Barnet lost back-to-back games for the first time to Saturday, going down 3-1 away to Grimsby Town in the day’s early kick-off in the Vanarama Conference.
John Akinde had given Barnet an early lead after five minutes, but Grimsby turned it around inside ten minutes with an Oliver Palmer goal and Lenell John-Lewis penalty to lead at the break before Jack Mackreth wrapped up the three points early in the second half.
Ahead of the game Martin Allen named two changes to the side that lost at Lincoln last time out. Mauro Vilhete slotted in at left-back to replace the injured Elliott Johnson following the hamstring strain he sustained at Sincil Bank.
Meanwhile, David Hunt came into the side at right-back as Andy Yiadom pushed forward into midfield with Luisma Villa dropping to the bench.
With a raucous Blundell Park in full voice in front of the BT Sport cameras, Barnet had to withstand some early pressure as the home side won two set pieces in quick succession just outside the Bees’ penalty area.
Yet having dealt with both comfortably it was Barnet who took the lead on six minutes when John Akinde was tripped from behind as he surged into the Mariners’ box. The Bees’ number nine quickly picked himself up to roll home his 24th of the season from the spot.
Grimsby bounced straight back however, equalising six minutes later when the ball ricocheted off Bondz N’Gala in the penalty area and fell to Oliver Palmer who fired into the roof of the net to make it 1-1 with his first goal for the club.
The home side then took the lead on fifteen minutes with a penalty of their own when Lenell John-Lewis went to ground just inside the penalty area with his back to goal under pressure from David Stephens before converting the spot kick himself to complete a breathless first quarter of an hour to the game.
After such a frenetic opening the game inevitably began to settle into more of a rhythm for the rest of the first half, with Barnet looking for the equaliser and Grimsby looking to break when the opportunity arose.
Barnet looked to steady the ship with a change of shape, as Yiadom reverted to right-back and Hunt went into the centre of midfield as Curtis Weston pushed out to the right.
Lee Cook looked to have James McKeown in trouble on 34 minutes with a dinked cross that just about floated onto the roof of the net with the goalkeeper backpedalling.
Another Cook cross from the left nearly helped to bring the Bees level just before the break with his ball flashing across the face of goal with Sam Togwell inches from turning in from close range as the Bees found themselves 2-1 down at the break.
Barnet made one change ahead of the second half, bringing on Keanu Marsh-Brown for Curtis Weston who had sustained a head injury towards the end of the first period.
Barnet enjoyed a good period of pressure at the start of the second half with a string of corner from the left, but were unable to make any of the set pieces count.
They were punished on 52 minutes when Grimsby stretched their lead with their first effort of the half, as Jack Mackreth slid in to poke a cross from the left into the corner of the net from close range.
Martin Allen responded by throwing on Michael Gash for his Barnet debut in place of Charlie MacDonald before introducing Luisma Villa for Hunt as the Bees searched for a way back into the game.
However, it was the home side who finished the game the strongest with Graham Stack being called into action on a number of occasions, firstly to block a low Palmer shot across goal with his legs on the hour mark before palming away a John-Lewis effort with ten minutes left on the clock.
Following today’s defeat Barnet’s lead at the top of the table has been trimmed to five points following Bristol Rovers’ draw at Woking.
Next up for the Bees is a first home game in three weeks against Southport on Saturday as they look to bounce back.
Grimsby Town: James McKeown; Daniel Parslow, Shaun Pearson, Aristote Nsiala, Carl Magnay; Jack Mackreth, Craig Disley, Scott Brown (Craig Clay 80), Nathan Arnold; Oliver Palmer (John-Paul Pittman 84), Lenell John-Lewis.
Barnet FC: Graham Stack; David Hunt (Luisma Villa 64), David Stephens, Bondz N’Gala, Mauro Vilhete; Andy Yiadom, Sam Togwell, Curtis Weston (Keanu Marsh-Brown 46), Lee Cook; John Akinde, Charlie MacDonald (c) (Michael Gash 57).
Attendance: 3,116 (87 Barnet).