Barnet missed the chance to close the gap at the top of the National League as leaders Chesterfield ran out 2-0 winners at the Hive on Tuesday.

The Bees went into the game looking to put further distance between themselves and south London side Bromley and consolidate second place in the table.

Straight from kick-off, however, it was the away side who looked to be more threatening.

A couple of close-range efforts paired with a golden opportunity spurned by Michael Jacobs saw the Bees under immediate pressure.

Defending well from set-pieces, the Bees then took the game to the opposition and had a chance of their own when the lively Gatlin O’Donkor prodded the ball straight at Harry Tyrer in the Chesterfield goal from a Callum Stead cross.

Dean Brennan’s side insisted on bravely playing out from the back despite such a high Chesterfield press and could have gone ahead after a successful exit down the left-hand side.

The tricky Stead clipped a ball to the back post after escaping a challenge on the edge of the box, which found captain Harry Pritchard and his looping header clipped the top of the bar before being cleared from danger.

Barnet continued to dominate proceedings by playing around the press with O'Donkor as the focal point, as the Oxford loanee dropped deep to link up with teammates Jordan Cropper and Antony Hartigan.

Stead then had an effort blocked on the six-yard line after winning the ball back in the Chesterfield box, with O’Donkor failing to reach the rebound.

Just a minute later, though, the visitors were in front.

The impressive Bailey Clements found space down the left flank and fired an excellent ball across the face of Josh Keeley’s goal, with Michael Jacobs on hand at the back post to tap into an empty net.

The goal seemed to give Paul Cook’s side an instant boost in confidence, and they should have extended their lead just seconds after the restart when Jacobs found space once again in the Barnet box but failed to meet Armando Dobra’s stabbed cross after the latter had wriggled his way through a sea of legs.

The Bees came out in the second half with intent and should have equalised just before the hour mark, but Pritchard’s header flew over the bar from close range.

The skipper had another chance to equalise but his volley sailed over the bar from a decent position inside the Chesterfield box.

Ten minutes from time, the away side secured victory as Will Grigg poked in from an acute angle to make it 2-0.

Despite a valiant effort from the Bees, the defeat leaves Brennan’s side in third behind Bromley on goal difference, which presents Gateshead with the opportunity to leapfrog both teams should they win their game in hand.