Much-improved Barnet put an end to a disastrous streak of five consecutive defeats with a 1-1 draw against high-flying Lincoln City at The Hive but remain firmly rooted at the bottom of the League 2 table.

Barnet took an early lead through John Akinde and were well worth their advantage at the interval but the Red Imps, backed by almost 2,000 travelling fans, were a different proposition in the second half.

New Barnet boss Graham Westley sprung a surprise with his team selection which saw midfielder Dan Sweeney starting at centre-back in a 4-4-2 formation; Curtis Weston wearing the captain’s armband.

The hosts started brightly and almost took a lead in the fourth minute when a long ball from impressive right-back Richard Brindley was headed into the path of Alex Nicholls and in a goalmouth scramble the ball was eventually cleared.

Lincoln’s confidence was shattered in the 12th minute when an astute pass by Ryan Watson found Akinde with the striker then cutting in from the left. Once in the penalty area, with defenders backing off, Akinde steered a low shot into the far corner for his fourth goal of the season.

The Bees then peppered the Lincoln goal with Watson, Nicholls and Brindley all going close to doubling the hosts’ lead.

Sweeney was increasingly growing into his new role and although his inexperience was occasionally apparent, he read the game well, won his share of aerial battles and looked assured in possession.

The Barnet faithful applauded their team off at the interval having witnessed a coherent and resilient display.

Lincoln made two changes during half-time and immediately after the game had restarted, Barnet were under pressure.

Within two minutes the Red Imps drew level. From a well-flighted in-swinging Sam Habergham corner unmarked substitute James Wilson, with his first touch, headed the ball into the net.

The visitors now set about forging a lead with Barnet keeper Craig Ross repeatedly being called into action.

From another set-piece centre-back Michael Bostwick spurned a good opportunity for Lincoln when his header whisked past an upright.

All over the pitch Barnet were working hard to stem the flow towards their goal but City went close to establishing a lead when Danny Rowe’s shot hit the crossbar.

In time added-on defender Charlie Clough was summoned from the bench to replace forward Justin Amaluzor, himself a substitute who had seen only ten minutes of action, with the Bees now clearly intent of seeing out the game and securing a point.

This resolute display certainly gives Barnet something to build on, but with many of the teams in and around the relegation zone regularly picking up points the Bees need victories if they are to escape the drop.

Barnet: Ross, Tutonda, Sweeney, Santos, Brindley, Nicholls, Watson, Weston (Bover 77), J.Taylor, Coulthirst (Amaluzor 82, Clough 90+3), Akinde. Subs not used: Campbell-Ryce, Vilhete, McKenzie-Lyle, Payne.