Barnet and Mansfield shared the points in a scrappy game at The Hive London, Shaquile Coulthirst scoring a late equaliser after Calum Butcher’s first-half strike.
Both Barnet and Mansfield went into the Tuesday night fixture off the back of defeats, 2-1 against Notts County and 3-1 against Swindon respectively.
It was Barnet who had an early chance, Jamal Campbell-Ryce shooting from 25 yards, which Stags keeper Conrad Logan did well to save.
The Bees had most of the possession in the first quarter, with 62% of the ball. Coulthirst had the only other chance, a near carbon copy of Campbell-Ryce’s strike, but it just whistled past the post.
Alex MacDonald had the first real chance for Mansfield in the 21st minute, cutting inside and shooting on his left, forcing a fine save from Craig Ross.
Mansfield won a free kick just outside the area after Ricardo Almeida Santos’ foul after 32 minutes, Kane Hemmings shot low and hard but just missed the target.
Mal Benning picked up an early booking for tripping Vilhete, allowing Ross to pump the ball towards the box, winning a throw-in near the right-hand corner flag. From the resulting throw, the ball made its way out to Wesley Fonguck, his volley nearly caught Logan out after he spilt the ball.
David Tutonda created some space for himself in the 41st minute, snapping a ball across the box looking for a killer touch, but it couldn’t find a Barnet shirt. They nearly took the lead soon after though, A free header for Charlie Clough from the resulting corner was just wide of the mark after a lovely floated cross in by Vilhete.
Mansfield got the last chance of the half from a free kick, Simeon Akinola picking up a booking in the process. The ball was sliced by MacDonald, but his shot turned cross found Calum Butcher who placed it into the bottom corner.
However, the referee was reluctant to blow his whistle and Barnet picked up a free-kick in a similar position to the Stags’ seconds earlier. Campbell-Ryce played it in, but it was punched away by Logan, bringing the half to an end.
The start of second half was as scrappy as the first, with free-kicks being given all over the pitch, David Mirfin picking up a booking after 49 minutes. The resulting free-kick led to a Mansfield counter-attack, but Campbell-Ryce was there to intervene before Danny Rose has the chance to shoot.
Logan was caught back peddling when Vilhete’s cross looked to be destined for the goal, but he just managed to turn it around for a corner to spare his embarrassment.
Another free-kick and another booking in the 53rd minute, this time for Paul Digby, gave the Bees a chance to get the ball into the box. Campbell-Ryce lofted the ball in towards the far post, but the Stags managed to clear their lines.
It seemed destined to be a game where set pieces would be the deciding factor, with corners and free-kicks being awarded constantly throughout the game. Whether it be Vilhete’s corners or Campbell-Ryce’s free-kicks, Barnet couldn’t seem to capitalise on the opportunities they were given.
Will Atkinson was booked for a foul on Akinola in the 63rd minute, the fourth yellow card of the evening in just over an hour.
Vilhete looked like the main threat for Barnet, and his short corner to Jack Taylor produced their best chance of the half so far. A lovely ball in just couldn’t find a man in black and amber and resulted in a Mansfield free-kick.
Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro was introduced and gave Coulthirst the chance to bring Barnet back into the game in the 72nd minute. Through on goal, his shot towards the far post was just wide. If it was on target, Stags keeper Logan was well beaten.
Mansfield nearly doubled their lead with a rare chance in a Barnet dominated half, Kane Hemmings turned the defender and his shot was well saved by Ross. Jack Taylor had a half chance when his cross nearly crept in over the head of Logan.
Barnet were pushing all half and they got their deserved equaliser in the 85th minute, Fonguck’s initial effort was only parried by Logan, but Coulthirst was the fox in the box to score his first goal since returning from injury.
As the game pushed into four minutes of stoppage time, Barnet looked to be the only side trying for a winner. Akpa Akpro drilled the ball across the area, but could only find a Mansfield defender. A great save by Logan denied Clough late on, who also met the ball from the resulting corner, but he headed wide with the last chance of the game.
A game filled with hard tackles, half chances and harsh words, Barnet will be pleased to have earnt a point but would’ve felt like they could’ve got more late on.
Attendance: 1262 (223 away)
BARNET: Ross, Clough, Santos, Nelson, Campbell-Ryce (66’ Akpa Akpro), Coulthirst, J. Taylor, Tutonda, Akinola (77’ Mason-Clark), Fonguck, Vilhete.
Unused: McKenzie-Lyle, Bover, H. Taylor, Shomotun, Blackman.