John Akinde’s first-half hat-trick helped Barnet return to winning ways by trouncing Altrincham 5-0 at The Hive.

The powerful forward took on lead goalscoring duties in Charlie MacDonald’s absence, boosting his season’s tally to six in 11 starts.

Victory over Alty brings an abrupt end to a run of two games without a win – the Bees maintaining their one-point lead atop the Conference, thanks to an eighth win in 11 matches.

Barnet were 4-0 up at half-time, with John Akinde completing the second hat-trick of his professional career after Luisma Villa opened the scoring with a smart volley.

New loan signing Sam Hoskins scored on his debut for the Bees with his first touch to round off the scoring after the break.

Martin Allen made two changes from the Barnet side which lost 1-0 to Wrexham on Tuesday night, with Sam Muggleton making his first league start for the Bees since his permanent move in the summer.

Muggleton – who made one start during his loan stay at the end of last season – started at left-back, with Elliot Johnson also included in the side but in the centre of midfield.

Adam Mekki was preferred to Lee Cook on the left, with Luimsa on the right. Vice-captain Curtis Weston partnered Johnson in the centre of midfield.

Jon Nurse made his second consecutive start alongside Akinde, with new loan signing Hoskins forced to wait for his debut from the bench.

Graham Stack, Andy Yiadom, David Stephens and Bondz N’Gala comprised the rest of the backline.

Barnet took the lead after 12 minutes with a fine effort Luisma, who guided an inch-perfect volley into the bottom corner of the Altrincham goal from 20 yards.

Fifteen minutes later, Barnet doubled their lead when Akinde won a penalty for Allen’s side.

The powerful frontman was brought down by a challenge from Altrincham keeper Dave Parton, who was booked and substituted after suffering a blow to the head following the collision. 

Akinde got up and dusted himself down to convert the penalty, in the absence of regular taker MacDonald, to put the hosts 2-0 ahead.

Seconds before half-time, the Bees were awarded a second spot kick when Scott Leather felled Akinde inside the penalty area.

The former Alfreton Town forward took the opportunity to further boost his goal tally, beating substitute keeper Stuart Coburn by sending his kick in the same direction as his first.

Akinde completed his hat-trick almost immediately after, racing onto Nurse’s pass before firing beyond Coburn and high into the roof of the visitors’ net to give Barnet a commanding lead at the break.

The second period played out in much the same fashion, with the Bees on top, save for the odd Altrincham foray forward.

Just a minute after being introduced as a 48th-minute substitute, debutant Hoskins added a fifth for the Bees with his first touch.

The Yeovil Town loanee – who had replaced hat-trick hero Akinde – applied the finishing touch after lax Altrincham defending had allowed Johnson to progress into the area and cross.

Barnet could even have had a third penalty when Alty skipper Peter Cavanagh scythed down the advancing Yiadom but referee Mr Nigel Lugg was unmoved.

Luisma then tried his luck, crashing an audacious free-kick off the post with the stranded Coburn expecting a cross into the box.

Despite coming close on a number of occasions, the Bees could not add a sixth instead settled for five – the same number they hit at Chester on the opening day of the season.

Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens, N'Gala (Togwell HT), Muggleton; Luisma, Weston, Johnson, Mekki (Gambin 63) Nurse, Akinde (Hoskins 48).

Subs: Cowler (GK), Cook.

Altrincham: Parton (Coburn 31); Leather (Densmore HT), Havern, Marshall, Griffin; Cavanagh, Moult, Lawrie (Gillespie 64), Clee; Perry, Reeves Subs: Wilkinson, Williams.

Attendance: 1,516 (96 away fans).

Referee: Mr Nigel Lugg.