Two John Akinde penalties in the space of five second-half minutes ensured ten-man Barnet came from two down to secure a 2-2 draw at Grimsby Town – but only after the Mariners missed a last-gasp penalty.
An Elliott Johnson own goal gave the Mariners, under new boss Marcus Bignot for the first time in the league, the lead against the run of play.
Omar Bogle then doubled Town’s advantage when he dashed through to lash under the returning Jamie Stephens.
However, Barnet went back down the M1 with a share of the spoils thanks to a pair of Akinde penalties.
The first, won in the 50th minute, was for a foul on Akinde before Curtis Weston won a second just four minutes later.
But the point was in doubt when Alie Sesay, minutes after his introduction, was given a straight red card.
Shortly after the Mariners were awarded a penalty of their own but Bogle fired over, much to the visitors’ relief.
Martin Allen made four changes from the side which lost 3-0 at Shrewsbury Town in the Emirates FA Cup first round last weekend.
Out went Bondz N’Gala, Sam Muggleton, Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro and Ben Tomlinson. In came Harry Taylor, Ryan Watson, Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Akinde.
Jamie Stephens retained his place between the sticks after consecutive cup starts.
Barnet made a confident start and knocked the ball around well, getting particular joy down the right-hand side through Mauro Vilhete and Taylor.
The first chance, though, went Grimsby’s way. Luke Summerfield curled a free-kick towards the top corner but Stephens did well to tip the ball over at full stretch.
In the 21st minute the Mariners took the lead against the run of play.
Bogle broke down the left following a Barnet corner and curled towards the far bottom corner where the unfortunate Johnson deflected home.
In the 35th minute the home side doubled their lead. A routine ball forward squirmed awkwardly under Michael Nelson’s foot and Bogle raced through before blasting low underneath Stephens.
As had been the case in their last EFL League Two game, Barnet were far from done despite trailing 2-0.
Vilhete very nearly reduced the arrears when he skipped past two Grimsby players and brought a good stop out of James McKeown with a dipping effort.
Watson then brought another good stop out of Town’s number one with a 25-yard free-kick which he parried to safety a minute before the break.
Barnet introduced former Mariner Akpa Akpro at half time and soon the game turned on its head with the Frenchman playing a starring role.
Five minutes after the restart Allen’s men got their first back when Akinde was tripped just inside the penalty area. Barnet’s number nine tucked the penalty beyond McKeown with ease to half the deficit.
Just four minutes after their first the Bees were level.
Weston was the man felled this time – after collecting Akpa Akpro’s pass – but the outcome was the same, Akinde stroking into the same corner as his first to make it 2-2.
Grimsby responded by bringing on Craig Disley and he rattled a shot wide almost immediately.
However, it was Barnet who were on top by now and Weston brought a fine stop out of McKeown with a rasping drive.
The ball ran loose to the midfielder who squared to Akinde. He cut back for Watson but the Bees’ number seven shot over first time.
With the game finely balanced both sides went in search of a winner.
And Grimsby looked to have found one with 15 minutes remaining when Bogle rounded Stephens. However, the Town forward could only shoot into the side netting as the angle diminished.
The Bees went closer still with six minutes left. Akinde got up well to meet Muggleton’s throw but his header was held by McKeown.
Five minutes after his introduction Alie Sesay was heading back to the changing rooms after earning a straight red card for a challenge near the touchline.
Things went from bad to worse in stoppage time when Grimsby were awarded the game’s third penalty. However, Bogle sent his kick comfortably over the bar.
In the end a dramatic encounter had served up all it could muster and the game finished 2-2.
Barnet are back at The Hive on Saturday with Crewe Alexandra the visitors in EFL League Two.
Barnet: Stephens; H. Taylor (Akpa Akpro HT), Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson (Muggleton 48); Vilhete, Champion, Watson, Campbell-Ryce; Weston (Sesay 85); Akinde.
Subs: Vickers (GK), N’Gala, Tomlinson, Amaluzor.
Grimsby Town: McKeown; Mills, Gowling (c), Collins, Andrew; Berrett (Disley 58), Summerfield, Comley, Chambers (Bolawinra 53);Bogle, Jackson (Vernon 80).
Subs: Warrington (GK), Pearson, Boyce, Jones.
Referee: S Stockbridge.
Attendance: 5,519 (70 Barnet supporters).