Cureton again provides the finishing touches as Exeter City return to winning ways
Jamie Cureton was the goalscoring hero once more as Exeter City bounced back from their recent troubles in style by claiming all three-points at rock-bottom Barnet.
After a flying start to the season the Grecians have had much to ponder in recent weeks after consecutive 2-1 defeats against Southend and Bristol Rovers.
However Paul Tisdale's side got back to winning ways against the hapless Bees thanks to a goal in either half from Cureton – his eighth and ninth goals of the season.
With the Bees having not won all season three points was only ever going to be expected from the trip to North London.
However Exeter needed to survive a late Barnet flurry to bag all the points with Jake Hyde reducing the arrears for the home side amidst a breathless last few minutes.
Cureton – who arrived at Underhill having scored more goals (7) than opponents Barnet (4) this season – struggled last season with an Achilles injury but has been in fine form this term.
However it was the hosts who looked brightest early on with the Bees keen on testing the handling of Exeter's debutant keeper Rhys Evans.
Ten minutes in the impressive Ahmed Abdulla wasted a good chance for the hosts as the visitors seemingly struggled to get to grips with the sloped Underhill surface.
Exeter – on the back of two straight league defeats – included former Barnet frontman John O'Flynn in the starting line-up and the Ireland frontman looked bright as the Grecians started to get something of a foothold in the game.
Exeter tested home keeper Sam Cowler, making his first senior start, just before the half-hour mark – Arron Davies's low strike well dealt with especially given that Cureton was sniffing around any potential scraps.
Minutes later it was Exeter stopper Evans who needed some immaculate handling when the impressive Bees right-back Barry Fuller was allowed space to advance down the wing, cut inside and fire in an effort on goal.
Davies then had another chance to break the deadlock but an untimely bobble contributed to a wayward effort from the former Northampton midfielder.
However his miss was quickly forgotten when the in-form Cureton notched his eighth of the season after 35 minutes. Steve Tully's cross was flicked on by former Bees frontman O'Flynn. That flick took out two Bees defenders leaving the former Bristol Rovers frontman an age in the box and he duly converted from just six yards out, giving Cowler no chance. With the wind now in Exeter's sails the Bees seemed to lose their way for the remainder of the opening half.
Barnet were the first to grab a sight of goal after the break when half-time substitute Andy Yiadom kept City keeper Evans honest.
The lively O'Flynn had a sight of goal just after the hour mark after a nice bit of interplay with Cureton but his effort was deflected wide.
However the pairing didn't have to wait too long to play a key part in the second goal of the night on 67 minutes.
O'Flynn's deft flick on freed Tommy Doherty and his inch-perfect cross was calmly put away by that man Cureton again from six yards out.
Barnet very nearly got themselves back into the game seconds later but Yiadom's cross hit the inside of the post and somehow stayed out.
The Bees did notch a consolation goal when substitute Jake Hyde headed in with nine minutes remaining, the starting point for a breathless last few minutes but Exeter held on to take all three points.
Barnet: Cowler; Fuller, Pearce, Stephens, Brown, Kamdjo, Lee (Yiadom h-t), Abdulla (Byrne 60), Hyde, Oster (Lowe 72), Holmes. Substitutes (not used): O'Brien (gk), Saville, Nurse, Fortune.
Goals: Hyde 81.
Exeter City: Evans; Amankwaah, Coles, Baldwin, Woodman, Doherty, Oakley, Tully, Davies, O'Flynn (Keohane), Cureton. Substitutes (not used): Krysiak (gk), Frear, Bauza, Dawson, Chamberlain, Moore-Taylor.
Goals: Cureton 35, 67.
Referee: D Phillips (West Sussex).