Barnet could have few complaints about Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of in-form local rivals Stevenage.

The Bees went behind in the 12th minute and although they rarely threatened, there was always the possibility that they might salvage a point due to the hosts’ failure to extend their lead.

Kevin Nugent decided to play with a flat back four, with Ruben Bover and Tom Champion in central midfield, Curtis Weston getting forward to support loan striker John Akinde, with Simeon Akinola and Jamal Campbell-Ryce lending support from wide areas.

It was Barnet who started the brighter, stretching the Stevenage rear-guard with Campbell-Ryce looking a threat down the left flank. This period of dominance was fleeting and was soon over though.

The hosts began to assert themselves and constructed a number of fine flowing moves with the Bees struggling to keep themselves afloat.

Stevenage went ahead in the 12th minute when Tom Pett benefited from a deflection off Champion to wrong-foot goalkeeper Jamie Stephens.

Barnet were having difficulty in keeping possession and the defence was subject to wave after wave of opposition attacks. Barnet’s best hope appeared to be a long ball over the defence for Akinde to latch onto, but more often than not this was food and drink for the Stevenage defence, particularly if the balls into the striker were under or over hit.

Midway through the half Weston had a shot from 25 yards that was well struck but Stevenage had by now established almost total control.

Barnet’s best chance of the match came in the 36th minute when Bover’s astute pass into the path of Akinde should have led to an equaliser, but his effort was parried away by Chris Day, the Stevenage keeper.

The hosts almost doubled their lead when seconds before the half-time whistle David Tutonda sliced the ball over his own cross-bar, the defender relieved to have conceded only a corner.

Stevenage’s Matt Godden went close on two occasions to doubling the hosts’ lead in the opening minute of the second half with the Bees again struggling to make an impact.

The Borough were creating openings almost at will, with Steve Schumacher guilty of spurning a great opportunity.

Akinde then did get himself into a shooting position but his effort lacked precision or power and was easily collected by Day.

Barnet made three second-half substitutions, but their influence was minimal, although Mauro Vilhete did inject a welcome degree of urgency.

Stevenage able to relatively comfortably see out the game during which time Godden got the ball in the net, only to be denied by an offside decision.

In the closing moments Bira Dembele did get his head to a well-taken corner but his effort was considerably wide of the target as the hosts secured a much-deserved win, their eighth consecutive home victory.

Barnet had 748 supporters at the match, the largest travelling support of the season. Bu they left the stadium dejected at what they had seen form their side.

Barnet: Stephens, Clough, Nelson, Dembele, Tutonda, Campbell-Ryce, Champion (Vilhete 61), Bover (Shomotun 83), Akinola (Amaluzor 83), Weston, Akinde. Subs not used: Johnson, Santos, H.Taylor, McKenzie-Lyle.