Two second-half John Akinde penalties gave Barnet a deserved point at Blundell Park in an action-packed 2-2 against Grimsby Town with the Bees playing out the closing minutes with just ten men and surviving a late, late penalty awarded against them.

Manager Martin Allen made four changes from the side that was knocked out of the FA Cup at Shrewsbury last weekend.

Akinde was able to return after serving his suspension, Ryan Watson was selected in central midfield, Jamal Campbell-Ryce was fit again and Harry Taylor was selected at right-back.

The quartet replaced Bondz N’Gala, Sam Muggleton, Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro and Ben Tomlinson, who were all dropped to the substitutes’ bench.

The Bees lined-up in a 4-5-1 formation with Akinde leading the line and with Curtis Weston the furthest forward of the midfielders.

Barnet started the game in confident mood and were the first to construct any meaningful forrays.

Dangerous Grimsby forward Omar Bogle tested Jamie Stephens in the Barnet goal with a right-footed effort on 15 minutes.

The home side, buoyed by a crowd containing many school children given reduced admission and the fact that they had new manager Marcus Bignot in charge at a game for the first time, began to look the more dangerous.

The breakthrough came in the 21st minute when Bogle careered down the left-flank leaving defenders in his wake before his shot, which looked destined to be wide of its target, was cruelly deflected into his own goal by the Elliott Johnson.

Bogle doubled the home side’s advantage in the 35th minute when he capitalised on an uncharacteristic slip by skipper Michael Nelson to rifle home a low powerful shot that left Stephens floundering.

The home side were now rampant, but the Bees defence was not breached again and were able, during the interval, to re-organise both their defence and attack in preparation for the second half.

Barnet switched to a more conventional 4-4-2 formation with Akpa Akpro joining forces with Akinde as a duel spearhead, Taylor was substituted with Mauro Vilhete moving from right wing to right-back, but still with licence to get forward at every opportunity.

The Bees were invigorated by the changes and took the game to the hosts who began to look increasingly nervous in the face of a Barnet side who were determined to force their way back into the fixture.

Within five minutes of the restart the Bees were back in it. Akinde forced his way into the penalty area where Josh Gowling bundled the big striker to the floor.

The Barnet number nine picked himself up from the turf, steadied himself before very calmly stroking the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.

It was now Barnet’s turn to have the upper hand in the fixture and it would take only five more minutes for the Bees to be level.

An intelligent pass forward by Watson set up Weston to advance goal-wards and after some tricky footwork the midfielder was felled by Danny Andrew, with referee Seb Stockbridge immediately awarding a second penalty of the afternoon for the visitors.

Akinde then duly scored from 12 yards for his 14th league goal of the campaign with a carbon copy of his first penalty, with again the keeper getting nowhere near the ball.

Substitute Craig Disley went close moments later to giving the Mariners the lead again when his considered strike from the edge of the penalty box was a whisker wide of an upright.

But Barnet also had a number of chances to forge ahead themselves; Watson blasting over when well placed and an acrobatic effort from Akpa Akpro going very close.

A long throw from the right was headed goalwards by Akinde in the closing minutes but his headed lacked power with keeper James McKeown grateful to pluck the ball out of the air.

From this moment the Bees looked to have settled for a point, the more defensive Alie Sesay joining the fray, but this was not to be the end to the drama.

Bira Dembele was then fortunate to escape a second yellow card when he deliberately impeded Scott Vernon on the edge of the penalty area.

But in the 90th minute Sesay was given a straight red for an over-enthusiastic lunge with the Bees now needing to hold onto the point being a man light.

In the five minutes of time added on Grimsby were awarded a questionable penalty when Nelson was adjudged to have committed a foul when a centre came into the box.

Bogle, a thorn in the side of the Barnet defence all afternoon, then put his shot considerably high and wide of the target, to ensure that the Bees would take something from the match.

It had been a pulsating affair that became more and more compulsive viewing as it went on.

Barnet: Stephens, Taylor (Akpa-Akpro 45), Dembele, Nelson, Johnson (Muggleton 48), Campbell-Ryce, Watson, Champion, Vilhete, Weston (Sesay 85), Akinde. Subs not used: N'Gala, Vickers, Tomlinson, Amaluzor.