A second-half penalty miss by John Akinde, when the Bees were deservedly leading 1-0 against Carlisle United, would ultimately prove costly as the visitors scored three times in the last 20 minutes to condemn Barnet to their eighth home league defeat of the season.

The penalty miss buoyed the Cumbrians and once they had levelled in the 70th minute they took total control of the fixture with Barnet’s collapse as alarming as it was dramatic as they remained six points adrift of safety.

Barnet boss Graham Westley made two changes to his team from the side that had managed a home draw against Accrington at the weekend.

Charlie Clough was selected at right-back replacing the injured Richard Brindley, with Jordan Nicholson, replacing Jack Taylor, partnering Akinde up front.

Nicholson should have given the Bees the lead in the second minute when he was set up by Akinde but he shot wide of the target.

Mauro Vilhete then cut in inside and had a shot on target, with Akinde then surging forward before releasing a powerful low drive that was fractionally wide of the upright.

Craig Ross was called upon to make a fine save from a Luke Joyce effort from 30 yards just after the half-hour mark, but Barnet had enjoyed the better of the first half with Carlisle only rarely able to trouble the hosts’ goal.

The home side’s efforts were to be rewarded in the 49th minute when Ricardo Santos headed home a Ryan Watson corner from inside the six-yard box.

Three minutes later Watson went close with a free-kick from distance that caught Jack Bonham unawares, but the Carlisle keeper recovered before collecting the ball and crashing against a post.

The Bees were handed a great chance to double their lead in the 58th minute when Tom Parkes was adjudged to have tripped Akinde in the area and referee Chris Sarginson awarded a penalty kick.

However, Akinde uncharacteristically ballooned the ball over the bar and from this moment the nature of the match changed out of all recognition.

Carlisle made a triple substitution that gave them a more attacking edge and within six minutes they were level.

Substitute Ashley Nadesan latched onto a punt forward and capitalising on the confusion between Dan Sweeney and Ross, who had rushed out of his goal, steered the ball into the net.

Carlisle were now creating opportunities almost at will and within 10 minutes of equalising they forged ahead.

Hallam Hope galloped down the left, out-manoeuvring Clough before pulling the ball back into the path of substitute Richie Bennett to slot home.

Barnet’s misery was complete in the 87th minute when from a free-kick needlessly conceded by Watson, Jamie Devitt’s delivery was touched home by Nadesan.

Barnet: Ross, Clough, Santos, Sweeney, Tutonda, Nicholson (J. Taylor 78), Weston (Bover 83), Watson, Vilhete (Coulthirst 78), Akinde, Nicholls. Subs not used: Shomotun, Sule, Legg, Plavotic.