A familiar failing of conceding late goals cost Barnet a point at St James Park when Exeter's Jake Taylor scored the Grecians’ winner in the 91st minute to secure a 2-1 success.

This was a cruel blow for the Bees and their travelling band of 124 supporters. The performance was an improvement of what had been seen of late, but the harsh fact is this was Barnet’s third consecutive defeat and one that sees them again in the League Two relegation zone.

With Jamie Stephens sidelined with a hamstring injury, Craig Ross continued to deputise in goal, with the versatile Mauro Vilhete starting at right-back instead of Richard Brindley, who dropped to the bench.

Automatic promotion hopefuls Exeter were rocked in the early stages by the positive approach taken by the Bees with the visitors looking initially the more dangerous outfit.

John Akinde had an effort well-saved by Christy Pym and a Jack Taylor volley after good play out wide by Jamal Campbell-Ryce that flashed narrowly wide were promising early signs.

Both sides were creating openings in a first half that was very open.

Barnet looked determined in their defending when Exeter held the upper hand, although keeper Ross was called upon on numerous occasions to keep the hosts at bay.

A surging run and shot down the right by Jack Taylor gave Barnet hope but with 30 minutes on the clock Exeter took the lead when Kane Wilson’s left-footed strike from the edge of the 18-yard-box found the corner of the net, with Ross unable to get a hand to the ball.

The Bees responded to this set-back and went in search of a leveller, and with five minutes remaining of the first-half Shaq Coulthirst, at the back post, fired goalwards only to have his effort cleared off the line by Jordan Taylor Moore.

Exeter could have extended their lead in the second half but the Bees had held firm and their endeavours were finally rewarded in the 69th minute when Ryan Watson’s free-kick found the top corner from 20 yards.

Amazingly in the 88th minute Barnet could have won the game when Campbell-Ryce’s cross looped up and over Pym and hit the crossbar.

But just minutes later Exeter would claim a dramatic winner when Jake Taylor, latching onto a long ball into the box, was allowed time to steer the ball past Ross.

Barnet: Ross, Vilhete, Clough, Santos, Blackman, Watson, Fonguck (Akinola 61) J.Taylor, Campbell-Ryce, Coulthirst, Akinde (Nicholls 85). Subs not used: Brindley, Nelson, Tutonda, Sweeney, McKenzie-Lyle.