Barnet returned to winning ways with a scintillating performance in Wiltshire as Shaq Coulthirst notched a hat-trick as the Bees thumped Swindon Town 4-1 on their own patch.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce also scored a penalty, with the Bees leading the Robins by four clear goals at one stage.

A fit-again Michael Nelson was recalled to the heart of the defence and his steadying presence gave the Bees greater stability at the back, with transfer window signings wing-back Andre Blackman and forward David Tarpey, signed on deadline day from Maidenhead United, being given their league debuts.

The hosts opened brightly with the Bees defence needing to clear a barrage of crosses into the middle. But it was the visitors who would take the lead in the ninth minute when calamitous defending allowed Coulthirst the easiest of tasks to pass the ball into the net unchallenged and untroubled.

Five minutes later Barnet went two goals up when Campbell-Ryce confidently converted a penalty awarded by referee James Linington, who’d adjudged that Olly Lancashire was guilty of tugging at the jersey of Ricardo Santos.

Swindon were shell-shocked and Barnet looked a danger every time they went forward, their passing was crisp and accurate and their play oozed confidence.

The Bees almost established a three-goal lead in the 24th minute, with Tarpey’s effort being blocked, as was Blackman’s follow-up.

Swindon made a couple of changes at half-time and in the opening minutes of the second-half they managed to put the Bees on the defensive.

But the home side suffered a further blow in the 50th minute when Donal McDermott was shown an uncontested red card for a crude, late challenge on David Tutonda.

Despite being a man light, Swindon continued to seek a way back into the match but they always looked vulnerable whenever the Bees mounted a swift breakaway.

The visitors’ keeper Craig Ross did well to keep out a Chris Robertson header from point-blank range but Tarpey went close once more when his well-executed lob hit the crossbar only to fall back into the arms of Lawrence Vigouroux.

The Bees established an unassailable lead in the 65th minute when Coulthirst finished off another fine flowing move after Campbell-Ryce’s threaded pass had set the striker in on goal.

The pocket of Barnet supporters responded with cheers, the home fans with boos of derision for their side’s hapless defending.

Four minutes later Coulthirst completed his hat-trick when his delicious curling left-footed effort found the back of the net from 15 yards.

The Bees now had total dominance over the fixture as it was apparent that the points were all but in the bag.

But in the 78th minute Swindon did manage to score a consolation goal when Luke Norris headed home a deep cross by Chris Hussey.

The only real sour note for Barnet was when Blackman was shown a red card in the 80th minute for an off-the-ball incident that was brought to referee’s attention by the fourth official.

After four consecutive defeats this win was as welcome as it was deserved. Barnet looked more dangerous in front of goal than they have of late and although Tarpey did not get on the scoresheet, the resulting competition for places clearly has had the effect of sharpening goal-scoring instincts.

Barnet: Ross, Tutonda, Santos, Nelson, H.Taylor, Campbell-Ryce, J.Taylor (Fonguck 90+3), Vilhete, Blackman, Coulthirst (Mason-Clark 89), Tarpey (Akpa Akpro 60). Subs not used: Clough, Bover, Amaluzor, McKenzie-Lyle.