Football: The media circus around Dutch legend Edgar Davids’s arrival at Underhill provided a short-term boost for the rock-bottom Bees, who chalked up their highest attendance of the season with the help of 1,000 Pilgrims.
Veteran League 2 escapologists Barnet need a miracle to avoid the drop but it was the visitors who had their prayers answered after just 120 seconds, when Mark Byrne body-checked Luke Young in the box and Rhys Griffiths dispatched the penalty.
Minutes later the Pilgrims doubled their lead as pitiful set-piece defending saw Maxime Blanchard head home.
David Stephens replied against the run of play but Plymouth sat back and waited for winless Barnet to slip up.
And slip up they did as Paris Cowan-Hall and Luke Young added two more, the latter with a 91st-minute rocket.
It was a dismal end for a dismal home side whose only attacks came via left winger Ricky Holmes. His crosses time and again plopped impotently into the box before he himself hobbled off in the 80th minute.
Davids said his charges had showed “great spells” and maintained there was “still potential,” although he agreed “it was not an enjoyable experience.”
Co-manager Mark Robson was more blunt, branding it the “worst performance I’ve seen so far.”
Asked what impact the Dutchman’s arrival has had, Robson replied: “It’s a little bit strange — we’ll take the positives, make it as positive as we can.”
Judging by the performance on the pitch and the boos that accompanied his side’s exit, that could prove a futile exercise.
After three successive final day escapes, this looks like the year when Barnet’s luck finally runs out.
Surely not even the great showman Davids can provide the magic needed to avoid that fate.