Martin Allen insists the responsibility for Barnet’s first defeat of the season lays with him rather than the players and he must “help” the players discover why they “came up a little bit short” against Lincoln.

The Bees were far from their best for the opening 45 minutes at The Hive and eerily similar goals from Jordan Burrow and Hamza Bencherif gave the Imps a 2-0 lead at the break.

Allen introduced Sam Muggleton and Luke Gambin at half-time in place of Elliot Johnson and Sam Togwell and was rewarded with a significantly better second-half display as Keanu Marsh-Brown halved the deficit.

Despite his side’s best efforts, though, the Bees could not force an equaliser but Allen is taking responsibility for a first defeat of the season.

He said: “It was just disappointing all round. From start to finish, the first 46 minutes were just disappointing. It was hard to watch. We’ve been playing very well and it was just one of those days where we didn’t get going.

“That’s down to me, that’s not down to the players; I picked the team and picked the training and chose how I wanted the players to play and today it just didn’t happen,” Allen continued.

“Today it didn’t quite work and that’s my responsibility.”

Allen declared himself unhappy at half-time of Barnet’s 5-0 opening day win at Chester last weekend, despite the Bees being 3-0 ahead, but revealed the home changing room was calm at half-time today.

He explained: “I just had a good chat with the players, there was no ranting and raving. As we all know, none of them turn up here to not play as well as they can, so I need to find out from them and help them, as to why it just didn’t get going in the first half.

“We weren’t sharp to the ball, we didn’t win our headers, we didn’t close down with real tenacity and I need to find out from the players why that is; whether I’ve done the wrong training, picked the wrong team or asked them to play how they didn’t want to play.”

Half-time substitutes Muggleton and Gambin were impressive in the second period, as was goalscorer Keanu Marsh-Brown and Allen was encouraged by Barnet’s second-half display.

He said: “We’re a new group of players and I think the supporters would say, come the end of the game, we didn’t play very well in the first half.

"I think the supporters would say we were a bit unlucky second half. We gave it everything we’ve got but we just came up a little bit short. We’re moving in the right direction.”