Words Alex Birch | Pictures Jonathan Moore
ALTY held off a spirited Barnet fightback to claim a massive three points against their promotion rivals at the J.Davidson Stadium.
Phil Parkinson's men made the perfect start striking within a minute of the opening whistle. Chris Conn-Clarke's quick free kick over the top found Alex Newby and the forward collected with a deft touch before sliding a low finish past Barnet debutant goalie Josh Keeley.
Although the visitors didn't panic and worked their way into good positions, winning corners and shooting from range, it was Alty who looked the more dangerous in the final third.
An outrageous bit of skill from Conn-Clarke set up a second chance for Newby, but this time he couldn't beat Keeley from the edge of the box.
Following an injury to referee James Durkin midway through the half, Barnet continued in the same vein, enjoying the majority of possession.
Idris Kanu blazed over off a lucky rebound, as the Bees threatened closer to Ethan Ross' goal, but for the most part it was arms length stuff from the home backline.
Elliot Osborne skimmed a low effort wide off a Newby corner and Conn-Clarke found the side netting off a quick break to keep the Barnet defence honest almost up to half time.
Then, after a mix up between Keeley and his defenders led to an Alty corner, the home side doubled their advantage.
Newby's low corner to the near post was helped on by Jake Cooper for the onrushing Lewis Baines to hammer home from close in.
Within five minutes of the restart it was 3-0. Newby fed Conn-Clarke in the left channel of the Barnet box and the number 10's left-footed strike deflected up and over Keeley for his 14th of the campaign.
Soon after it was Conn-Clarke the provider, going on a superb run, beating four defenders and teeing up Linney, who fired just wide.
Another Conn-Clarke effort from the edge of the box whistled just wide as the home side turned the screw on a opponent who'd kept three clean sheets in a row up to arrival at the J.Davidson Stadium.
Keeley then turned a Conn-Clarke long ranger behind for a corner. The pace at which Alty were breaking was at times breath-taking.
The combination of Conn-Clarke, Linney, Newby and Mooney was causing havoc and a flighted through-ball from Conn-Clarke saw Linney beat Keeley to the ball outside the box and cross for a sprinting Newby to fire just over.
A lifeline of sorts for the visitors materialised with 15 minutes to go when skipper Harry Pritchard scored from the edge of the box.
The goal could have sparked a Barnet revival, but instead of relentless pressure, Alty held their nerve against a few set pieces and crosses. That was until Idris Kanu set up a grandstand finish in stoppage time, tapping home at the back post to the reduced the deficit further.
That was the end of the action, however, as the hosts played out the final couple of minutes to claim a deserved victory in front of another raucous crowd.
Man Of The Match - chosen by Neil Faulkner
Altrincham Ross; Banks, Baines (Brockbank, 85'), Osborne, Marriott (c), Linney, Conn-Clarke, Cooper, Roscoe, Newby (Wilson, 86'), Mooney (Amaluzor, 73'). Subs not used: Angus, Gould.
Barnet Keeley; Hall-Johnson (Stead, 89'), Coker, Okimo, Kabamba, Kanu, Pritchard (c), Hartigan, Oluwo, Potter (Cropper, 53'), Brunt (Maguire-Drew, 59'). Subs not used: Walker, Armstrong.
Goals Newby 1' (Conn-Clarke), Baines 45'+7 (Cooper), Conn-Clarke 50' (Newby) | Pritchard 75', Kanu 90'+3
Yellows Mooney 45'+2, Banks 83' | Maguire-Drew 65'
Reds None | None
Referee James Durkin
Assistants Matthew Bacon & Francis Sibley | Dane McCarrick
Attendance 2,379 (180 away)
We're back in Isuzu FA Trophy action next Saturday at Kidderminster Harriers. The fourth round tie at Aggborough kicks off at 3pm, with reduced online ticket prices available for both standing & seating - click here to secure spot.
You can also book supporter travel right here.