Ten-man Barnet succumbed to a 3-1 home loss against Mansfield Town, despite a spirited second half fight-back from Martin Allen’s men.
Reggie Lambe opened the scoring before Josh Clarke departed the field of play for two bookable offences.
Mansfield raced further into the lead through Matt Green with just under an hour played, but Barnet pulled a goal back thanks to a John Akinde penalty.
An action packed encounter concluded with another red card – this time for the Stags’ Chris Clements, and a late own goal by Michael Nelson.
Mansfield’s Blair Adams had the first chance of the match, when he hit a tame shot at Stephens from the left side of the box after eight minutes.
A minute later Craig Westcarr fired an effort over the bar, as the visitors started the game brightly.
Stephens dived to stop another Westcarr shot on 11 minutes, after the Stags forward found himself one-on-one with the Bees keeper.
Barnet were denied what looked like a clear penalty with 29 minutes played, when Krystian Pearce appeared to handle in the area.
The Bees then found themselves behind on the half hour mark – Lambe powering the ball into the net from the left side of the box.
Stephens had to be at his acrobatic best to turn Clements’ shot around the post after 33 minutes.
On 37 minutes Clarke received his marching orders – referee Trevor Kettle brandishing a second yellow card for the full-back after a mistimed sliding tackle.
Barnet started the second half more positively and McLean hit a free kick from distance wide of the left post with 52 minutes played.
But Mansfield doubled their lead after 59 minutes when Green raced onto a through ball and slotted home from inside the box.
Michael Gash’s poked shot almost brought the Bees back into the game with an hour on the clock, but it couldn’t find a way past Stags keeper Brian Jensen.
Another save from Stephens stopped Mansfield from racing further into the lead – he got a hand to Green’s shot after closing down the angle for the onrushing striker.
Akinde came close to reducing the deficit with 15 minutes remaining, but his header floated over Jensen and wide of the left post.
Just a minute after that chance Akinde pulled a goal back for the Bees – the substitute was felled by Jensen and slotted home the resulting penalty.
Lambe fired a shot over the bar with ten minutes to go, as Barnet pushed forward in search of an equaliser.
Elliott Johnson stung the hands of the Mansfield keeper with a long-range drive on 82 minutes, before Clements received a second yellow card in the closing stages of the game.
The Bees were caught on the break as they surged towards the Stags goal, and a Michael Nelson own goal put an end to hopes of a late comeback.
Barnet face Newport County at The Hive in the FA Cup next Saturday.
BARNET: Stephens, Johnson, N’Gala, Nelson, Clarke, Bailey (Muggleton 61’), Weston, Gambin, Stacey (Akinde 56’), McLean, Gash (Batt 72’).
Subs Not Used: McKenzie-Lyle, Hoyte, Togwell, Champion.