John Akinde gave the Bees the lead in the 13th minute but after that setback Doncaster Rovers systematically took charge of Saturday’s match and showed why they are now enjoy a four-point lead at the top of the League Two table following their 3-1 win at The Hive.

Barnet made three changes to the team that had won at Leyton Orient so convincingly the previous week. Keeper Josh Vickers, Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Tom Champion, who were all called into action from the substitutes’ bench at Brisbane Road, were included in the starting XI, replacing Jamie Stephens, Simeon Akinola and Nana Kyei.

The Bees, in a rich vein of form that had taken them into the play-off positions, took the game to the visitors in the early stages, forcing a corner and when a Jack Taylor shot was spilled by Ian Lawlor, Akinde was almost on hand to capitalise.

Barnet’s top scorer then intercepted a casual back-pass by Niall Mason, evaded the challenge of Lawlor before steering the ball into an empty net; but the Bees would be ahead for only five minutes.

Matty Blair played an inventive pass into the path of James Coppinger and after he’d instantly got the ball under control, he swept it past Vickers for a composed finish.

In the 26th minute Akinde powered through the middle and looked set to regain the lead for the Bees only for Mason to produce a last-gasp tackle. This miss would prove pivotal as in their next attack it was the visitors who went ahead.

In an unsightly scramble, and with a hint of a handball, John Marquis was accredited with the last touch before the ball went over the goal-line.

With their tails up and playing like league leaders, Doncaster were able to establish a two-goal margin just after the half-hour mark.

Barnet skipper Michael Nelson was uncharacteristically unable to execute an effective clearance and when the ball fell to the experienced Coppinger, he found the corner of the net with unerring accuracy from 20 yards.

Doncaster had a number of chances to extend their lead even further before half-time but the Bees went into the interval still clinging to the possibility of a comeback.

A Ricardo Santos header and a more than decent effort from Mauro Vilhete in the early stages of the second half indicated Barnet’s willingness to strive to get back in the game but the visitors had the guile and ability to keep their hosts at bay.

The management duo of Rossi Eames and Henry Newman introduced Akinola, Kyei and David Tutonda from the bench and altered Barnet’s formation to make it more attacking, but Rovers were content to get men behind the ball and were rarely rattled.

The result was an unwelcome jolt to the Bees after their impressive charge up the table in recent months, but Doncaster look to have enough about them to be serious title challengers.

Barnet: Vickers, H. Taylor (Tutonda 74), Nelson, Santos, Johnson, Champion (Kyei 61), Vilhete, Weston, J. Taylor, Campbell-Ryce (Akinola 61), Akinde. Subs not used: Gambin, Muggleton, Nicholls, McKenzie-Lyle.