A JAKE Hyde brace capped a fine team performance as Barnet secured three points in the opening league game of their Skrill Premier campaign at the Hive.
Luke Gambin’s cool finish early in the second half followed by Hyde’s double made it a day to remember for the majority of the 2500 crowd in the club’s new stadium.
Edgar Davids was a surprise omission from the Barnet squad with his place in the starting line-up taken by new signing Roberto Casabella.
The visitors started brightly with some early possession but Barnet settled as the half progressed.
Casabella and Andy Yiadom worked the ball from defence to Keanu Marsh-Brown down Barnet’s right but Marsh-Brown’s cross was fired over on the volley by Curtis Weston.
Minutes later, Elliot Johnson’s 30-yarder went narrowly wide of Chester goalkeeper John Danby’s left-hand post.
Marsh-Brown had the first telling opportunity of the game with a shot from 25 yards but Danby’s save denied the Londoner a birthday goal.
Neither team created a clear-cut chance in the remainder of the half as the first period ended goalless.
But Barnet came straight out of the traps in the second half with some good link-up play between Hyde and Mark Byrne which saw the Irishman drill a shot towards goal from an acute angle.
The ball ricocheted off the heels of a defender to Gambin inside the Chester area who showed great composure to slot the ball home calmly past the advancing Danby.
Chester tried to get back in the game and defender Paul Linwood will feel he should have done better when his header from a corner was scrambled clear by the Barnet rearguard.
But they came unstuck again when Byrne fizzed a low cross into the box from the Barnet right which was met by last season’s top goalscorer Hyde.
Barnet almost made it three when another Marsh-Brown long-ranger required Danby’s intervention, shortly before the winger was replaced by Luisma Villa.
Villa had a telling impact on the game though when his through ball into the area was met by Hyde who dinked the ball over Danby to make it 3-0, getting Barnet’s season off to the perfect start.
Barnet: Stack, Yiadom, Stephens, Saville, Johnson, Casabella, Weston, Byrne, Gambin (Mengerink), Marsh-Brown (Luisma Vila), Hyde (Crawford).
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