Barnet failed to make ground on the National League play-off spots after they were held to a 1-1 draw away at Stockport County.

Simeon Akinola’s penalty after eight minutes put the Bees in front before Ash Palmer drew the Hatters level on the brink of half time.

James Dunne and Wes Fonguck returned to the starting 11 for the Bees, with Charlee Adams and the injured Callum Reynolds coming out of the side that drew against Boreham Wood last week.

Darren Currie’s side started on the front foot and were ahead inside the first 10 minutes when Fonguck threaded the ball through for Akinola before he was brought down in the area. The number 14 then calmly slotted into the bottom right corner to give his side the advantage.

Barnet had opportunities to extend their lead before the interval but Akinola’s effort was snuffed out in the box before Ricardo Santos headed straight at County keeper Ben Hinchcliffe from a long Paul McCallum throw.

The scores were to be level at the break, though, when the ball was floated in from the right-hand side towards Palmer and he got away from his marker before guiding a header into the far corner.

Stockport came out from the break the brighter of the two sides and nearly took the lead when a long goal kick from Hinchcliffe went all the way through to Nyal Bell, but his lob over the on-rushing Scott Loach also evaded the goal.

Palmer then came close to adding his second of the afternoon on two occasions. Firstly, he headed a corner against the crossbar before a second header bounced off the post and into the grateful arms of Loach.

The closest the Bees came to a winner was late on when Santos headed Elliott Johnson’s corner towards goal but Sam Miniham was on hand to clear off the line.

The draw leaves Barnet 13th in the table, four points behind Stockport but with four games in hand.

Currie’s side are on the road against tomorrow night as they make the trip to Woking, which kicks off at 7.45pm.