At the end of a week when manager Paul Peschisolido rewarded some of the more experienced members of his squad with some time off training it was the Brewers young guns who stepped up to the plate and played a vital part in Albion's biggest away win since joining the Football League. A superb Billy Kee hat-trick accompanied by strikes from Adi Yussuf and Jack Dyer had Albion on five goals going into the latter stages of the game and when Calvin Zola added a sixth in stoppage time it brought to an end a game where defences rarely shone.
Burton Albion went with an unchanged side for the visit to 23rd placed Barnet. Despite another week to enhance his recovery from an ankle knock, Jacques Maghoma had to settle for a place on the substitutes bench again. Calvin Zola shook off a slight achilles injury to retain his place in the starting line up to partner Billy Kee up front. There was one change on the bench with young midfielder Jack Dyer making a return to the matchday sixteen at the expense of Chris Palmer. The home side find themselves embroiled in another struggle at the wrong end of the table and were trying to hit back after a 3-0 home defeat to Southend United on Tuesday evening. Former Albion loan striker Steve Kabba was available for the Bees along with another former loanee Mark Byrne, formerly of Nottingham Forest.
A tame start to game was the prelude to Albion opening the scorer in stunning fashion in the 7th minute. Adam Bolder showed good strength in the middle of the park to disposess Clovis Kamdjo. Bolder carried on an when Amankwaah was set free for a trademark overlapping run and for the second week in a row he picked out Billy KEE in the centre who fired an instinctive first time 15 yard shot into the roof of the net.
Kee almost punished the Bees again with a well timed run to beat the offside trap but on the notorious Underhill sloope the ball just ran away from him and he was only able to win a corner that came to nothing.
Barnet were determined to get back on level terms as soon as they possibly could and Kabba almost got the equaliser on 13 minutes but Ross Atkins reacted well to push away his angled shot.
Tony James picked up the first booking of the game on twenty minutes when he was punished for a clumsy challenge on Ricky Holmes close to the centre circle.
Albion spurned a superb chance to double their advantage in the 24th minute. Calvin Zola did well to win possession in the middle and he laid the ball off for the advancing Adam Bolder. Continuing his run into the penalty area the Congolese striker was in the right spot to pick up Bolder's returen pass but he made a hash of the chance scooping the ball well over the crossbar from just outside the six yard box.
The Brewers had to survive something of a goalmouth scramble on the half hour as a short corner that looked to have failed miserably caused all sorts of problems. Symptomatic of a team near the bottom of the table the Bees were stung to find themselves two goals in arrears less than a minute later. Burton won the ball in midfield and when KEE rode a challenge on the edge of the penalty area he looked up and fired a sumptuous curling shot beyond Liam O'Brien into the top corner of the net.
Izale McLeod really should have given Barnet hope of a comeback in the 36th minute. A long punt up the middle had Tony James stretching and when his header bounced into the path of the former Derby striker he seemed destined to score until he somehow managed to hit the ball against Ross Atkins who was relieved to see the ball fly wide of the post. An unbelieveable miss for the home side.
Lawrie Sanchez immediately brough on flying winger Marcus Marshall, previously ever present in the team and the home side switched to a 4-4-2 with McLEOD more central and it paid immediate dividends as the striker latched onto Mark Byrne's ball over the top to calmly slide the ball past Atkins in the 39th minute.
It put a new slant on the game with renewed hope for the hosts although it took a good save from O'Brien to deny Zola from the edge of the area and there were anxious glances towards the officials as Kee went to ground in the box moments later.
A frantic end to the half also saw Kabba get away form his man and drive a low angled shot against the post with Atkins beaten at his near post. A game that had looked to be well under Albion's control went into the half time break on a knife edge and with the Brewers more grateful for the break than the hosts.
Half time: Barnet 1-2 Burton Albion
The second half started as the first half finished with defences all over the place. Cleveland Taylor escaped down the right wing and saw a low cross evade O'Brien and go wide of the far post and then Jimmy Phillips almost capitalised on some wretched defending driving to the bye line but then trying to beat O'Brien from an almost impossible angle. Zola also went close as he linked up with Kee before volleying just wide of the post with O'Brien rooted to the spot.
Having weathered the storm from Albion the home side went back on the attack down the slope and Albion made their first change in the 55th minute. Jacques Maghoma came on for Jimmy Phillips but before he could get a touch the Bees had equalised through Ricky HOLMES. Mark Byrne's corner was only half cleared out to Sam Deering and the former Oxford man had time to pick out his team mate unmarked on the right hand side of the area and gioven all the time in the world to pick his spot beyond Atkins into the far corner.
Jack Dyer was introduced just after the hour mark as Albion looked for fresh legs in the centre of midfield. Skipper John McGrath made way as the youngster made his first league appearance of the season.
Cleveland Taylor saw O'Brien tip a free kick over but Albion were suddenly back in front on 63 minutes. O'Brien found himself in no mans land as he made a hash of a clearance and when Taylor returned the ball back into the middle, Billy KEE recovered what appeared to be a poor first touch to turn and smash a shot into the roof of the net for his hat-trick.
Kee was in no mood to settle for three and after breaking clear onto Kevin Amankwaah's ball forward he forced a good save from O'Brien at his near post. BArnet were not done and dusted yet either as they broke forward with menace and when McLeod played the ball into the path of Marshall Albion were grateful to see an offside flag go up although the winger's first time effort went wide of the post anyway.
The Albion hat-trick hero left to a standing ovation in the 73rd minute and his replacement Adi YUSSUF got a dream start scoring with his first touch. A free kick down the right allowed Aaron Webster to drive into the box and pick out the substitute at the near post and with the Barnet defence absent without leave, a simple finish saw Albion rack up their 150th Football League goal and a maiden goal for the former Leicester youngster.
There was to be another first for the Brewers in the 84th minute as Jack DYER decided to get in on the goalscoring act. More wretched defending from the home side allowed Taylor to put the ball into the box and after Yussuf and Zola had both been denied in the box the ball came out to the former Aston Villa midfielder who crashed home a 25 yard shot into the far corner.
Sam DEERING reduced the deficit back down to two goals in the 88th minute at the end of a desperate goalmouth scramble and when Marshall saw a shot turned away by Atkins thoughts of Cheltenham two years ago started to resurface for the Brewers. Mark Byrne's deflected shot onto the top of the crossbar in stoppage time did little to ease Albion's nerves but Calvin ZOLA's goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time put minds at rest. The striker along with Yussuf strolled through the defence onto Dyer's pass and desperate to add his name to the scoresheet the Congolese frontman left O'Brien stranded with an unstoppable shot.
BARNET: O'Brien, Hughes, Byrne, Kabba (Owusu, 77), Deering, Holmes, Uddin, Borrowdale, Kamdjo, Leach (Marshall, 38), McLeod. Substitutes: Brill, Parkes, Owusu, Marshall, Vilhete.
BREWERS: Atkins; Amankwaah, James, Austin, Webster; Taylor, Bolder, McGrath (Dyer, 61), Phillips; Zola, Kee (Yussuf, 73). Substitutes: Poole, Corbett.
Referee: G.Ward (Surrey)
Goals: Barnet - McLeod (39), Holmes (56), Deering (88); Albion - Kee (7, 31, 63), Yussuf (74), Dyer (84), Zola (90+4)
Attendance: 1,745 (209 away)