Charlie MacDonald was delighted to see his side return to the top of the Vanarama Conference table on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Southport at the Merseyrail Community Stadium.
Speaking after the game, the Barnet captain was full of praise for the performance of the entire team, commenting:
“I thought that it was a really great performance. The toss of the coin was crucial today. I wanted to win the toss because we wanted to spin it around and go with the wind in the first half and take the game to them, come out of the traps early, and blitz them.
“I thought we won our battles all over the pitch, created numerous chances and probably could have been more than 2-0 up in the first half.
“The second half was all about them coming at us when they had the wind and us managing the game, and I thought that we did that really well. Defensively again we were so solid. I just thought that it was a great performance from all of the boys.”
Lee Cook and John Akinde grabbed the goals for Barnet to claim their sixth and third of the season respectively, and MacDonald was full of praise for both goal scorers:
“It was a great little bit of interplay for Cookie’s goal, with some one touch passing around the box. We popped it in, there’s a nice little bit of jinking from Cookie and a little dink to the back stick. He’s claiming that he meant it but as a striker if he has meant to score from there then we’re fuming, that’s just greedy!”
“John has been brilliant all day. He’s been a colossus up front, getting hold of the ball and causing havoc and then he’s shown the other side of his game with the finish where he’s got it out of his feet and bent it into the far corner which was a brilliant finish.”
Barnet are now top scorers in the Conference and have also conceded the joint fewest number of goals, and MacDonald believes that this record can only get better as Barnet’s squad continue to find their rhythm:
“It’s magnificent. We’ve got goals coming from everywhere at the moment and defensively we’re not conceding, so those are obviously the ingredients for success. If we can keep that solid foundation, we know that a goal at the moment will win us the game.
“Stacky prides himself on clean sheets and so do the defenders but everybody has got their own job and if we can start from the front and make it difficult for them to come through us then everyone plays their part. It’s magnificent. Five clean sheets in six games is a great achievement.
“The way that we are playing at the moment, we want to start games by going at the opposition. The only game where we haven’t done that was Lincoln and it cost us. As I said before, I can’t really put my finger on why that happened but since then it has been a great reaction from the boys.
“In the first half of all three games since then we’ve taken the game to opposition and got ahead and managed the game. That’s the way that we want to continue because it’s good to play in and it must be good to watch.”
Yesterday’s result meant that Barnet returned to the top of the table, something that MacDonald admits is pleasing even at this early stage:
“We were top of the league after the first two games and then that Lincoln game sort of killed us a bit. We lost that one game and we went down to eighth but we’ve showed a great response and we’re back up there now and that’s where we want to stay.
“It’s still really tight at the moment and we’ve still got a lot of the so-called top teams still to play but Southport had the best home record last year and we’ve come here today and we’ve dominated in all fairness.
“For the second half they had the win and the only shot I can recall them having was from about 25 yards straight at Stacky. That is all credit to the way that we’ve played and the way that we’ve set up and the gaffer doing his homework and making sure that we know what we are doing on the pitch.”