Barnet head coach Martin Allen has labelled the Conference's festive schedule as 'absolutely ridiculous' after playing five times in 15 days.

The Bees' six-match unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt at Lincoln City on Sunday, with the Imps running out 4-1 winners at Sincil Bank.

Chris Moyses side had enjoyed the benefit of a break since December 28, with their New Year's Day clash at Alfreton Town postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, but had also been due to play five times between December 20 and January 4.

And Allen did not hold back with his views about the scheduling over the festive period in the Conference.

He fumed: "I have got to say it now the Christmas schedule is finished. I had said it before privately, but the amount of games we have asked the players to play is absolutely ridiculous. It is a rip off for the supporters, it is difficult for the players and we have got more injuries in there now.

"I do not know who it is in the Conference who has a schedule and a reason for doing it like this, but I think it is ridiculous. It is not fair on the players or the supporters who pay and I do not know why they do it.

"We have had five games in 15 days and for the next five weeks we have got five. What a ridiculous way to do a schedule. For the paying public, how difficult and expensive it is to come and watch the games."

The Times Series put Martin Allen's complaint to the Football Conference and Colin Peake, media and partnership support director at the Football Conference, said in response:

"Whatever system is devised and implemented before a ball is ever kicked, no one will ever be able to calculate how each season will pan out at our level of football and which clubs will be successful, thus possibly competing on a broad front in a number of competitions, let alone fitting in the 46 fixture scheduled for the Vanarama Conference.

"The clubs themselves also requested more early fixtures mid week this season, with the request to free up the second half of the season to allow capacity for cup competitions and inevitable postponements, caused either by prolonged cup runs or the weather.

"Before the 20th December, it should be noted Barnet were also out of the FA Cup and the FA Trophy so they may feel they have free mid weeks here on in; but in reality no one could predict that or in fact which clubs might choose to perhaps play a weakened squad as the FA Trophy is not seen to be a priority.

"No system can be perfect and like Torquay previously the complaint came only to the fore when results were not at their best. The majority of the clubs accept the fixture schedule and get on with it.

"It is also interesting to note that many fans have posted the opposite views to those expressed by Martin Allen, as in fact many supporters look to the festive season for more not less games.

"Finally each club receives the fixture matrix pre season to comment upon if they wish and also Barnet is represented on the Conference Board so they have had ample opportunity to raise any concerns previously and not wait until more than half the fixtures had been played.

"Somewhere in the above, therein lies the reality; and yet we are always attempting to improve fixture scheduling and will constantly look at what is the 'best fit', if not the 'perfect fit'."