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Barnet moved to within a whisker of the EFL League Two play-off places by coming from behind to beat Notts County 3-2.

The win extends the Bees’ unbeaten run to seven league matches and leaves Martin Allen’s men outside of the top seven only on goal difference.

Notts County took the lead after 15 minutes when skipper Michael O’Connor bent into the far corner following a short corner routine.

But Barnet were level when Bira Dembele scored his second of the week from close range.

Luke Gambin put the Bees ahead in the 64th minute with a deflected effort and doubled up ten minutes later by crashing into the top corner on the run.

However, the Magpies refused to fold and got one back in the 77th minute when Jonathan Forte pounced.

Allen made two changes from the side which won 2-0 at Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.

Sam Togwell made his first start following surgery on a hernia, coming into the side at right-back in place of the injured Harry Taylor.

Ephron Mason-Clark, having made his EFL debut as a substitute against Crewe Alexandra last weekend, took Ryan Watson’s place with Curtis Weston stepping back into the centre of midfield as Barnet shifted to a 4-4-2 system.

Barnet made a fast start and very nearly took the lead inside two minutes when Gambin fizzed an effort towards goal. But Notts keeper Adam Collin tipped the shot over.

Shortly after, Dembele guided a precise ball down the left for John Akinde. The Bees’ top scorer did well to hold off his marker and feed Mason-Clark but the teenager was crudely bundled off the ball as he tried to wriggle into space.

With a quarter of an hour played Notts County took the lead against the run of play with a bolt from the blue.

A short corner from the left-hand side was worked back to Notts skipper O’Connor who curled an audacious effort into the far corner from wide on the left.

The hosts were soon back on the front foot. When Akinde had a shot blocked the ball ran loose for Gambin to lash agonisingly wide of Collin’s far post.

Barnet’s pressure told after half an hour when Dembele scored his second goal of the week to equalise.

Akinde used all his strength in a tight area to get a shot off inside the box and sting Collin’s palms. The ball ran loose for Dembele who, sliding in, stabbed home to level.

Yet the Pies could have gone ahead three minutes later when Vadaine Oliver directed a diving header again the crossbar. The visitors appealed for a goal as the ball bounced down on the line but Jamie Stephens gathered to make sure.

Barnet had the last chance of the half but Weston directed his half volley over the bar following a long Togwell throw.

The second half was a tetchy affair early on with neither side able to take control of the game.

Bees head coach Allen made the first change of the half, bringing Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro on for Mason-Clark following a good debut showing.

Shortly before the hour mark Barnet came as close as either side had to breaking the deadlock.

A free-kick from just inside the Notts half found Dembele who knocked down for Weston.

But the midfielder’s drilled effort was deflected wide for a corner by the face off a visiting defender.

From one of the resulting corner kicks Gambin slammed a low shot towards the bottom corner but the ball deflected just wide of Collin’s near post.

In the 64th minute the Bees’ pressure told as they went in front for the first time.

Akpa Akpro worked the ball to Gambin on the edge of the penalty area and the Maltese international drilled a low shot past Collin with the aid of a deflection.

Ten minutes later the Bees added a third and Akpa Akpro was involved again, releasing Weston inside the Pies’ box. Weston crossed low and Gambin slammed home on the run.

But Barnet’s two-goal lead was short lived as the Magpies half the deficit three minutes later.

Substitute Graham Burke saw his shot parried out by Stephens and Forte tucked home the rebound.

Next up for the Bees is a visit to Yeovil Town on Saturday, December 10 (kick-off 3pm).

Barnet: Stephens; Togwell, Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete, Weston, Champion, Gambin (Muggleton 81); Mason-Clark (Akpa Akpro 53), Akinde (Tomlinson 90).

Subs: Vickers (GK), Watson, Kyei, Nicholls.

Notts County: Collin; Duffy, Laing, Edwards, Dickinson; Forte, Tootle, O’Connor (c), Snijders (Burke 69); Campbell (Collins 61), Oliver.

Subs: Loach (GK), Smith, Hollis, Hewitt, Audel.

Referee: Darren Handley.

Attendance: 1,958 (334 Notts County supporters).

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