Nationwide League Division 3

Barnet 3 Rochdale 0

Staring seemingly into the abyss of relegation to the Conference, Barnet showed a remarkable sense of composure as they saw off play-off hopefuls Rochdale 3-0 at Underhill.

Having taken only five points from a possible 42, it was vital the Bees took maximum points if they were to have a chance of survival.

Caretaker manager John Still kept faith with Danny Naisbitt in goal after the defeat by Lincoln City and recalled Wayne Purser to the starting line-up as he sought to strengthen his side's potency up front.

But it was Barnet's rock-like figures at the back who stole the show, with Mark Arber scored with a header from a Darren Currie free-kick after only two minutes.

The visitors, anxious for the three points themselves, almost equalised ten minutes later as a free header from Mark Monington was saved by Naisbitt, with Lee Flynn appearing to handle on the line but the referee waved play on.

The tension around the ground was lifted after 16 minutes as Barnet's captain Greg Heald rose to head past a hapless Neil Edwards from six yards out after some nice interplay down the right flank between Danny Brown and Sam Stockley.

John Doolan, tenacious and a veritable tank in midfield, almost doubled the Bees' lead two minutes later but his 20-yard drive went wide.

Barnet, playing with more confidence and fluency, got their reward with a second goal from another centre-half when Mark Arber converted a Darren Currie cross just after the half-hour.

Naisbitt showed his inclusion in the side was merited when he made a brilliant stop with his legs from Paul Connor after a ricochet left the Rochdale striker through on goal.

Rochdale, lacklustre in attack despite lanky Clive Platt winning every ball in the air, had a good chance to pull a goal back eight minutes after the restart when Gary Jones headed straight at the keeper.

And a minute later, Barnet had an appeal for a penalty turned down when Currie was felled in the box.

But on 57 minutes, Danny Brown flicked the ball into the box and Heald, ever Captain Courageous, knocked the ball in from eight yards.

Rochdale had their best chance of the game later in the half when Connor was clean through only for the keeper to save well.

Barnet kept hold of their advantage and more importantly, have kept alive their chances of survival.

Attendance: 2,381

BARNET: Naisbitt, Stockley, Heald, Arber, Flynn, Goodhind (Niven 89), Doolan, Currie, Brown (Toms 87), Purser (Strevens 70), Richards

Subs not used: Harrison, Gower. Man-of-the-match: Heald