Hopes were high that Barnet could start to string together a run of positive results following their mid-week win at Newport, but these were dashed as a well-drilled Grimsby Town side won 2-0 at The Hive.

The visitors established an early lead and then took advantage when the hosts went down to 10 men following Dwight Pascal’s red card to seal a victory with a econd goal with 15 minutes remaining.

Barnet’s new boss Mark McGhee sprung a surprise by giving league debuts to teenagers, defender Pascal and forward Benji Aghadiuno, neither of whom would ultimately see out the 90 minutes.

The home side won the first corner of the fixture after three minutes, the resulting flag-kick being headed clear by the Jamille Matt.

Three minutes later Matt, outjumping Charlie Clough, powerfully headed home a driven corner by Luke Summerfield to put the Mariners ahead and in the driving seat.

In blustery conditions the Bees found the job of creating openings often beyond them and the optimism that had stemmed from the victory in South Wales soon evaporated.

Grimsby, sensing a second goal, went close several times to extending their lead in the first half with Bees keeper Jamie Stephens much the busier custodian.

Stephens did well to keep out an effort from Summerfield mid-way through the half and the midfielder then shot just over the bar soon after as the visitors continued to dominate.

Barnet’s hopes of forcing their way back into the game were dealt a blow in the 54th minute when Pascal was red-carded by referee Gavin Ward for a reckless lunge at Siriki Dembele, with the right-back caught out of position and giving the match official little option.

McGhee’s men did respond positively to this set-back, but it was not long before Grimsby reasserted their dominance.

When the Barnet keeper Stephens failed to keep his feet, Diallang Jaiyesimi looked certain to score for the visitors but Clough came to the rescue with a last-ditch headed clearance.

Mauro Vilhete entered the fray just after the hour mark, replacing the fading Jack Taylor, and his energy and industry in midfield was welcome.

But Barnet’s fate was all but sealed in the 75th minute when Dembele made progress down the left and after gliding past the challenge of Ryan Watson, he pulled the ball back for Sam Jones to shoot past Stephens, albeit with the aid of Ricardo Santos deflection.

Only the memory of the two late goals at Newport a few days earlier gave Barnet supporters a glimmer of hope that another comeback was on the cards. But what they had seen on the pitch previously had prepared them for the inevitability of another home defeat.

Barnet: Stephens, Pascal, Santos, Clough, Tutonda (Blackman 85), Watson, Sweeney, J.Taylor (Vilhete 61), Coulthirst, Akinde, Aghadiuno (H. Taylor 55). Subs not used: Nelson, Fonguck, Ross, Nicholls.