Barnet are getting used to heartbreak, and had their emotions tested yet again when a last-minute Liam Shephard goal stole a 2-2 draw for Yeovil at The Hive this evening.
Ben Whitfield’s comical opener 14 minutes in brought a cagey opening period briefly to life, and the Bees deservedly equalised from Michael Nelson’s header on the half-hour.
There were few clear-cut chances to speak of from that point - including what appeared a Barnet winner five minutes from time - when Ryan Watson’s 45-yard free-kick, intended as a cross, deceived Artur Krysiak to give the hosts the lead.
But, again, Barnet conspired to turn victory into what felt like defeat, and Liam Shephard’s close-range finish seconds into injury time meant Barnet boss Kevin Nugent was left still searching for his first win at the sixth time of asking.
After only a slice of good fortune rescued a late draw with Crawley Town on Saturday, Nugent made three changes to his starting line-up, with Elliott Johnson, culpable for Town’s second goal, demoted to the bench.
Ricardo Santos missed out on the squad altogether through injury, while Ruban Bover was also named among the substitutes, with Ryan Watson his replacement.
Tutonda, making his first start for the Bees in place of Johnson, looked a live wire in the early stages and it was from his jinking run that Simeon Akinola fed John Akinde seven minutes in.
League 2’s top scorer rolled the ball into an empty net, only to look over to see the linesman’s flag raised.
The opening 10 minutes belonged to Barnet, who started with a flat 4-4-2 - but like clockwork, Yeovil found a foothold the moment Jamal Campbell-Ryce moved centrally and the Bees switched to a three in defence.
They fired a warning shot when Tom Eaves forced Benjamin Buchel into the first save of the game after the hosts had struggled to deal with Whitfield’s direct running, but their opener, which followed moments later, would prove far simpler.
Charlie Clough sold his goalkeeper short from a routine back-pass, and with his afterburners on, Whitfield stole in to chip home despite a despairing sliding challenge from the Oxford United loanee.
Barnet’s new-look backline began to settle, but Campbell-Ryce’s tendency to play right off the Yeovil defence, almost as a third striker, inhibited their ability to create anything through the middle.
After one rare foray forward from midfield Ryan Watson stung the hands of Krysiak, who could only palm his 25-yard effort behind for a corner, and Charlie Clough’s glancing header from his subsequent delivery begged for a touch as it floated beyond the far post.
Kevin Dawson half-volleyed wide for Yeovil without the Glovers really threatening a second, before Barnet got the equaliser they deserved even without any great quality in possession.
From another fine Watson delivery on the half-hour, Nelson wheeled away after his header at the near post - in an almost identical move to Clough’s - rifled high beyond the helpless Krysiak, although the air of a touch from a visiting head may take the goal from the veteran captain.
A run from deep from the improving Akinola released Akinde minutes later, but having rounded Matt Butcher he shot straight at Krysiak.
Barnet’s goal failed, unfortunately, to spring an edgy - but not dull - half into life, and Clough’s header from a Mauro Vilhete free-kick, which sailed harmlessly wide, brought proceedings to a close.
What could be imagined as a Mike Bassett moment at the interval saw Nugent revert to a conventional 4-4-2, but, for a considerable period, the second half could barely match the intensity of the lethargy with which the Bees jogged out after the break.
Krysiak was largely untroubled throughout and the few chances either side could manufacture were largely Yeovil’s.
Buchel was twice forced into a save from Whitfield while Clough again showed his aerial prowess from set pieces with another header, but again he could not test Krysiak.
The most notable incident of the second 45 looked to have come 10 minutes from time, and not in the circumstances either side would have wished for.
Barnet continued to attack after Akinola had been knocked to the ground in a collision with a Yeovil man, and after receiving several minutes of treatment he was stretchered off.
Somehow, the game then ignited. Ryan Watson put another teasing ball in to the far post from just inside the Yeovil half, and with two Barnet men looking to get the final touch, their attention was enough to outwit Krysiak, and leave the ball nestled in the far corner.
A first win for Nugent beckoned, but still there was time for more of the late drama Barnet have become accustomed to since his arrival.
Yeovil piled men forward as the fourth official’s board went up for four minutes of added time, and within seconds they had their reward.
The Bees were incensed when a disputed throw-in in front of the dugouts went the way of the visitors, but let it be clear that it had no impact on what would follow.
The Glovers moved the ball across midfield to the far side of the pitch, allowing Whitfield a run at Vilhete, before he fizzed a low ball across the six-yard box.
Shephard was on hand to slot past Buchel with a tap-in and, for the third time in such a short spell to date, deny Barnet a much-needed three points.
Barnet: Buchel; Clough, Nelson, Dembele, Tutonda (Johnson 87); Vilhete, Champion, Watson, Campbell-Ryce (Amaluzor 70); Akinola (Coulson 84), Akinde.
Not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Bover, Taylor, Cojocarel.
Yeovil Town: Krysiak; Shephard, Mugabi, Lacey, Dickson; Dawson, Dolan, Butcher, Whitfield; Zoko, Eaves (Harrison 78).
Not used: Maddison, Sowunmi, Goodship, Basett, Jones, James.
Attendance: 1,525 (184 away fans).