Shay McCartan was the goal hero as Stanley eased their relegation worries with a victory over Barnet.

McCartan fired home a 20-yard free kick but it also needed a last gasp goal line clearance from Matty Pearson to make it three vital points for the Reds.

John Akinde had the first shot for the Bees, firing well wide from outside the area while Michael Nelson also ballooned an effort over with limited goalmouth action early on.

Stanley grew into the game but the first real chance didn’t come until the 29th minute when a Pearson effort from a Sean McConville corner crashed against the crossbar and bounced over.

McConville fired in another dangerous set-piece minutes later but his free kick whisked just wide of the far post with no one able to capitalise.

Stanley were pressing and forced some desperate defending from the Barnet backline including a block on McConville’s goalbound strike while, in injury time, the Bees had their first shot on target with Mauro Vilhete’s effort easy for Marek Rodak.

McCartan got the second half off to a strong start for Stanley, firing just over from 35 yards as they tried to test keeper Benji Buchel, who was making his Bees debut on loan from Oxford.

And Buchel could do nothing about McCartan’s free kick on 54 minutes. Billy Kee, who removed a skull cap he had been wearing at the start after having stitches in his head at Mansfield which reopened against Wycombe, won a free kick on the edge of the area  and McCartan found the top corner to put Stanley ahead for his fourth goal of the season.

Akinde headed over as Barnet looked for an equaliser while a McCartan effort almost caught out Buchel but a deflection took the pace off the ball.

Barnet, who had scored in every away game this season, came close when sub Ryan Watson tested Rodak from distance while, at the other end, Kee headed narrowly over as Stanley looked to make the game safe.

Barnet should have equalised on 84 minutes when their top scorer Akinde got the ball unmarked 10 yards out but his point blank effort was superbly blocked on the line.

Stanley sub Jordan Clark hit the post for a second time for Stanley when his shot was across the goal and clipped the far woodwork.

And it needed a last gasp block from Pearson to deny Vilhete and stop Barnet rescuing a point.