Barnet moved up to eighth place in League Two with a deserved 3-2 victory over Notts County in an entertaining encounter which saw the Bees extend their unbeaten run to seven games.

The hosts needed to show their resolve after going behind in the 15th minute. But having established a two-goal advantage, Martin Allen’s side were forced to hold firm again after County narrowed the deficit with 13 minutes remaining.

Two strikes from the in-form Maltese international winger Luke Gambin and a poacher’s finish, his second goal in two games, from French defender Bira Dembele set the Bees on the path for all three points, but County certainly had their moments.

Allen selected Sam Togwell to play at right-back and gave a first league start to the promising forward Ephron Mason-Clark as John Akinde’s striker partner. Making way were the injured Harry Taylor and Ryan Watson, who was on the bench.

Buoyed by their midweek win at Plymouth, Barnet opened brightly with the Notts County defence being stretched from the outset with Akinde and Mason-Clark proving to be formidable opponents.

But it was County who drew first blood when Michael O’Connor’s speculative delivery into the middle in the 15th minute sneaked in at the far post.

County then enjoyed a period of prominence with Vadaine Oliver failing to head home from close range when it looked easier to score than miss the target.

Barnet drew level on the half-hour mark when good play by Gambin, for once operating on the right, saw the ball passed into Akinde who played it across the six-yard box where Dembele, displaying a striker’s instinct, poked the ball home.

Moments later County came close to regaining their lead when Oliver got his head onto a great cross from the left by Jonathan Forte only to see his effort hit the crossbar and upright before the ball was gathered up by the thankful Barnet keeper Jamie Stephens.

With the interval looming Curtis Weston was wasteful when his effort on goal went high over the bar from just inside the opponents’ penalty box.

In the 55th minute Mason-Clark, who had begun to fade after impressing, was replaced by Jean-Louis Akpa Apro and he made an immediate impact with his hard-working direct style.

Within ten minutes of Akpa Akpro entering the fray the Bees forged ahead. A neat move involving the substitute and Akinde set-up Gambin to hit a shot with his right foot past the hapless Adam Collin in the County goal.

Ten minutes later Barnet extended their lead with another example of neat passing and finishing; Weston centered from the left and Gambin was on hand to lash the ball high into the net for a spectacular goal.

County visibly wilted at this point and looked down and out, but their spirits were revived in the 77th minute when Forte forced the ball over the line after Graham Burke’s shot from distance was parried by Stephens into his path.

The Bees resolutely defended their goal, keeping County at bay as the clock ticked down to claim the three points that keeps them out of the play-off positions by goal difference alone.

Barnet, by virtue of their early elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Shrewsbury Town, are without a fixture next weekend and are next in action when they are hosted by Yeovil Town on Saturday, December 10.

Barnet: Stephens, Togwell, Nelson, Dembele, Johnson, Vilhete, Weston, Champion, Gambin (Muggleton 82), Mason-Clark (Akpa Akpro 55), Akinde (Tomlinson 90). Subs not used: Watson, Vickers, Kyei, Nicholls.