A late Shaq Coulthirst equaliser gave Barnet a deserved 1-1 draw against a physical Mansfield Town after the Stags had taken a lead just before half-time.

Barnet boss Rossi Eames reintroduced the three centre-back formation with two wing-backs in Mauro Vilhete and David Tutonda.

He was also able to welcome back top-scorer Coulthirst after a three-match absence through injury which gave the Bees more focus when going forward.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce hit a low shot from the edge of the box in the opening minutes as did Coulthirst moments later as the Bees made a positive start.

The maturing Wesley Fonguck was having an influence in central midfield with Barnet’s wing-backs advancing down the flanks at every opportunity.

Mansfield are a well-drilled and disciplined unit with their central defenders Krystian Pearce and David Mirfin relishing the physical aspect of their job.

Midway through the first-half the visitors had the Bees on the rack, with Michael Nelson coming to their aid with a well-timed block and keeper Craig Ross saving well with his feet.

The Bees then produced a well-worked move which ended with Vilhete blasting over with other players better positioned to take advantage.

Striker Kane Hemmings then responded for the Stags with a strong low shot from a free-kick move that narrowly missed the target.

Barnet were finishing the half strongly, with an effort from distance by Fonguck troubling keeper Conrad Logan and a quality delivery into the middle by Tutonda that should have been converted.

But it was the visitors who were to take the lead in stoppage time when following a questionable free-kick from the edge of the box, Hemmings was able to steer the ball home from close range.

Early in the second-half the hosts were rescued by great tracking back by Campbell-Ryce to deny Hemmings as the striker bore down on the Barnet goal.

Ross also needed to be alert when Hemmings got his shot away with the Barnet keeper happy to concede a corner, but it was the Bees who were dominating as they sought a leveller.

Coulthirst continued to look the most likely scorer for the Bees and he went close when he was played through only for his left-footed effort to miss the target by a whisker.

Barnet were eventually rewarded for their persistence in the 84th minute when Coulthirst picked up a loose ball in the box and he found the back of the net for his seventh league goal of the season.

The Bees then pushed forward in waves seeking a winner but the visitors held firm.

Barnet are now eight games without a win but they continue to be fully committed and deserved a point from this hard fought contest.

Barnet: Ross, Santos, Nelson, Clough, Vilhete, J.Taylor, Fonguck, Tutonda, Campbell-Ryce (Akpa Akpro 68), Coulthirst, Akinola (Mason-Clark 79). Subs not used: Bover, H.Taylor, Shomotun, Blackman, McKenzie-Lyle.