USA on a pre-season tour tomorrow.

In contrast, the Bees’ furthest remaining trip in pre-season takes them as far as Braintree Town, but with a busy schedule ahead Eames named a different 11 for each half against the Swans.

New goalkeeper Craig Ross had to settle for a place on the bench while right-back Richard Brindley was missing altogether, with a side perhaps largely resembling the one to face Forest Green on August 5 starting tonight, albeit with Michael Nelson another notable absentee with injury.

Swansea looked to utilise their raw pace down the wings in the early stages, with Modou Barrow and Jefferson Montero both tricky customers; and the former had Bees left-back Elliott Johnson chasing shadows in the opening spell.

To Barnet’s credit, only once did he create anything meaningful in the first quarter of an hour, racing to the byline before crossing straight into the arms of Jamie Stephens.

Instead it was a less likely source to create the first real chance, when from a Swansea corner, Federico Fernandes saw his header clawed away by a fine Stephens save.

The Swans found Barnet largely unflappable and were never allowed to fully spread their wings – often creating good openings, but finding the hosts organised and unwilling to be played through.

True, they were nearly carved open when Stephens’ clearance was charged down by Ollie McBurnie, but the rebound off the Swansea forward spared Barnet’s blushes, and landed safely wide of the post.

The Swans had plenty of possession, but that alone was never enough – and not until just before the half-hour did they create anything more of note.

Barrow received a loose ball after some pinball in the Barnet box, but after shaping to shoot six yards out Charlie Clough stuck out a leg to divert his effort wide.

Clough thwarted him again after a miscued McBurnie header shortly after, with the Gambia winger’s second effort a curler from just inside the box, but cleared in similar style.

With Swansea in the ascendency as the half headed to its conclusion, Wayne Routledge, redefined as a deep-lying playmaker for the Swans, took aim from 25 yards with a shot that squirmed free of Stephens’ grasp.

Neither McBurnie nor Barrow could turn the loose ball home, in what was the best chance of the game – but not for long.

Barnet had only rarely got out of their own half and then, had found precious little joy from spraying balls into the channels, but it was from out wide where they found the opener.

Elliot Johnson got forward from left-back before providing a perfect cross for Akinde, who found himself totally unmarked to head beyond Mulder and into the corner five minutes before the interval.

An entirely different Barnet 11 re-emerged to defend their lead after the interval, and gave a less-varied Swansea side more to think about than they had in the first 45.

Justin Amaluzor provided some early problems for young Swansea defender Keston Davies, using his pace to good effect before losing possession in one attack. The loose ball fell to Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro, and his curling effort was tipped over acrobatically by Mulder.

After that fine stop, he was nearly caught out from nowhere when a bouncing ball sat up kindly for the lively Ruben Bover 30 yards out. The Spaniard needed no invitation to fire goalwards first-time, and the backpeddling goalkeeper was grateful to see his drive sail a yard or so wide.

The replacements on either side conjured up little of note at either end, despite £50million-rated Gylfi Sigurdsson having entered for the Swans at the break.

In fact, his free-kick, 10 minutes from time, was as good as it got for the visitors after half-time – and followed some well-attended handbags at dawn which proved one of the more notable moments of the second period.

Amaluzor looked a bright prospect throughout the half, and he could have put the cherry on the cake in the dying moments, turning Davies inside and out before the Welshman made a vital challenge as he looked to turn inside and shoot.

But it mattered little; having Barnet matched their Premier League visitors for much of the game, albeit only in pre-season, the Bees were rewarded with a second win in succession.

Only in three weeks’ time will we truly learn the significance of such a result – but for now, things have started well at The Hive.

Barnet: Stephens (Ross 46); H Taylor (Nicholls 46), Smith (Santos 46), Clough (Payne 46), Johnson (Tutonda 46); Sweeney (Weston 46), J Taylor (Fonguck 46); Shomotun (Kyei 46), Campbell-Ryce (Bover 46), Akinola (Amulazor 46); Akinde (Akpa Akpro 46).

Goals: Akinde 40.

Swansea: Mulder; Rangel (Naughton 46), Van Der Moorn (Davies 46), Fernandes (Bartley 46), Roberts (Olsson 70); Routledge (King 46 (Mesa 70)), Fulton (Grimes 46), Carroll (Fer 46); Barrow (Sigurdsson 46), McBurnie (Ayew 46), Montero (Narsingh 46).