THREE AND EASY FOR SLICK BEES
BARNET scored three times in five stunning first-half minutes to spring a surprise win at the Kassam Stadium.
And it was a result manager Martin Allen fancied his side might pull off after high-flying Oxford United’s heady success against Plymouth Argyle in midweek.
Oxford beat Plymouth 1-0 to secure a top three slot, but Barnet’s first away win in the Football League since April 1, 2013 shattered United’s long unbeaten home record, stretching back to mid-March.
“I just had the feeling it was the right time to play them. They were on a high after winning that game and moving into the top three on the back of it,” Allen said.
“Perhaps the arrival of two-bob Barnet, as I often call us, didn’t stimulate and rouse too many passions.
“We don’t employ any scouts at Barnet, but I was lucky enough to come and watch Oxford play against Swindon Town a few weeks ago and I was confident we could get a result.
“We played extremely well, defending from the back and hitting them with pace on the break.We put a plan and a team together to come here and do a job and I think we deserved to win.”
Barnet got their just deserts – and picked up a seventh point from their last three league matches – on the back of three goals in an amazing fiveminute spell midway through the first half, from Curtis Weston, John Akinde and Josh Clarke, which cancelled out Liam Sercombe’s 14th-minute Oxford opener.
Oxford, chasing a sixth win in seven outings, stormed into the lead when Sercombe fired a 20-yard shot past Jamie Stephens.
But Barnet weren’t to be denied and tipped the game on its head with those three dramatic strikes.
Weston atoned for his earlier slip by scoring a 25th-minute equaliser from Elliott Johnson’s assist.
Oxford skipper Jake Wright then failed to deal with Gavin Hoyte’s cross and Akinde put Barnet ahead.
Ninety seconds later they stretched their lead to 3-1 through Josh Clarke, who cut in from the right and drilled a slow shot in.
There was no let-up in the frenetic action with Sercombe carving open the Barnet defence to make it 3-2 five minutes before half-time.
Oxford twice hit the woodwork and but for some profligate finishing by Kemar Roofe might have salvaged a draw.
Oxford boss Michael Appleton said: “We had a disappointing five minutes, which cost us. But we’ll learn quickly from it. It was one of them where we gave them a little bit of a lifeline.
“We made some almost comical mistakes at the back, but we need to put things into perspective. “We’ve been consistent and solid for pretty much all of this season and the last third of last term. I’m hoping what happened was very much an isolated incident.”
U’S BEEN FRAMED: Barnet’s Josh Clarke enjoys his goal
HIGH FLYER: Barnet’s Josh Clarke celebrates his strike