It is four games without a win for Barnet in the Skrill Premier. Their promotion bid is already stuttering.

A 3-1 defeat at Alfreton Town the Bees latest failure but the visitors’ performance will be more worrying than the final result.

John McGrath put the hosts ahead with a stunning free kick but Keanu Marsh-Brown equalised shortly after the restart.

That was as good as it got for Barnet. A Paul Clayton double ensured Alfreton a victory they deserved. There is plenty of work for Bees head coach Edgar Davids to do.

Once again, Barnet were poor in the opening half and the home side created countless chances.

Alfreton went ahead in the 13th minute when the home side were awarded a free kick and McGrath’s curled effort found the top corner.

The Bees couldn’t deal with the physical presence of Jon Akinde and the striker should have doubled the lead when played through on goal. Fortunately for Barnet his lobbed effort went well wide.

Graham Stack then had to be alert to push clear a shot from Tom Shaw and Clayton headed against the crossbar.

Half time couldn’t come soon enough for Barnet. The visitors had rarely threatened and their possession game lacked any urgency.

Alfreton came close again as Daniel Meadows fired just wide of the post. It was the final chance of the half.

The interval gave Barnet a chance to regroup. Four minutes after the restart they drew level. Curtis Weston drove forward from midfield and passed to Marsh-Brown.

The winger took a quick touch and coolly sent his shot into the corner. It was his final action of the game as Marsh-Brown was surprisingly replaced by Mauro Vilhete.

The equaliser lifted the Bees and they looked likely to add a second.

Seven minutes later, the hosts added a third. Stack got down well to palm a shot clear but the rebound was sent back into six yard box. Clayton lost Anthony Acheampong and slotted home his second of the contest.

Edgar Davids responded with a double substitution. Luke Gambin and Acheampong replaced by Marciano Mengerink and Luisma Villa.

Unfortunately for the Barnet head coach, it didn’t have an effect and the home side continued to create chances – Akinde again wasteful when played through on goal.

Curtis Weston continued to shoot on sight but his efforts on goal failed to trouble Alfreton goalkeeper Ross Atkins who, bar Marsh-Brown’s goal, had little to do throughout the game.

Alfreton fully deserved their victory and Barnet will have to improve if they are to remain in the top five.

Alfreton Town: Atkins, Wood, Wylde, Shaw, Clayton, Bradley, Meadows, Fenton, McGrath, Akinde, Rowe-Turner.

Alfreton Town: Franklin, Westwood, Law, Wishart, Taylor.

Barnet: Stack; Yiadom, Stephens (Villa 65), Acheampong, Johnson; Byrne, Weston, Abdulla; Gambin (Mengerink 65), Marsh-Brown (Vilhete 50), Crawford.

Barnet substitutes: Luisma, Jupp, Casabella, Mengerink, Vilhete.

Attendance: 783

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