Barnet succumbed to their fifth consecutive defeat at the hands of Crawley Town which leaves the Bees rooted to the bottom of the table, some four points from safety.

This result confirmed beyond all doubt that Barnet are in a dog-fight between now and the end of the season to preserve their Football League status.

A second-half brace by Dutchman Enzio Boldewijn separated the teams and whilst Crawley’s two-goal margin did not flatter the hosts, the Bees did have a number of opportunities in the first half to take the lead, all of which were spurned.

Barnet were able to welcome back midfielder Curtis Weston for his first appearance of the season after a long-term injury. He was partnered by Charlie Clough with the defender being given the holding role in midfield, the aim being to make his side more resilient in the centre of the pitch.

With the game starting at a keen pace, Jordan Roberts shot wide of Craig Ross in the Barnet goal after just four minutes of play A Jamal Campbell-Ryce cross could have been converted by John Akinde, but the striker’s effort lacked power.

Then Campbell-Ryce should have given the Bees the lead but from close range, the ball hit the turf and bounced high and wide of the goal.

Moments later Akinde and Crawley keeper Glenn Morris contested possession of the ball, but it would not fall kindly for the Barnet forward and the chance was gone.

The game was being vigorously contested but frequently there was poor decision making and a lack of technique shown by both sets of players.

Lewis Young pushed forward for Crawley at every opportunity and was a constant thorn in Barnet’s side.

Young should have opened the scoring when he was found at the far post by an excellent cross from the left by Roberts, who had left Ricardo Santos in his wake, but he headed over from close range.

Jack Taylor then hit a drive from over 20 yards which was expertly pushed wide by Morris.

As the half progressed the home side gradually got the measure of the visitors and were able to move the ball at speed, leaving the Bees ragged and exposed at the back.

With the interval looming ex-Bee Mark Randall shot over after an incisive move had cut Barnet open.

The Bees could justifiably claim that they deserved be on level terms at the interval but during the second half it increasingly looked likely that the home side were the more likely to break the deadlock.

On the hour mark the fading Weston was replaced by transfer window signing Fuad Sule; the diminutive midfielder was neat on the ball but he found it difficult to impose himself on the game.

Crawley made the breakthrough with 15 minutes remaining when Roberts won an aerial duel with Michael Nelson, the ball falling to the feet of Boldewijn and he advanced goalwards before curling the ball into the top-left corner.

In the 86th minute Boldewijn put the outcome beyond doubt. Nelson’s clearance was a poor one and Young then drove at the Barnet defence before sliding the ball into the path of the Dutchman, who slotted home to seal the visitors’ fate.

Barnet: Ross, Brindley, Santos, Nelson, Blackman, Weston (Sule 60), Clough (Kyei 85), Coulthirst, J.Taylor, Campbell-Ryce (Nicholls 89), Akinde. Subs not used: Watson, Tutonda, Fonguck, McKenzie-Lyle.