The Brewers turned in one of their most abject performances as a Football League club to allow Barnet to claw themselves closer to safety and drag Albion back nearer to the bottom two places in League 2 after a 4-1 defeat to Martin Allen's side. Former Albion loan striker Steve Kabba grabbed all four of the Bees goals in the second half after Sam WInnall had capped an unconvincing first half Brewers display with his seventh goal of the season after eleven minutes.
Skipper John McGrath was instantly recalled to the starting line-up for the crunch clash with relegation threatened Barnet. After serving his two match suspension the inspirational midfielder returned to the same formation as on Wednesday evening against Macclesfield Town. Alongside Adam Bolder and Jack Dyer, McGrath formed a midfield three with Jacques Maghoma pushing forward to form an attacking three alongside Sam Winnall and Calvin Zola. Nathan Stanton returned to the back four alongside Tony James meaning that Darren Moore and Tom Parkes, both available after suspension could only make the bench.
Barnet also had former loanee Mark Byrne in their ranks and named former Derby County striker Izale McLeod in their line-up.
In a fast paced start Albion could have gone ahead early after good work in the penalty area from McGrath and Zola but the ball would not come for Winnall to get a shot away. Barnet also had an early chance although an alert assistant ruled out Kabba's effort for offside. The Brewers struggled to clear Jude Stirling's long throw in with Webster getting a vital touch at the far post but the assistant allowed Albion to clear the danger.
After soaking up the early Barnet pressure the Brewers stung their visitors by taking the lead in the eleventh minute. Adam Bolder's forward pass was cleverly dummied by Jacques Maghoma to allow Calvin Zola to run in but he was unable to get his shot away and Maghoma was also frustrated in the box but the ball fell kindly for Sam WINNALL, eighteen yards out to drill a low shot past Sam Walker for his seventh goal of the season.
Maghoma quickly had a chance to get himself a goal but after more trickery on the left hand side of the penalty area he drilled a low shot across the six yard box but wide of the post.
Burton had a lucky reprieve in the 23rd minute when they almost managed to gift Barnet an equaliser. Steve Kabba got the better of Corbett and put the ball into penalty area for Sam Deering. The Oxford loanee turned and put the ball into the Albion six yard box where Nathan Stanton cleared the ball against McGrath with the ball rebounding back towards goal and just over the crossbar of Adam Legzdins.
Barnet continued to look dangerous and came close again in the 29th minute. Stirling's searching cross from the right was perfect for the head of McLeod who got up above James at the far post by Legzdins had his post covered and shovelled the ball away for a corner. Barnet had shouts for a penalty from the corner when the ball fell nicely for defender Clovis Kamdjo. The ball clearly hit an Albion player on its way towards goal but referee Craig Pawson was not convinced enough to award a penalty.
After weathering the spell of Barnet pressure Maghoma went close again in the 35th minute. Driving his way across the edge of the area the chance presented itself to shoot but his low effort was deflected and fell kindly for Walker to drop gratefully onto the ball.
Stirling again made a nuisance of himself from a long throw which Albion struggled to deal with and Kabba saw a deflected effort go wide of the near post. Midfielder MArk Hughes picked up the first yellow card of the game in the 43rd minute for crudely bringing down Maghoma. The Barnet man had to make the challenge or else Maghoma was through on a breakaway as Albion fought to get the comfort of a two goal lead by the break.
Half time: Burton Albion 1-0 Barnet
Paul Peschisolido made a tactical switch at half time bringing on Scott Malone in place of Jack Dyer. Albion went to a 4-4-2 formation with Malone tucked in on the left side of midfield.
After a presumably rousing team talk from Martin Allen Barnet came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half and within five minutes Izale McLeod had rattled the crossbar with a dipping shot and Kamdjo was denied in a scramble at the far post.
Albion looked to have seen off the danger but some poor defending gifted Barnet an equaliser on 55 minutes. Sam Walker's long clearance was allowed to bounce by Nathan Stanton but Steve KABBA won a race with Tony James to get into the box and steer a low shot between the legs of Legzdins.
Malone had a great shooting opportunity as Albion finally broke free of their defensive shackles but latching onto Zola's pass he tried a cross rather than a shot which went strangely out by the corner flag.
KABBA came back to haunt his former club again in the 64th minute. A long hopeful ball down the left channel found the former Sheffield United frontman and as he got the better of James again he lifted the ball calmly over Legzdins.
Worse was to come for the Brewers in the 67th minute when Sam Deering tricked his way into the area and ewas brought down by Scott Malone. KABBA put the ball down and confidently drove it home to complete a 13 minute hat-trick.
In amidst the goals Ryan Austin had been brought on in place of James and in a vain attempt to get back into the game Greg Pearson was given 20 minutes in place of Sam WInnall to try and salvage the game.
Worringly if there was to be another goal it looked like the visitors would score it and substitute Charlie Taylor almost capitalised on a half hearted attempt at a clearance from Malone with Legzdins rescuing the situation with a smart save at the post.
The game was well and truly up for the Brewers in the 80th minute as Kabba netted again to rub more salt into Albion's wounds. Lively winger Mark Marshall scampered away from Corbett and delivered a cross to the near post that KABBA threw himself at and nudged inside the near post.
The indication of five added minutes added insult to injury with Albion players and fans wanting the game to end as rapidly as possible to go away and regroup for a six pointer with Northampton on Tuesday evening.
ALBION: Legzdins; Corbett, James, Stanton, Webster; Dyer (Malone, 46), Bolder, McGrath; Zola, Winnall, Maghoma. Substitutes: Poole, Moore, Walker, Austin, Pearson, Parkes.
BARNET: Walker, Devera, Hughes, Kabba, Deering, Marshall, Kamdjo, Leach, McLeod, Byrne, Stirling. Substitutes: Jarvis, Southam, Cox, O'Brien, Taylor, Fraser, Parsons.
Referee: Mr.C.Pawson (South Yorkshire)
GOAL: Albion - Winnall (11); Barnet - Kabba (55, 64, 67 pen, 80)