JUST one man made the difference between a slender victory and the well-deserved three-goal rout which Farnborough Town eventually enjoyed on Tuesday night.
Lenny Piper staked his claim to the position in the starting line-up which he once made his own, with a superb substitute performance, 72 minutes into his side's midweek clash.
With the visitors clinging to a one-goal lead and Barnet producing, at times, some good football and goal scoring opportunities, Piper snr had set up Joff Vansittart for Boro's second and netted their third within five minutes.
Graham Westley's men moved up to seventh in the Conference, eliminating, for now, any talk of a relegation battle, with their first away win since they took all three points from Northwich Victoria on November 3.
And it tied in nicely with the boss's plans. "We went into this series of three games, against Telford, Barnet and Nuneaton, determined to establish ourselves firmly in the top ten and we've made the right start to it," he said. "We got a good point against Telford on Saturday, we've obviously got three tonight and we've now got to finish the job off against Nuneaton on Saturday.
"If we go up there with the same attitude, the same application and the same quality that we did tonight, then I'm sure we'll do very well.
"It's nice to be seventh now. The important thing is to be firmly established in the top ten by the end of Saturday and it's up to us to drive out the right result at Nuneaton and get as high up as we can."
It was Barnet who started the stronger putting Tony Pennant, in the Boro goal, under some early pressure. The first real incident came after 18 minutes, when Steve Watson was hacked down by a scathing two footed tackle that should have seen John Doolan take an early bath, but referee Spicer chose to show him just the yellow card.
Boro retaliated in the best way possible — netting the opener ten minutes later. A Chris Piper corner was cleared as far as Watson who knocked it back in to Dean Green to flick on for Gary Holloway to hit a left footed strike into the bottom right corner of the net.
It wasn't until the 73rd minute that number two arrived, as Lenny Piper centred across the box and the ball was dummied by Miguel De Souza to land at the feet of Vansittart.
He played a neat one two with Lenny Piper again before slamming the ball past Lee Harrison in the Barnet goal from close range.
Lenny Piper then got himself on the scoresheet on 77 minutes. Micky Warner floated the ball over to De Souza who nodded on to Piper and the super sub struck the ball well seeing it take a slight deflection off Barnet's Greg Heald before ending up in the back of the net for his tenth of the season.
With time ticking away and Boro confidence increasing, Barnet could only watch the three points slip away in front of a 787 strong crowd, all calling for manager John Still's resignation.
Westley added: "I thought it was a good performance again. As I've been saying in recent weeks I think the boys have been playing some good football and I don't think they've got the right rewards for the performance they've put in.
"But tonight they've put in the performance and they got the reward so they'll take a lot of confidence from it.
"You get hard hitting tackles early on in the game and provided you can give what you get then I don't think anyone argues.
"It frustrates me to see the booking we end up getting with (Darren) Annon, for an innocuous looking challenge and then their boy nailing our fellow in the corner and getting nothing for it. It does frustrate me the inconsistency of the carding, but Watson's a big boy. I'm sure he'll pick himself up from that and I'm sure enjoyed shaking the fellow's hand at the end of the game.
"I remember Tony Pennock doing one good save and it was a vital save at an important time in the game, when we were one nil up and needed to go in at half time with that advantage for our own good.
"I thought Tony performed very well between the sticks. His voice was excellent throughout, his kicking was excellent and that one save was first class."
BARNET: Harrison; Gledhill, Sawyers, Doolan (sub Gower 64 mins),Heald, Arber, Brown, Niven, Purser, Midgley, Berkley. Subs not used: Naisbitt, Bell, Pluck, Taylor.
BORO: Pennock; Warner, Gregory (sub L Piper 72 mins), Green (O'Shea 56), Annon, Laker, Watson, Holloway, Vansittart, De Souza (Crawshaw 82), C Piper. Subs not used: Benstead, Taggart.
Boro now turn their attentions to tomorrow's clash at Nuneaton and the good news is that Christian Lee may return to the fold.
Darren Bonfield and Steve Farrelly are both also making good progress.
The Supporters Club are running a coach to Nuneaton. For details call Adrian on (01252) 546792.