Two goals in quick succession just after the half-an-hour mark by mid-table Cheltenham Town at The Hive set the visitors up for a comprehensive 2-0 victory and despite a second-half rally of sorts, the Bees are certainly in the midst of a relegation battle.

Barnet had previously managed a dogged home victory against Morecambe which pushed them up and out of the drop zone. But any momentum from that positive result soon dissipated with Cheltenham assuming control of the match from the first whistle.

Boss Mark McGhee was able to give a debut to fit-again ex-Colchester United defender Richard Brindley, who had been sidelined with injury since pre-season, at right wing-back, with the Bees changing their formation from a flat back four. Mauro Vilhete dropped to the bench.

The Robins were the first to show any attacking intent and won an early corner, although the Barnet keeper Jamie Stephens easily collected the resulting headed effort from Jamie Grimes.

The bulk of the first half continued in this fashion with the visitors looking more committed, organised and much the more likely to break the deadlock.

Barnet’s defensive frailties were summed up when Stephens sliced his clearance from a back pass with the ball ballooning upwards before the keeper caught it with the referee awarding a free-kick inside the penalty area.

Kevin Dawson eventually gave the visitors a deserved lead in the 32nd minute when following an intricate passing movement, Mo Eisa crossed the ball for the midfielder to have the easy task of finding the empty net.

Within six minutes the visitors established a two-goal advantage when Carl Winchester was allowed too much freedom in the Barnet penalty area, and despite losing control of the ball he was not dispossessed and was then able to find the top corner with ease.

Even at this early stage with still almost an hour left to play the odds were stacked heavily against Barnet.

The Bees did manage an effort on goal with half-time approaching when John Akinde headed wide from a corner but it was all too apparent that at Trevor Kettle’s half-time whistle the visitors held the upper hand.

Forward Simeon Akinola was introduced at the interval, replacing Charlie Clough as the Bees sought to go on the offensive in the second half. But spells when the Bees would put the visitors’ rearguard under pressure would remain few and far between.

Barnet’s faint hopes of gaining a foothold in the game were thwarted on the hour mark when Shaq Coulthirst chose to shot when Akinde was well positioned, with the top-scorer’s effort being blocked by Grimes.

Brindley did then produce a dangerous delivery from the right, having worked himself into an advanced position, but Barnet’s forwards were not on the same wavelength and the chance was gone.

This brief period of Barnet pressure was soon over, with the visitors once more assuming a tight grip over proceedings.

The Robins then created at least three good opportunities which could have made the scoreline even more comfortable, but their two first-half strikes were enough to condemn the Bees to their sixth home league defeat of the season.

Barnet: Stephens, Clough (Akinola 45), Nelson, Santos, Brindley (Vilhete 82), Watson, J.Taylor, Blackman, Campbell-Ryce, Akinde, Coulthirst (Nicholls 79). Subs not used: Tutonda, Fonguck, Ross, Sweeney.