Barnet remain unbeaten in 2020 after Simeon Akinola’s goal 10 minutes from time gave them a 2-1 win over Hartlepool United on Saturday.

Paul McCallum scored his first goal for the club to put the Bees ahead after Pools’ Gavin Holohan had been sent off, but Dan Sweeney’s own goal levelled things up.

Akinola, though, struck late to secure all three points for the home side and keep them within touching distance of the National League play-off spots.

A tentative first half saw the Bees have the best of the possession and threatening play, but chances were at a premium and the closest they got to a sniff at goal was when David Tutonda went down in the penalty area, but the referee waved away any claims for a penalty.

The game turned on its head three minutes into the second half when Hartlepool’s Holohan was shown a second yellow card for hacking down Mauro Vilhete, leaving Pools with 10 men.

Three minutes later, Josh Walker almost continued his excellent form when he rattled the crossbar, although it would not have counted had it gone in as the offside flag was raised.

Akinola was also thwarted by the woodwork as his free-kick bounced off the crossbar, but five minutes later the deadlock was finally broken.

McCallum, signed a day before the game on loan from Solihull Moors, marked his Bees debut with a goal just two minutes after entering the pitch as a substitute for Walker, slotting home from a corner.

Akinola went close again when his effort from a Tutonda cross was blocked on the line, and that looked to have come back to haunt the Bees minutes later when Sweeney inadvertently diverted a low cross into his own net to hand Hartlepool an equaliser.

The hosts were not level for long, though, as with 10 minutes to go, McCallum played an excellent pass through to Akinola to convert his 14th league goal of the season.

Hartlepool tried to force an equaliser in the remaining minutes, but their golden opportunity in the second minute of stoppage time was wasted when a ball back into the area from a cleared corner was too long and went out of play.

The result pushes Barnet up to 11th in the table, four points shy of Bromley who occupy the final play-off spot.

The Bees take a break from league action this weekend as attention turns to the third round of the FA Trophy, with National League leader Barrow the visitors to The Hive for a 3pm kick-off.