They came from 1-0 down to end Barnet’s three and a half month unbeaten run with a strong performance after the break.
After conceding a cheap early goal and failing to restore parity before the break, we ignited the style in the second half with goals from Cedwyn Scott, Adam Chicksen and two from Macaulay Langstaff.
Luke Williams made three changes to the team that emerged victorious from a fierce clash at Chesterfield three days earlier.
Ruben Rodrigues returned to the starting XI after serving a one-match suspension at Technique Stadium, slotting into midfield alongside John Bostock when Jim O’Brien and Jodi Jones had to settle for places on the bench.
The other change came at right-back, where Tobi Adebayo-Rowling replaced Aaron Nemane, who was fully rested.
We made a promising start to the game, making some good starts, but we gifted our visitors a goal out of nowhere after 7 minutes. Kyle Cameron fired a short free kick to Matt Palmer, who in turn kicked the ball back to Aden Baldwin. His heavy touch presented the ball to Smith and, with Slocombe positioned well beyond his goal, the striker had the easy task of scoring on empty goal from 20 yards out.
An immediate response almost followed as Adam Chicksen pushed past Scott clearing the goal, only for Laurie Walker to come off his line quickly enough to clear the ball at the last moment.
And we were cursing Walker again moments later when Rodrigues cut in from the right, skirted the edge of the area and saw a masterfully saved left-footed shot.
We could, and perhaps should, have been 2-0 down on 23 minutes, however, when in-form leader Nicke Kabamba blasted a low cross over the bar from six meters.
Rodrigues delivered our rejoinder 10 minutes later, seeing a well-jammed effort pushed before, moments later, putting in a 25-yard wide effort.
We continued to push for an equalizer in the first half and Walker was level with Scott’s impromptu half-volley after Bostock and Cameron combined to take us into the box.
And the pair teamed up again to free Cameron to the baseline on the stroke of halftime, but there was no one in the middle to convert his low cross.
Adebayo-Rowling had suffered a knock early in the match and gave way to Jones at half time in a direct exchange in the wing.
But, despite Rodrigues hitting the post with a shot and Palmer being turned away by a big last-minute challenge, the early part of the second half saw our quest for a goal go unsuccessful.
Shortly before the hour mark, however, our frustrations ended when we took advantage of the referee allowing play to continue with an injured Bees man, applying a wave of pressure that saw big handball appeals deflected from a Bostock shot before that Connell Rawlinson’s effort was. blocked by one in a wall of defenders.
It looked like the visitors would resist the pressure and clear the ball, but we managed to keep it alive, and it eventually bounced back for Scott to whip inside the box.
We kept up our pressure and got two excellent saves from Walker, who knocked down Bostock’s piledriver before producing Scott’s low shot.
But there was nothing the goalkeeper could do to stop us from taking the lead with 14 minutes to go when Sam Austin headed the ball on target for Chicksen to head in his 10 instead of Scott.he of the season from a patio.
And it was game over five minutes later when Austin controlled Chicksen’s cross and claimed his second assist by passing the ball to Langstaff, who produced an emphatic spike from 12 yards out.
Frank Vincent replaced Chicksen for our last substitution and the makeshift full-back made a big contribution to our fourth goal, a cross to Jones whose curling effort missed Langstaff and ended up in the net.
Austin nearly capped the appearance of a wonderful substitute with an injury time goal, but could only head Vincent’s cross wide from a couple of yards.
But it didn’t matter as we comfortably took our fifth win in a row and extended our lead at the top to five points.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson; Chicksen (Vincent 84′), Adebayo-Rowling (Jones 46′); Palmer, Bostock, Rodrigues; Scott (Austin 75′), Langstaff
SUBS: Bajrami, O’Brien
ATTENDANCE: 6,891 (181)